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What is a Barcode?

Barcodes are optical bits of data, usually represented by bars of varying width, that can be read by machines and scanners. They can be found almost everywhere, including libraries, on your mail, and in your grocery stores. They track patients in hospitals and help you clock into work efficiently. There are many different types of barcodes, the most common, of which, are UPC, EAN, and QR codes. Read below to see which barcode best fits your needs.

Do you need to register barcodes for internal use like inventory or non-retail uses?

You do not need to join or pay fees with GS1 / GS1-US for internal use within your organization, however, there are certain GS1 prefixes assigned specifically for internal use.

What software can I use to create barcodes and barcode labels?

While there are a variety of software programs available to create barcode labels,'s exclusive software, Maestro Label Designer is easily affordable, simple to use, and supports 9 different types of barcodes. Read below for more information about the different types of barcodes, or learn how to create a barcode in Maestro Label Designer.

Type Example Description  
UPC-A UPC-A Barcode Universal Product Code seen on almost all retail products in the USA and Canada. (Read More) Get a UPC-A Barcode
UPC-E UPC-E Barcode Compressed version of UPC code for use on small products. (Read More) Get a UPC-E Barcode
EAN-8 EAN-8 Barcode Compressed version of EAN code for use on small products. (Read More) Get an EAN-8 Barcode
EAN-13 EAN-13 Barcode European Article Numbering international retail product code. (Read More) Get an EAN-13 Barcode
Code 39 Code 39 Barcode The standard for many government barcode specifications. Also known as USD-3 and 3-of-9. (Read More) Get a Code 39 Barcode
Code 128 Code 128 Barcode Very capable code with excellent density and reliability. Often selected over Code 39 because of its density and larger selection of characters. (Read More) Get a Code 128 Barcode
Codabar Codabar Barcode Mainly used in libraries, blood banks, and the overnight package delivery industry.  
Interleaved 2 of 5 Interleaved 2 of 5 Barcode Widely used in warehouse and industrial applications. The data must consist of an even number of digits.  
PostNet PostNet Barcode The PostNet barcode is used by the United States Postal Service to automatically sort mail.