Everything Barcodes: Barcodes, Barcode Labels, and Barcode Label Printers

Barcodes have come a long way from a simple UPC (Universal Product Code), invented in the 1960s. The adoption of the Universal Product Code, on April 3, 1973, transformed bar codes from a technological curiosity into a business juggernaut. At that time, everything was run through the register by hand. Fast forward in time and now retailers use scanners to capture the coded information from the label. Additionally, packaging and labeling printers have overcome improper bar scanning issues that were commonplace in the past. Now there are visual and automated checks performed on-press to ensure that the barcodes are readable and accurate. At Apogee we inspect on press and off press with scanners and barcode checkers to verify accuracy and quality. The problems from the past have been eliminated.

bardcode 1d
Single Dimension or Linear Barcode

Barcodes are used in many applications with the most common being linear barcodes that are scanned with infrared scanner, and are part of the UPC’s on most packages, from shampoo to soda. Other barcodes are used for product tracking, such as work-in-process (WIP) inventory in production facilities or factories.
Label printers print everything from common UPC labels for food & beverage products, to 2d & 3d barcodes, as well as QR (quick read) codes that are sometimes sequentially numbered for asset management and logistics shipping.

2D & 3D Barcodes
2D & 3D Barcodes











If you are looking to label retail products with a barcode, you have to get your own UPC code. The UCC (Uniform Code Council) must be contacted and they will assign you the info that you need for the UPC. Once you have this information, Apogee can import this into software to generate UPC and other types of barcodes to drop into the label. If you are looking to create barcodes yourself, Apogee is an authorized reseller of thermal printing and barcoding systems. We can consult with you on the best barcode printing system for your application.

Apogee printer
SATO Brand Thermal Label Printer

Barcodes have become so ubiquitous we don’t even notice them and they are not too hard to understand. Apogee can help guide you by understanding with the type of barcode application and environment that the product will be used in, as a starting point towards making the best solution choice.

Blank Label Options and Solutions

Apogee Industries provides blank labels to customers as a result of the large growth of thermal printers, laser printers (both monochrome and color), and now ink jet printing for both cut sheet and roll labels. With these printers, customers are able to print labels for their applications on their own; however the label selection is critical to the success of the project. Apogee consults with customers to make sure they are getting the correct label solution.
Here are common questions Apogee uses to help determine the best recommendations:

  • What are the labels being applied to? (Rough surface or what type of material)
  • What environment will the label be subject to? (i.e. freezer, sun , heat)
  • How will the label be printed? (ink jet , thermal, laser)
  • Will the labels be auto or hand applied?
  • Do you have to comply with GHS (Global Harmonized System) standards or the BS 5609 standard within GHS.

Apogee Blank Labels

Custom Labels vs. Stock Labels:
Apogee Industries manufactures custom blank labels in house on presses designed to produce blank labels. Our facility includes three other large, 8 color presses to print the labels for customers who need color label printing. For more common sized or standard blank labels Apogee will carry stock on many of these labels which can be ordered directly with quick delivery times.
The main differences between custom labels and blank labels:

  • Specific quantities per roll
  • Special material
  • Core size
  • Adhesive need
  • Finished packaging

Many small to medium sized companies from the chemical, food, and household goods industries have been making labels in-house on their own thermal printers, ink-jet printers, or laser printers and Apogee has been there to consult them with their equipment (printer) decisions. Apogee will help you make the right decision regarding decisions for label printers and blank labels. We will also advise you what not to print yourself and let Apogee print it for you. Equipping you with knowledge, information and confidence to make the right decision is what we do!