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The Graphic Design Reference & Specification Book by Irina Lee, Aaris Sherin, Poppy Evans

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Chapter 12: Bar Code Standards

GENERAL STANDARDS FOR UPC BAR CODES

Bar codes are a series of horizontal or vertical parallel lines representing a code that can be optically read and interpreted by a bar code scanner. Bar coding is used on packaging to speed up pricing at checkout.

• Bar codes must be positioned in a spot that is highly visible and easily scanned.

• A bar code must be printed at a scale between 85% and 120% of its original size.

• Bar codes must be printed in dark colors (dark shades or blue-black and brown or black) against a solid light colored background. (See the following section, Guide to Color-Correct Bar Coding, for more specific information on which colors are readable when printed on common paperboard surfaces.)

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