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Bringing Barcodes to Life: Barcodes by Design Barcode

“Why hasn’t the design for the barcode ever changed?”

This is the question the design team at Design Barcode asked itself when it set out to innovate a new way for companies to think about how their valuable product real estate gets used.

We often overlook or completely ignore barcodes. A series of black lines used to help categorize and keep inventory data on products, to the average consumer barcodes are nothing more than a small label that does not concern us. Design Barcode’s design team wanted to change this and ruthlessly studied Barcode technology standards, eventually inventing a process that allows for a design element to be integrated to barcodes.

The result? The mundane parallel lines of black and white become a refreshing way for brands to use as a communication tool.

In 2005 Design Barcode was awarded the Good Design Award in the Communication Design Category, and has since created designed barcodes for major Japanese brands such as Suntory, Calbee, Wacoal and others. Design Barcode recently partnered with PACARC, LLC, a leader in bringing innovative products from Japan to the United States. Together, they are aiming to make custom designed barcodes available to brands across the United States.

Check out some of the designs of Design Barcode below:

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Author Information


Eli Nygren is a graphic designer/project manager from Maui, Hawai'i. He is fluent in Japanese and English and is currently based in Tokyo. In addition to design, he loves music, camping, surfing, cooking and reading.

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