Classifying Colored Bar Codes to Predict Scanning Success

  • Mathias J. Sutton (Purdue University)


The theory and methods of bar code print quality verification have progressed over the last decade. However, there is precious little in the literature with respect to colored bar code symbols. A search of the Institute for Scientific Information Citation Database revealed only one published article (Agroskin & Golubovskii, 1996) related to the effect of color on bar code symbol contrast. A search of the Automatic Identification Manufacturers’ (AIM) and Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers’ (IEEE) jointly sponsored Workshop on Auto- matic Identification Advanced Tech- nologies conference proceedings revealed one related paper (Sutton, 1999). In most cases, the literature gives general guidelines, but limited research has been conducted to help the practitioner make educated choices on bar-space color combinations. Agroskin and Golubovskii concur, stating that information regarding the spectral properties of bar codes and the spatial distribution of reflected light is “absent in the available literature” (p. 229). The purpose of this research is to propose a standard method of objectively classifying colored bar codes to help predict, before printing, how well a bar code symbol might perform after it is printed. To do this, an older, well- established method of measuring color will be applied to the field of colored bar code print quality verification.

Keywords: graphic communications|information technology|printing|production|quality control

How to Cite:

Sutton, M. J., (2002) “Classifying Colored Bar Codes to Predict Scanning Success”, The Journal of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering 18(3).

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Published on
01 May 2002