Does anyone have experience in print barcodes?
Is there something I should pay special attention when I print the barcodes with letterpress?
I have a job where I should be printing packaging materials.

Thanks for your help!
Attila (Fabrica Letterpress)

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When printing bar codes you should have a scanner at the press to check to see if the bar code is scanning correctly, some bar codes are more forgiving than others, the least forgiving is the UPC code. if you are printing a UPC code you definitely need a bar code scanner to check for scan ability.


Ted’s suggestion is a great one. The plate you make to print the barcode must take into account the spread of the ink at the edges which occurs with letterpress printing, so you need to specify a bar width reduction which takes that spread into account.

If you have the time, print some samples and get someone to verify that they are correctly printed.
Contact me by email if you would like more detail or would like assistance with your setup of the barcode.

John Henry

Hello Attila,

If you don’t have access to a bar code scanner, I’m wondering if the smartphone apps that are based on bar codes would work as well for checking.


The RedLaser app (free) should work just fine.


Yes, I have Quickmark installed on my phone (there are Android and iOS versions available) and regularly use it to check both QR and various linear barcodes on files we print at the offset and laser printing job shop that is my daily employment. Very handy. It’s also good to have a couple of the apps installed if you can as not all of them read the same barcodes or in the same way. Checking with a couple can tell you if the barcode just won’t scan or is a bit finicky or what.

Thanks for everyone!
I was afraid from the ink of the edges. I will print UPC code. I will printing with very thin ink and I hope it will be good.
The use of the code scanner app for checking the print is a good idea :)