We're accustomed to seeing the exact same size and shape UCC barcodes on retail packaging, but who knew that these parameters could be played with yet still serve their intended function? Barcoding software today doesn't have to incorporate fuzzy logic as long as the minimum amount of information can be read by the bar code scanner.
Somebody in Japan finally figured out that as long as optical character readers (OCRs) and barcode verifiers can recognize the encoded information in any bar code, nothing else really matters. The next step was to work hand-in-hand with manufacturers of preprinted barcode labels to liven up their barcodes and by doing so, create an innovative new way to attract consumers' attention.
In Japan nowadays, artistic barcode labels grace everything from soup to nuts. The theme typically matches the actual product inside but just as often it doesn't. No matter, the theme is secondary to the thoughts of the artists who, though limited by the need to retain the barcode label's original purpose, still have enough leeway to surprise and delight.
Leading the pack when it comes to artistic universal product barcodes is a Japanese design firm named D-barcode. With a name like that, it would seem they have enough commissions designing creative UCC bar codes to keep the company in the black. Thanks to D-barcode and other design firms, artistically rendered barcodes, coupon barcodes and barcode stickers have attracted quite a following in Japan - so much so that there's a bar code book featuring them (which appears to be sold out).
Will we be seeing these kinds of creative, artistically designed bar code labels and stickers on American packaging anytime soon? It's likely we will - competition being what it is, companies need to grab our attention any way they can. Now that the "bar" has been raised in Japan, it's certain our corporations will come in from the "code". (via Dark Roasted Blend)