ean barcode sizes

EAN Barcode Sizes

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EAN codes are used to simplify the movement of goods. For example, if the customer buys your product in the supermarket and goes to the checkout with it, the scanner there immediately recognizes what it is and how much it costs.
In order for the readers to be able to recognize the barcodes worldwide without complications, they must be perfectly legible. If the label is too small, the scanner may not be able to read the contents. In this case, all labels must be reprinted or subsequently provided with EAN stickers.

Although there are standardised dimensional specifications, in practice these are not necessarily necessarily always implemented. Mostly, one chooses dimensions adapted to the product label, which can then turn out individually. This is no problem for many scanners as long as the print is clean.
To be on the safe side, however, you can have a barcode check report created in advance. In this report, the readability is documented and evaluated.

In general, the larger the barcode graphic, the easier it is for scanners to read the information. To ensure a smooth process, you should therefore not use barcodes that are too small.


Standard dimensions at a glance

The size of EAN13 labels is regulated by the international standard ISO/IEC 15420. The standard dimensions are 25.93 mm in height by 37.29 mm in width. According to the regulations, these values may be proportionally reduced to a maximum of 80% or enlarged up to 200%. So-called SC values reflect the standard value in different sizes:

  Factor to default value Width in mm Height in mm Tolerance in mm
SC 0 0,82 30,5 21,48 0,042
SC 1 0,9 33,56 23,34 0,068
SC 2 1 37,29 25,93 0,101
SC 3 1,1 41,02 28,52 0,115
SC 4 1,2 44,75 31,12 0,131
SC 5 1,35 50,34 35,01 0,156
SC 6 1,5 55,94 38,90 0,178
SC 7 1,65 61,53 42,78 0,2
SC 8 1,85 68,99 47,97 0,233
SC 9 2 74,58 51,86 0,255

Status: August 2017

barcode label printing

The standard size 37.29 x 25.93 mm is too big for you?

If you sell physically small products, SC 2 can sometimes take up considerable space on the packaging. Not only does this look strange to the customer, it also takes up space where you could otherwise highlight the benefits of your product, for example.

For this reason one finds in the retail trade Therefore, there is a significant percentage of product barcodes with individual dimensions in the retail trade. To a certain extent, most scanners can read them as well.
The decisive factors are a high-quality print resolution and the rule of thumb that the height should be at least 25% of the width of the barcode.

According to the proposed dimensions, 13-digit EAN codes could be reduced to SC 0 without losing their readability. In doing so, almost 20 % of the area of the labels can be saved.

TIP: If you want to print labels yourself; the smaller the EAN barcode labels, the more precise the printer should be. Otherwise you may have difficulties reading the labels.

EAN Barcode Sizes - Print it yourself?

At first glance, the topic of EAN can seem somewhat abstract. The same applies to the associated regulations & specifications. When adapting barcodes, you should adhere to a few principles and do not print too small. Otherwise, SC 0 is the specified minimum size.

Inkjet and laser printers tend to smear, which can easily make the fine barcodes illegible. In professional use, labels are usually produced by thermal printers.

You can also find general information about EAN in our guide.

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