Bar Code Labeling

Bar Codes are precise arrangements of parallel lines (bars) and spaces that vary in width to represent data. Bar Codes are composed of the following elements:
background   The lighter portion of a bar code symbol, including the spaces between the bars and, where required, Quiet Zones.
bar   The dark (low reflectance) rectangular element of a bar code symbol.
bar code   A precise arrangement of parallel lines (bars) and spaces that vary in width to represent data.
bar code character   A group of bars and spaces that represents a letter, number, or other information.
bar code density   The number of symbol characters that can be represented in a specific unit of measure.


Bar Codes are either variable data demand printed using inkjet, thermal, or thermal transfer technology or they are composed as a design element and printed as repetitive data on product packaging. Variable data bar codes are typically demand printed with direct thermal or thermal transfer printing.
Direct thermal printing uses a semiconductor with hundreds of individual heating elements which come in direct contact with the surface of a temperature sensitive chemical coated label surface. Turning elements on and off in controlled patterns renders a visible image on label. Labels produced with direct thermal are not permanent and turn black or dark brown with exposure to either ultra violet light or heat after a short time.

Thermal transfer printing uses the same semiconductor print head but places a wax or wax resin coated ribbon between semiconductor and surface of label. Images printed with thermal transfer process can be permanent when appropriate label and ribbon components are optimized.