Cracking the Barcode Encryption

Cracking the Barcode Encryption
article writer
by Keith McCauley
September 8, 2020, Updated November 1, 2022

How do I know where to get a barcode, and which type do I need?

You've come to the right place. When working with Container and Packaging, we want to provide you with resources you need to incorporate a barcode that will work throughout the life of your product “ a barcode that won't limit where you decide to sell as you grow.

There are two basic solutions.

1) You can purchase a barcode through Container and Packaging. We acquire unique barcodes that can be incorporated into your packaging design. The cost of these barcodes is $30. This is a good option if you have smaller quantities of product, a defined sales channel, and simply want a unique barcode for tracking. However, there are limitations to this option. For example, these barcodes are not generated through GS1 and may not be accepted by Amazon and major retailers that require a unique company prefix.

2) The second option is to purchase a barcode through GS1. This is becoming the standard because it is a uniform system accepted by major retailers across the globe. We recommend this option for most customers. 


Barcode Basics

How you set up barcodes through GS1 US ®:

  • You obtain a unique company identification number called a GS1 Company Prefix. It will identify your company to businesses all over the world
  • Using that prefix, you add a number that specifically identifies your product. Combined with a check digit, this creates a GTIN ® (Global Trade Item Number ®) that identifies both your company and that product
  • You take this GTIN and create a barcode from it that can be scanned


Ways Barcodes, U.P.C.s, and GTINs can Improve Your Business

Barcodes and product identifiers like a GTIN and location identifiers like a Global Location Number (GLN) have been integrated into our modern lives to increase efficiency, productivity, and customer satisfaction. Every day, they are used in:Inventory management and traceability

  • Managing inventory levels
  • Tracking medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and food to help ensure patient and consumer safety

Point of sale accuracy

  • Scanning and identifying products at point of sale (checkout), online, and at warehouses
  • GTINs make it easier for your products to be found in web searches and online marketplaces, leading to a better consumer experience and increased revenue for you

Regulatory compliance

  • Medical device manufacturers use GS1 GTINs and barcodes to support U.S. FDA UDI regulatory requirements. GS1 is a FDA-accredited issuing agency for UDI

Shipping and receiving

  • Barcodes and product and location identifiers are used by businesses to manage how they exchange goods within their supply chain
  • Different barcodes and product and location identifiers can identify a product, its origin and current location in transit, and if it was received by a trading partnerInformation sharing
  • Capturing and sharing data like location, nutrition, and allergens so fresh foods growers, restaurants, and packaged goods businesses can share more complete and accurate information with trading partners and consumers
  • Businesses can exchange information electronically to expedite invoicing and re-ordering

These and other business processes come through the power of barcodes and the Universal Product Code (U.P.C.) to Identify items, Capture accurate data, and Share that information with customers and businesses*

Check out this simple video to understand how it works.


Get Started

You've got the product, container, closure and package design underway, now you need a barcode to finalize artwork. Visit with Container and Packaging about acquiring a standard barcode, or use the link below to create a barcode with GS1. Once you have the barcode art file from GS1, we can get it incorporated into your artwork, finalized and ready to print.

Go to the Get Started Guide

Have any questions, give us a call at 1-800-473-4144


*Content from GSI-US