The Important Factors to Consider for Your Barcode Labels

Date Posted:24 August 2020 

The Important Factors to Consider for Your Barcode Labels main image The Important Factors to Consider for Your Barcode Labels image

So you know you need barcode labels – but where do you begin?!


If this is your first time printing barcodes, then we’re here to help you get set up. Read on for the key considerations to ensure your barcode labels will be accurate and ideal for your application.


GS1 Barcode Specifications

If you need barcodes for retail products, your supply chain or trading with other parties, then your first port of call will be GS1 Australia to get your barcode numbers. GS1 barcodes are based on global standards and include:

  • GTIN-13 barcodes for retail products.
  • ITF-14 barcodes for groupings of retail items, such as cartons of individual products.
  • GLNs (Global Location Numbers) which can be used to identify locations within your business such as warehouses or stores.
  • SSCCs (Serial Shipping Container Codes) if you need to identify logistics units such as pallets, cases or parcels.


Barcodes need to meet the design standards set by GS1 Australia, including certain dimensions and quiet zones, otherwise there’s a risk of scanning errors and delays which could affect your entire supply chain. The great news is that Thermal Labels is a GS1 Australia partner, so we print and provide supplies for GS1 barcodes every single day and can help you find the right solution.


Longevity & Durability

It’s important to consider how long you need your barcodes to last so you can maximise use and minimise costs. Will you need your barcodes to be scannable only until the customer takes their deli items through a store checkout – or will you need the labels to be scannable for two years or more?


You’ll want to consider these two aspects when it comes to longevity and durability:

  • Scanning time: You might choose to use the direct thermal printing method (ideal for short to medium term printing) or the thermal transfer method (ideal for long term printing and more heavy duty conditions).
  • Application time: You might need the barcode label to stick permanently (for example, for shipping and logistics), or perhaps you need removable barcode labels that can be peeled off at a certain point. We can also print removable barcode labels with tamper-evident cuts so the label can’t be peeled off in one go and reapplied to a different product.


Environmental Conditions

It’s worth considering these factors before ordering your barcode label rolls:


  • Application conditions: Your barcode labels may require a particular type of adhesive or label stock if you plan to stick them onto an item’s surface while the item is wet, chilled or frozen.
  • Scanning/shelf conditions: Similarly, certain label stock and adhesives may be required if the items will be exposed to moisture, temperature fluctuations, UV light, chemicals or a long shelf life. You won’t want your barcodes to fade or fall off before you’ve finished using them!


Your Printing Preference

Whether you’re printing direct thermal or thermal transfer barcode labels, you can either choose to print them yourself using a label printer or have us print them for you. Here’s what you’ll need for in-house printing:

  • Direct thermal: You’ll need a label printer and appropriate direct thermal labels.
  • Thermal transfer: You’ll need a label printer, wax and/or resin ribbons and appropriate labels.

Read Related Article: Tips for Printing High Volume Barcode Labels


If you’d prefer us to print your barcode labels for you, simply explore our printed barcode label options or get in touch for custom orders - we dispatch quickly from our Sydney base.


If you’re just getting started and would like more information on the various options, then you can refer to our Helpdesk or contact our team on 1800 88 88 11.


Whether you need thermal labels for Zebra printers, direct thermal transfer labels or pre-printed barcodes with your logo in full colour, the team at Thermal Labels is here to help. You can also send us your order for Pre-Printed Barcode Labels here.

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