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Barcodes are ubiquitous on packaging and product labels, particularly linear barcodes that hold information about pricing. They also help stores track inventory levels. But just because they’re functional doesn’t mean they can’t be fun, too!

The barcode on your label is a space where you can let some whimsy loose. We’ve found 31 quirky barcode designs that just might get your creative juices flowing.

Barcode Designs – Pro Tips

Of course, there are rules for good barcode design that you still must pay attention to, even while you play around with it. In order for your barcode design to get the job done, you should:

  1. Create a “quiet zone” on each end of the barcode so the scanner can tell where the barcode begins and ends.
  2. Make sure there’s a generous strip of uninterrupted code where the image does not impinge, so the scanner can easily read it.
  3. Include the number string in the design; that way, if the scanner can’t read it, a human will be able to hand-enter the code.
  4. If you use color, make sure a good contrast is present for scanning readability (see our post on good barcode color combinations).
  5. Always print out and test your barcode with a scanner or reader before implementing the design.

All of the above steps will ensure that your barcode design will work as well as entertain!

The Designs

Let’s get right to it, then, shall we? These are listed in no particular order.

1. Aristoleo olive oil tells a whole story, with the olive tree roots as the barcode
olive oil barcode design with tree roots
2. Toll House cookie dough has an oven mitt as the barcode
Cookie dough with an oven mitt barcode
3. Crazy Mountain Brewing in Colorado uses a line of tall trees for their barcode
Crazy Mountain uses tall trees as a barcode
4. Hubert’s Lemonade puts their barcode in a truck, along with their lemons (and strawberries, in this case).
Barcode truck with lemons and strawberries
5. This graphic novel barcode features a Godzilla-like monster destroying a barcode city.
Monster destroys barcode city in rampage
6. Beckon Ice Cream is so good someone couldn’t even wait to open the container before taking a bite.
spoon scoops out part of the barcode
7. Portlandia Ketchup has tomato plants, roots, fruits, and all
tomato plant barcode for ketchup
8. Snappy Flossers has a toothy alligator (crocodile?) for their barcode. This is one of many unique barcode designs by Steve Simpson.
The teeth of an alligator make up this barcode for tooth flossers
9. Kodiak Cakes puts their flapjacks barcode inside their trademark bear.
Kodiak barcode inside a bear
10. Tall Horse Wine use giraffe necks for this barcodes
Giraffe necks are part of the barcode
11. Cremo Shave Cream has a razor cutting off some stubble.
razor shaving off the barcode's stubble
12. Taft Brewing shows William Taft in a bathtub (with a beer tap instead of a water tap)
barcode showing Taft in a bathtub
13. CoffeeMate launched a series of Star Wars creamers. Love these X-Wing fighters (by Chase Design)
X-Wing fighters coming out of a barcode
14. Grocery stores often use this cup for their self-serve soup
Soup pot barcode
15. StrangeLove (an Australian beverage company) has some slightly alarming barcodes
This barcode would cause me to stay awake - large eye watching you
16. Packaging for a rugged phone case capitalizes on use-case scenario
Barcode in a tent for a rugged phone case
17. Olli Pepperoni has a farm scene for their barcode
Barcode with tractor, tree, fence, and pigs
18. Schweppes barcode wants to serve you some ginger ale
Schweppes barcode shows an arm with a serving tray extending from the barcode
19. Another Simpson design, this time with wine glasses. Love the touch of red.
The stems of tall red wine glasses are incorporated into this barcode design
20. This Gatorade bottle has a barcode with a running man
running man bursts out of the barcode
21. Dave’s Gourmet spaghetti sauce’s barcode has – what else – spaghetti
spaghetti strands come out of the barcode and twist around a fork
22. Love the way the hills on this Helderberg Wine bottle label flow down into the barcode.
lines creating hills on the label flow into the barcode
23. A sunscreen tube with a sun umbrella and a chaise lounge.
sun umbrella and chaise lounge on a barcode
24. The Kindle Fire barcode includes a reader under a tree.
barcode with a reader on a hill, under a tree
25. Another book-related design, by Steve Simpson (for ‘Fear Not’ by Stephen James Smith).
matchbook barcode
26. Bishop Cider has a barcode that echos the Dallas skyline.
Dallas skyline in a barcode
27. Outdoor Edge products have a waterfall on a river coming out of the Colorado mountains.
waterfall barcode
28. Dreamies cat treats have cat paws kneading and creating the barcode.
cat paws creating barcode
29. Nomad’s wireless charger packaging has a nature barcode.
barcode with Jeep, mountain, tree
30. This dog kennel has a very cute puppy as part of it’s barcode.
puppy barcode design
31. And last but not least, another Steve Simpson-designed barcode, for a dragon-themed hot sauce. Amazing label!
dragon barcode

Did we get your favorite? There’s plenty more like these out there; keep your eyes open for them!

Additional Sources

Bored Panda, 192 Of The Most Genius Barcode Designs Ever
Reddit, Barcode Porn

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