In order for bar codes to scan correctly, they must conform to the following:

Bar codes must be vector-based (outlines), black only, and be placed on a white or light background (Use no black screens, no more than 10% cyan, or 50% magenta or yellow). It cannot be placed directly over a photograph. It must be used at the size provided, not enlarged or reduced.

Examples of bar codes that will be flagged as non-compliant are:

Bit-mapped or raster (even when 1200 dpi), 4-color black, any color other than black, placed on a dark or patterned background.

Technote 003: Bar Codes

Bar code software generates vector data in eps format. This vector data produces a high-quality bar code when processed on our CTP system at 2400 dpi resolution. Bar codes should not be opened in Photoshop which rasterizes the file as it’s opened. Barcodes should also be placed into the layout application at 100% of original size. Barcodes that don’t have a preview file can typically be opened in Adobe Illustrator and saved to include a preview without causing any damage to the file. Cummings recommends using only high-quality bar codes from reliable sources such as PIPS. Please visit the PIPS website at for more information regarding high quality barcodes for your publication.