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Product barcodes get creative upgrade

Thursday, June 30, 2011 - 01:43

June 30 - A subtle change is emerging in the often overlooked barcodes used on retail items. Bobbi Rebell reports.

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Customers checking out at Zabar's in New York City may not notice it but there's an under the radar trend emerging in packaging- designer barcodes. Pretty much every item in a store has a barcode- that's nothing new. But now, design companies like Vanity Barcodes are coming up with little flourishes that give products a little extra flair. Owner and designer Yael Miller YAEL MILLER, OWNER AND DESIGNER, VANITY BARCODES (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Instead of being an eyesore we thought well maybe we can do something with design with it, something creative with it to enhance the package." Shoppers were amused. SOUNDBITE: DANIEL HOLDFORD, ZABAR'S CUSTOMER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I mean it's kind of cool. It's just kind of goofy." SOUNDBITE: ADRIANE GOODMAN, ZABAR'S CUSTOMER ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think it would be cute; probably influence people to look at it. " STAND-UP: BOBBI REBELL, REPORTER, REUTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: The modifications on the packaging are often really subtle. You don't really notice much when you first look at this Bear Naked Granola package. But take a closer look at the barcode and you'll see a little stick of wheat coming out of it. That subtle message appealed to entrepreneur Sara Leand when she launched her Sara Snacker Cookie Company a couple of years ago- with a bite taken out of the barcode. SOUNDBITE: SARA LEAND, OWNER, SARA SNACKER COOKIE COMPANY (ENGLISH) SAYING: "So the brand message is really fun and young and everybody loves cookies so the idea of taking a bite out of the barcode like a cookie just completely made sense." But there are limitations- this is, after all, functional art. YAEL MILLER, OWNER AND DESIGNER, VANITY BARCODES (ENGLISH) SAYING: "There are a lot of technical requirements that barcodes have. Scan compliance is a big factor. You don't want to mess with too many attributes of the bar code so it maintains its scan integrity." Prices for designs can run as low as a few hundred dollars-making it an affordable way to catch the eye of the consumer. Bobbi Rebell, Reuters.

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Product barcodes get creative upgrade

Thursday, June 30, 2011 - 01:43