Store – Printing Barcodes

The GoToTags Store can print both static and variable 1D & 2D barcodes on many tag products. To ensure the best print quality and scanability, it is always advised to print barcodes with standard black ink. Printed barcodes should also be large enough to scan well; 20 mm x 20 mm is the smallest suggested size for a QR code. If smaller 2D barcodes are desired, customers are encouraged to utilize Data Matrix barcodes.

Static Barcodes

A static barcode does not change for each printed tag. In other words, the same barcode is used for all tags. Static barcodes should be included as part of the artwork file and will be treated as art. A separate barcode layer in the artwork file is not required. When using a static barcode the customer has complete control over the image including barcode format, shape, size, color, fonts and error correction level.

When selecting printing preferences on the GoToTags Store, static barcodes are referred to as Bulk.

Variable Barcodes

A variable barcode changes for each printed tag. In other words, each tag has a different barcode image. Variable barcodes are considered variable data and may incur an extra printing cost. Certain limitations apply in terms of color, shape, size, font and error correction level. Variable barcodes are generated from a variable data file; the print software converts the raw barcode data to the barcode image during the print process. If the tags are to be encoded with data that is correlated to the printed variable data, the variable data should be provided using our encoding file template. If the tags are not encoded with variable data, customers can use a standard Excel or .csv file to provide their variable printing data. Finally, if the variable barcode is to be accompanied by a human-readable ID/text the customer should also select the Variable Text option when adding to their cart.

The GoToTags Store requires customers to provide 10% additional data to allow us to overprint the order; this accounts for bad NFC tags and bad printing. Contact us to inquire about specific needs for a variable barcode.

Custom Barcodes

Barcodes with graphics inside of them or non-standard barcodes generated by proprietary apps (e.g. Snapchat’s Snapcodes, Facebook’s Messenger Codes) are considered to be custom barcodes. GoToTags may not be able to scan, generate, or verify custom barcode data. It is the customer’s responsibility to ensure they are providing us with the correct barcode data. In most cases, GoToTags will not be able to correlate encoding to a custom barcode.

Submitting Variable Barcode Data

To order a custom printed tag with variable or custom barcodes:

  1. Include a representative example of the barcode in the artwork file in the size, position and color that each barcode should be printed
    • This representative example serves as a place holder for the variable barcode data
      • Variable barcodes should be designated as a separate layer in the art file, name this layer barcode
      • Custom barcodes should be provided as separate images within a single .zip file
        • Images can be .jpg, .jpeg, or .png
  2. Select Variable Barcode from the list of Printing options
  3. Upload the .zip variable data file (including the artwork and variable data) to the product page on the GoToTags Store
  4. Add additional instructions in the text box, if necessary
  5. Click Add to Cart

Missing or incomplete data files will result in production delays.

Barcode Formats

The following barcode formats can be printed. If an alternate barcode format is needed; please contact us.

It is recommenced to use a 2D barcode such as Data Matrix when possible. Code 128 and other 1D barcodes change size based on data and can be difficult to work with; 2D barcodes do not change size and are more efficient at representing data.


It is the customer’s responsibility to ensure the barcode can be scanned properly. All artwork should follow the barcode scanning best practices.

A 20 mm product (e.g. 20 mm token) is generally the smallest that can be functionally printed on without compromising scanability.

Updated on November 18, 2019

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