The barcode turns 50!

A couple of weeks ago, the barcode turned 50 years old. They have become instantly recognisable and are seen in almost every single aspect of day-to-day life. Examples of this are in hospitals, on every single item that we see and purchase in our supermarkets, on billboards and bits of advertising, plus many more. In fact, the barcode today is used more times every single day than what Google search is worldwide! The barcode was originally created by Norman Joseph Woodland and in 1973 IBM developed it into what is called a UPC code (standing for Universal Product Code), this was then selected by leaders of the industry to become standard practice, and this is still in implementation today.

Moving forward into the modern age, the barcode has developed greatly, and a 2-dimensional QR Code is more commonly used in many applications. Examples of this are on event tickets, such as concerts – a ticket can be downloaded to a phone, avoiding the need for a paper ticket, which could be lost and is inconvenient. Or, for example, on a piece of marketing literature, like a poster on a bus stop. This could contain a web link (via a QR code) to a video or a promotional website, making the poster interactive and enabling it to reach the audience more effectively. Many of our customers are utilising the progression in technology, using a QR code on an asset tag to contain vast amounts of data, which simply would not have been possible before. For example, certain customers have included this type of QR to point to a link that goes through to a spreadsheet, this spreadsheet then contains large pieces of data on one particular asset. It may include details on emissions, warranty, location, manufacturer, value, etc… and this data can then even be updated live in time, to avoid re-printing the label containing the original link.

Custom Labels has the ability to print any type of barcode that you may desire. As mentioned, the most popular now would be the QR code and this is available on any of our asset tags in our range. These different types are listed and explained below:

  • Ultra-Destruct Vinyl: this is a security material that is tamper-proof in its nature and is therefore practically impossible to remove once adhered to a given substrate. If a pick is attempted the label will effectively fragment under the user’s fingernail
  • VOID Polyester: this again is a security material, but this time and once adhered to, the material will leave behind a ‘VOID’ print if a user removes the label from a product. This is intended not only to deter the user from removing the label but also to highlight that the tag has been removed and tampered with. The label cannot be reapplied once removed from the original product.
  • 3M Polyester Laminated: this is a strong yet economical label type, with a powerful 3M adhesive and a lamination to protect the print on the tag. Suitable for external and internal use, but there are design restrictions on this option, due to the printing process.
  • Ultra-Tuff: Strong tag, suitable for long-term use, undersurface print so that the design cannot be reached without excessive force.
  • Ultimate: the most durable tag that we offer, compatible in specification with that of a metal alternative. High resistance to abrasion, chemicals, etc. due to its under-surface print + a very tactical and dynamic base material.

If you would like samples of all of the above, then please fill out our asset label sample request form and a member of our sales team will be in touch shortly.