Basics of Magazine Barcode Placement & Why It is Important

Feb 09, 2023 - Views: 211

Rating: 4.8 - 50Votes

Barcodes are now quite prevalent in our daily lives. 

Today, let's discuss magazine barcode placement, which means how to position the barcode so that a scanner can read it quickly and effectively.

Where to place your magazine with barcode?

Where to place your magazine with barcode?

Why Is Barcode Placement Important?

In general, the location of the barcode on your item can affect how well scanners read it. 

One of the key benefits of a barcode system is speed. 

Thus, the effectiveness of the overall traceability system is decreased if staff have to look for a barcode or smooth out a crease in order to acquire an accurate scan.

Symbol positioning consistency is also essential for successful scanning. 

The variability in symbol positioning during manual scanning makes it challenging for the scanning operator to anticipate where the symbol will be, which lowers productivity. 

Likewise, it must be positioned for automatic scanning such that it will go past a fixed scanner's field of vision.

It’s vital to position your barcode properly

It’s vital to position your barcode properly

General Barcode Placement Principles

Whether a package is scanned at the point of sale or anywhere else in the supply chain, the general positioning rules for barcode symbols should be taken into account.

Number of symbols

There must never be any visible barcodes on a single item that indicate various Global Trade Item Numbers (GTIN). 

When scanning trade items in a warehouse or general distribution scanning environment, two symbols representing the same GTIN are advised even though only one is required. 

On big or bulky objects designed for point-of-sale (POS), two or more symbols reflecting the same GTIN are suggested. Random wrapping intended for POS is also acceptable.

Scanning environment

It is also important to consider whether the item is scanned at the POS or in both a POS and general distribution scanning environment.

You may have a look at how to scan barcodes in magazines in Barcode Live!

You should consider the scanning environment

You should consider the scanning environment


The print method and any item curvature play a large role in determining the orientation of the bar code symbol.

The desired placement is picket fence orientation instead of ladder orientation.

Specifically, the bars of the bar code symbol should be perpendicular to the surface on which the package stands while it is in its typical display position.

Human readable characters should read from left to right underneath a picket fence orientation bar code symbol.

The ladder orientation barcode symbol's text and orientation can be read either from the top down or from the bottom up, depending on which direction is consistent with the other graphics and text on the container.

Magazine Barcode Placement

Before figuring out barcode placement on magazines, do you know what type of barcode is used for magazines

Well, you will need an ISSN (International Standard Serial Number), which is an eight-digit serial number utilized to uniquely identify a serial publication.

The stapled, bound or folded printed paper media makes up a magazine's packaging. Hence, an ISSN should be placed at the lower-left corner of the front cover, close to the edge but not too near. 

It is because the salesperson may retain the item at this point, blocking the barcode. The official recommendation is 8mm from the edge and no nearer than 5mm.

Do not print magazine barcode on seams, perforations, folds, or absorbent paper, and you must respect the designated quiet zones around the bar code symbol as well.

Barcode placement on magazines

Barcode placement on magazines

Where To Position Other Publishing Items?

Although having similar package characteristics as magazines, books, newspapers, and tabloids come with different barcode placements.


Barcode for books, which is the ISBN, should be located close to the spine in the lower-right corner of the back. 

The appropriate Quiet Zone spaces around the bar code symbol must be respected, just like in magazines.

The place to put barcodes for books

The place to put barcodes for books


The barcode symbol should be positioned on the front of the newspapers in the lower-left corner, close to the edge while adhering to the designated Quiet Zones. 

If an Add-On symbol is utilized, it must be placed parallel to and to the right of the standard bar code symbol.


Position a barcode on a tabloid

Position a barcode on a tabloid

A tabloid newspaper has pages that are just half the size of a conventional newspaper. 

So, the lower-right corner of the back should have a tabloid barcode close to the edge, with the appropriate Quiet Zone regions around the barcode symbol.

In case an Add-On symbol is utilized, it must be placed parallel to and to the right of the standard bar code symbol.

Where to place barcodes on publishing items?

Where to place barcodes on publishing items?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much space do you need around a barcode?

The minimum silent zone should be 10 times wider than the barcode's narrowest bar, or 1/8 inch, whichever is greater.

Does the height of a barcode matter?

Because the width is unaffected by this modification, changing the height of the barcode has no impact on its ability to be read by scanners. 

Unless there is an extremely good reason to change it, you should generally leave the height at its default setting.

Can barcodes be read vertically and horizontally?

In contrast to one-dimensional barcodes, two-dimensional barcodes are graphic images that can store data both vertically and horizontally.

Bottom Line

We hope you now understand how to properly position your barcode on any items, especially publishing ones. If you are interested in magazine barcode placement and want to discover more, stay tuned to Barcode Live!

Rating: 4.8 - 50Votes



Leave a Comment

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