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FLEXO Magazine : July 2009
DESIGN Color Considerations The optimum bar code color combination is opaque black ink for the bars and opaque white substrate or ink for the background. Bars printed in opaque black, dark blue, or dark green and backgrounds (spaces and quiet zones) printed on an opaque white material or on a white, red, orange, pink, peach, or yellow ink generally scan successfully. It is important to remember that colors with acceptable ANSI/ISO Symbol Contrast on an opaque substrate may not be acceptable on an opaque substrate of another color or on a translucent or transparent substrate. When printing on a transparent substrate or colored substrate, a solid, light-colored (white is optimum) background with maximum reflectance is recommended in the area where the bar code is located. It is recommended that the bar code symbol not be placed on a printing plate used to print a large solid ink coverage. Printing plates that print large solid areas typically have requirements for extra impression and higher ink volume, which are not conducive to printing bar codes. Ink color specifications should be evaluated individually for different substrates. Bar codes require bars with sharp edges in order for the scanner to perform successfully. Because scanning accuracy is reduced when variation in register occurs, the bars comprising a bar code must be printed in one color, using a solid line image on a single print station. 3. Determining Optimal Size and Location Location Considerations Bar codes areplaced in different locations based on the shape of the product and where the product will be scanned. The designer should check with product manufacturer, printer or separator for placement specification based on these factors. Orientation Considerations It is strongly recommended that the bars in a bar code be printed parallel to the direction the web is moving through the press to avoid slurring. In certain situations, the bars in a bar code must be placed in the transverse (across the web) direction. In these cases, the printer should be consulted. It may be necessary to use a larger symbol to meet the minimum print quality requirements specified by the appropriate application standard. If print slur occurs with the symbol printing in the machine direction, the bars grow in length only and are still scannable; however if the symbol is printed in the transverse direction, the bars will grow in width, likely causing the code on the printed product to fail to meet specifications. Printing bar codes in the transverse direction is not supported by FIRST. 3.3.2c: Bar Code Orientation: Bar code orientation is critical. The left figure illustrates the bars on the UPC symbol traveling in the machine direction, while the right figure, illustrates the bars running across the press direction. 3.3.2b: Color Considerations: The optimum bar code color combination is opaque black ink for the bars and opaque white substrate or ink for the background. PICKET FENCE LADDER
Sustainable Spring 2009