Barcodes are visual representations of numbers and letters that can be easily scanned by laser- or camera-based systems, quickly and accurately.

One of the most common things encoded in a barcode are Global Trade Identification Numbers (GTINs), sometimes known as UPCs or EANs, but any GS1 identifier can be captured in the form of a barcode.

GS1 barcodes are the only globally-recognized barcodes and play a key role in supply chains, enabling organizations to identify, track and trace products as they move through the supply chain and all over the world. More than 10 billion GS1 barcodes are scanned around the world every day.

Types of Barcodes

Different GS1 barcodes have different purposes depending on where they will be scanned and what types of data they need to hold. Some barcodes can even carry additional information called application identifiers, that can add extra information like expiry dates, serial numbers and batch numbers to the information captured within a barcode.

See Common Barcode Types