It is difficult to think back to a time when there were no barcodes, that is because barcodes have been around since the late 1940s. At Hallmark Nameplate we specialize in creating nameplates for many purposes out of many different materials. Of all the nameplates we manufacture, one thing is constant – most products need a code. The Barcode was invented nearly seventy years ago. This code has enabled companies to organize and keep track of inventory, equipment, and much more. We understand how important quality nameplates are to your products, and ensure that every barcode we print on a nameplate will help your company remain organized from manufacturer to end user.
Where Did Barcodes Come From?
In the late 1940s, two mechanical engineers from Drexel University set out to help grocers automate the checkout process in their stores. They patented a “Classifying Apparatuses and Methods” system using thick and thin lines, in a process similar to Morse Code. Over the next twenty years, new methods came in and out of fashion until in 1966 the development of the UPC or Universal Product Code. This code provided a universal “language” for all products to be tracked and organized. Since then, more and more information has been added to these codes. Today certain types of codes can contain up to 7,000 numbers or 4,000 characters of text In a single image. Codes now provide users with more information than ever before.
How Do You Get A UPC?
For businesses that sell products, UPCs and barcodes are necessary. No matter which style you decide to go with, (traditional 1D or 2D). Thankfully registering your UPC is very easy. First, you must apply for a GS1 company prefix. This number and code are unique to your company. The GS1 US is a not-for-profit company that assigns all UPC company prefixes and product numbers in the US. This allows for a standardized system that is affordable. Second, your products will be assigned product numbers that will be able to be scanned and registered across the globe. Once this information is assigned, you can decide how you would like your barcode to look. And finally, you can add these all-important codes to the designs for the high-quality nameplates we manufacture.
How Many Different Codes are There?
There are many different kinds of codes available and each has its own purpose. However, there are two distinct categories of barcodes that can provide a lot of information to the people who use them. The first is classified as 1D barcodes and they are used for things like inventory and retail stores (UPC), tracking shipments, identification, and inventory (Code 39), encoding zipcodes on the U.S. mail (POSTNET), ISBN numbers for books (Bookland), warehouse and shipping (Interleaved 2 of 5) and for organization for industries like blood banks (Codabar). In addition to 1D barcodes, there are also 2D barcodes that are becoming very popular because they can store much more information such as, websites and even audio and video files in a single code. QR Codes, Maxicode, PFD417, and Data Matrix codes are used by industries such as: airlines, health care, UPS, USPS, commercial, retail, and IT. Because these codes can hold so much information, and nearly everyone can scan them with a mobile device, their usage is becoming more popular. Now instead of being simply assigned a UPC by the GS1 US, you can also create codes that scan your product and bring consumers straight to your website with the push of a button.
What Substrate Is Right For My Code?
UPC Codes are the fingerprint of every product on the market today, choosing a substrate to print your code to can be fun and easy at Hallmark Nameplate. Depending on the application of your code, many substrates may be desirable. If you need coded nameplates that will help you track equipment around your warehouse, aluminum or vinyl nameplates may be the best option. If you Want to provide the users of your product with video and more information as well as be able to track the product, a QR code printed on durable mylar may be perfect for your project. To decide what kind of code you need and substrate it should be printed on, speak to your Hallmark Nameplate representatives today. We can help you decide which code is right for your product and which nameplate will best suit your needs.