Can I Print My Barcode on a Coloured Background?

Yes. It is possible to print your barcode in something other than black and white, however, keep in mind that a barcode scanner needs good contrast between the bars and the background. We recommend that you do some test scans of your printed barcode to ensure that it is easily read by a variety of barcode scanners. Laser scanners tend to see the white and red/yellow areas of a barcode as “light” areas (ie. as the barcode background), and the black or blue areas as “dark” areas (ie. as the barcode bars), therefore if you are changing the colours of your barcode we recommend using a pale white/red/yellow colour for the background, and a dark black/blue colour for the bars.

Changing the colour of the barcode bars = we recommend sticking with a dark colour (e.g. dark blue) against a light-coloured background (e.g. white). This is because there needs to be a good level of contrast between the background colour and the colour of the bars. We recommend that you don’t use a warm colour (red or yellow) for the barcode bars, as laser scanners will struggle to read the barcode if you do this.

Changing the colour of the background = If you want to change the background colour it is best if you stick to pale colours, and warm colours (red or yellow shades). You can use a pale yellow or pale red (no more than 50% saturated) for the background, or else a very light blue (no more than 10% saturated). The background colour should not be a shade of black/grey.

Again, it is a good idea to do a test scan before printing your barcode on all of your products.

For more information please see our Barcode Colour Guide PDF

Please contact us if you would like us to review the barcode you’ve done & give you our opinion on whether it will scan in retail stores. We’re happy to review your barcode image if you email it to us & do a test scan of it using our barcode scanner.

Look here for

CD barcodes,


DVD barcodes,


ISBN book barcodes


and ISSN magazine barcodes.