Custom Vanity Barcodes™ are perfect for companies that want to tie your barcode design directly into their brand identity, providing limitless possibilities for creative tie-ins. By transforming your barcode into an exciting Vanity Barcode™, it becomes a conversation-starter and powerful brand asset, at a minimal investment for the value.

Beautiful and fun are functional, tool! All our codes are tested for scan compliance so you know they’ll perform just like standard barcodes. For more detailed technical information, please visit our FAQ page.


1.  Design Brief
The first step is getting clarity on brand goals. A Vanity Barcode™ should enhance brand messaging. It’s often more effective to do something clever or subtle rather than using the logo itself, for instance. We’ll talk with brand managers, etc. to get as much insight as possible to inform the design process. We can also interface with your design agency to come up with a joint creative solution.

2. Design Process
We will work on design ideas for the custom Vanity Barcode™ and present them. This process takes about 3 weeks for initial concept and between 2-4 weeks (or longer) for refinements or alternative concepts. Our goal is balancing creativity with scan reliability. We aim for a B-grade code or higher ranking and may suggest ‘conservative’ designs and ‘riskier’ designs, discussing and weighing their pros and cons with the client.

3. Phase 1 – Preliminary Testing
Our codes are tested by the leading testing provider, GS1. They are also the issuing agency for UPC numbers worldwide. Their benchmarking tests are the most reliable and they are our official third-party testing provider. At this stage, we submit the top 2-3 contenders for the final barcode design for testing at GS1. The results determine the best choice to go with. The testing process usually takes approximately 4 weeks, although we can sometimes arrange to have this accelerated.

4. Final Design
The final design is prepared at this point. Additional testing is done if something was adjusted for a better grade score. We resubmit to GS1, or simply confirm the final choice by the client (if no changes were needed post-Phase 1 testing).

5. Barcode Number Extending
The process for converting additional SKUs to the new vanity format is a manual one and we do them one at a time. A cost-per-conversion applies. We provide quantity discounts based on tiered pricing. These also go to  GS1 for testing. Once they come back from testing, the actual codes are provided to the client for use by their agency or design department. These should not be changed or scaled in any way to prevent any inconsistencies between Phase 1 and Phase 2 Testing (see #6 below).

6. Phase 2 – Production Proof Testing
Since actual print quality on the final packaging substrate can affect GS1 grade, we require clients to have a production proof (pulled from the press) to be scanned for grading. Some companies handle this in-house as part of their quality assurance (QA) procedures. If not, we can arrange to have the proof sent to GS1 for final testing. A B-grade or higher is what is required for results that perform as well as non-Vanity Barcodes at retail.