Mobile 2D Barcode Tagging Requires Major Emphasis on Symbol Print Quality

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Mobile barcode campaigns utilizing 2D symbols, such as QR Code, will fail miserably if the printed barcode symbols can not be easily read by smartphone equipped users.

"Our complimentary digital barcode evaluation service is a powerful resource which helps save money by catching potential mistakes before printing occurs and consumers are impacted." said Andrew Verb, President.

As more major brand owners are turning to 2D barcodes for connecting with smartphone equipped consumers, the scannability and print quality of these barcodes is crucial. 2D barcodes, such as QR Codes, are becoming increasingly popular. Mobile barcode campaigns are being integrated in signage, advertisement, cover design, and promotions. However, if a consumer with a smartphone can not easily read the barcode, they will be less apt to scan barcodes in the future. More importantly, this negative experience might possibly taint their perspective of the brand owner.

When a UPC barcode can not scan at a store, the cashier can manually enter the information and the customer is minimally inconvenienced. However, if smartphone equipped user can not successfully can a 2D barcode and there isn’t a destination web address specified next to the barcode, they will be frustrated for the time and effort wasted.

Companies attempting 2D mobile barcode marketing campaigns must appreciate the importance of symbol print quality and the consumer experience. Although many 2D mobile marking services include barcode images, these file formats are normally not high enough quality for major campaigns. Digital file formats such as .bmp, jpg, gif, and .tif, do not provide the necessary resolution required for mass replication. Barcode files should always be provided as vector based images, such as .eps or svg.

In addition, many services that provide barcodes use terms such as “flawless”, “high precision”, or “perfect”. These are simply subjective marketing terms with no substantiating evidence of accuracy. Bar Code Graphics, Inc. has been a leader in barcode origination and print quality since the inception of the UPC barcode. In order to distinguish the accuracy of provided .eps digital barcode files, Bar Code Graphics received GS1 US certification in 2005 for their barcode engine (PrecisionCode) which powers http://www.createbarcodes.com . All linear and 2D barcode symbols, including QR Codes and Data Matrix, can easily be created. This application is the only software to ever receive certification to produce digital barcode files which adhere to GS1 and ISO barcode standards.

In today's digital world, quality control for barcode symbols is challenging. It is crucial for users throughout print production to be able to validate and check the quality of digital barcode files. The EPS Validator website , http://www.epsvalidator.com , will display the barcode language, encoded data, sizing, and bar width adjustment of any bar code file (.eps) created from Bar Code Graphics' GS1 certified application (PrecisionCode). The EPS Validator allows manufacturers, ad agencies, printers and graphic designers the ability to confirm that the appropriate barcode is being utilized and avoid costly errors. The EPS Validator is web based and requires no additional software installation. Users simply need to upload a provided digital barcode and the results are displayed instantly. Furthermore, subscriptions are not required so anyone involved in a barcode print job can easily check provided digital barcode files for free. http://www.epsvalidator.com.

Just as barcode quality control procedures are already integrated into other barcode printing processes for UPC and coupon barcodes, 2D mobile marketers must establish protocols to evaluate 2D barcode before a campaign is released to the public. Common testing procedures should go beyond evaluating scan performance with a few sample phones. Proper barcode testing should included ISO/ANSO evaluation against known industry standards. Bar Code Graphics, Inc. provides specialized testing services for all POS, Shipping Label, Coupon and 2D barcodes.

About Bar Code Graphics
Since the inception of the UPC, Bar Code Graphics has been a major provider of bar code artwork and is recognized as one the leading authorities on bar code print quality. In 2001, http://www.createbarcodes.com was launched as the first online application to instantly generate .eps barcode files for all types of symbols. In 2005, our application (PrecisionCode) received GS1 certification and is the only software approved to create digital barcode artwork. Over 55,000 users have relied on http://www.createbarcodes.com. Bar Code Graphics is also the largest North American testing center for barcode evaluations and administers barcode compliance for many of the top US retailers.

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Jill Gerdzos
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