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How & Why to Consider Adding Color to Your Current Labeling Strategy

How & Why to Consider Adding Color to Your Current Labeling Strategy

Barcode Basics | 21 June 2017

Posted by Jeff Denton

How & Why to Consider Adding Color to Your Current Labeling Strategy

The classic barcode label: a vivid white material behind a series of pristine black lines that form to create the trusty barcode. Sharp of an image as this may be, to the human eye one barcode looks just the same as the next; the scanner is typically the source for differentiating and translating the unique information carried by each individual code.

In a society where we want information at our fingertips, it only makes sense that demand in many segments has evolved to include additional means of recognition as it relates to the barcode label. Adding color perfectly accomplishes this task; below are a few reasons to consider adding a splash of color to your current black and white barcode labels:

1. Enhance your brand image

Whether vividly printed on tread labels for retailing, direct marked onto labware for brand recognition, or transferred to rubber for competitive differentiation, color branding adds value to the basic tracking process. Especially if the tracking labels stay with the product through to customer-facing applications or retail environments, don’t miss an opportunity to position your brand amongst the competition.

2. Communicate product information

Just as color branding adds a new level of professionalism to an otherwise regular barcode label, calling out product-specific information or trademarked names can also elevate your brand image and quickly communicate product details to the user. Even more helpful in cases where the product itself has its own branding scheme, using color will set your brand and product above the competition.  

3. Spotlight warning or hazard information

Especially important when tracking, utilizing, or storing harsh chemicals or reagents, the communication of hazard information through labeling is extremely important and often times required by legislation.  Adding a red diamond with GHS information or a hazard symbol to easily communicate danger associated with the contents of the container is just one example of a smart way that color labeling is working to keep people safe and informed. 

4. Color coding for staff instruction

Especially helpful in the healthcare industry, coordinating color dots or stripes on labels with cap colors, associated paperwork, or test destination can act as a dual methodology to ensure proper sample chain of custody. Through the use of color, lab workers or employees at blood collection sites can easily determine based on color, which label should be associated to a given container or component of the process. 

5. At-a-glance identification

Overall, adding color (or even shapes!) can provide quick and easy identification at a glance. In the reusable packaging industry, employees can determine where a container or pallet belongs simply by the color on the corresponding label. The barcode remains in place to provide a secondary form of identification and to hold associated information, while the color acts to increase efficiency and guarantee accuracy by simply looking at the label. 

 

There are a host of reasons to consider adding color to your barcode labeling strategy:  from brand awareness to product identification, communication of hazardous information to at-a-glance tracking and alignment for process flows. Take hints from some of the other industries we work with and determine if you can utilize these strategies to reap similar benefits in your organization. Let your imagination run wild; we’re happy to help you incorporate your own ideas for how adding color would improve workflows, boost accuracy, and increase awareness. 

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Jeff Denton

Based in Ohio, USA, Jeff Denton is Computype’s Senior Product Manager for the READY Labware Services portfolio. He has been in the barcoding industry for 15 years, and has ample experience in procurement and product management. Contact Jeff to learn more about our READY Labware Services outsourced barcoding program and our labware identification capabilities.