The Long and Short of It: 1D Barcode Length Explained


Could you elucidate on the upper limit for the length of a 1D barcode when designing one?


  • : The more information you need to encode, the longer the barcode will need to be.

  • Barcode Standard

    : Different 1D barcode standards, like UPC, EAN, or Code 128, have different data capacities and thus length requirements.

  • Print Resolution

    : Higher resolution printers can produce barcodes with smaller elements, allowing more data in a smaller space.

  • Scanning Environment

    : Barcodes that need to be scanned from a distance or at high speeds may need to be larger for readability.

  • In practice, most 1D barcodes used in retail are kept within a few inches in length to fit on product packaging and be easily scanned at checkout. For example, a standard UPC barcode is typically 1.469 inches wide when including quiet zones (the blank margins on either side of the barcode).

    Designers must consider the end-use environment and choose a barcode standard that offers the right balance for their needs. If a barcode becomes too long, it can become impractical for labels and harder to scan, which defeats its purpose. Therefore, while there’s no absolute “upper limit,” practicality dictates the maximum length of a 1D barcode in a given context.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Privacy Terms Contacts About Us