I recently came across this post from our friends at Zebra Technologies about so-called vanity bar codes. To make packaging more enticing to consumers, bar codes are getting a makeover to make them more visible and fun.
The trend was started by companies who wanted to get away from the standard black and white stripes of the usual bar code to add some pizazz and make their packaging stand out while still maintaining product identification.
However, the custom bar code still needs to function as an identifier and be scannable. For these trendy bar codes to be readable, the design needs to be about a half inch high, there needs to be blank space on either side, and the lines can’t be made out of the colors the scanner can’t see, like red, yellow or orange.
Companies using these types of bar codes on their products have to balance creativity and function. There’s no sense in having an artful rendition of a bar code that doesn’t do its job. Yet, these types of bar codes can help with branding as they become a stylish and unique part of the product’s packaging.
What do you think of this trend? Is it frivolous, or would it make you pick up the package and consider a purchase?