Barcodes interest me, and not just because it is my business. As crazy as it sounds, I can add barcodes to my list of passions.
My introduction to barcodes at age 8 was creative in its own way. My father used a pencil to draw a bunch of straight lines of various widths on a piece of paper. He showed me the “picture” and said it was a barcode. He further explained that information (data) was stored in the pattern of the lines – like a secret code. I remember he was excited about the impact barcodes would have on our world – and our family. Sure enough, barcodes and data collection became his business. Eventually I figured out he was showing me a simple linear 1D barcode (1D barcodes logically represent information by changing the widths and space of parallel lines, and are referred to as linear or one-dimensional) but at age 8 years old I was simply intrigued, amazed, and curious. It stuck with me.
Fast-forwarding to present times, barcodes ARE everywhere and I often think of that dialogue from long ago…Dad you were right on!!
I didn’t know then how barcodes would impact my life, both my private and my professional life.
L-Tron is all about data collection solutions, high tech barcoding solutions. I am surrounded by tech savvy personnel, a tech savvy marketing team, operations team, sales team, partners, and vendors by day and in my personal life I have a tech savvy husband and children – plus, I come from a long line of engineers. I guess you could say I am attracted to “geeks” and the truth is they are creative game changers.
Lately I have been looking into barcode art (why didn’t I think of that?). Barcode art is everywhere, making its way into galleries, home design, onto sidewalks, clothing, and tattoos – all in the name of creativity. Barcodes ARE creative, a collection of codes embedded with information that is readable only through the use of a barcode scanner. These days anyone can create barcode “art” by using barcode generators that are easily located online and simple to execute.
I particularly love the idea of a barcode tattoo – an art form that is something more than meets the eye, a personal message, meaningful to the “owner” embedded in code. Even celebrities are jumping on the barcode bandwagon. Musician Pink, for instance, has a barcode tattoo on the back of her neck. But is a barcode tattoo meaningful if it isn’t readable by a scanner? Is it even possible to create a permanent barcode tattoo that is scannable? The best information on this topic I have read to date comes from barcode artist Scott Blake. His barcode tattoo guide has me re-thinking.
- The tattoo would have to be precise, taking into account the fact that skin moves and stretches. Plus, there is this thing called aging and gravity.
- There are better locations than others on the body, such as flat surfaces like the shoulders or back.
- The inked barcode could expand beneath the skin – there goes the white space!
- The most common type of barcode tattoo, the UPC, would require a body tattoo that measures approximately 2.5 inches in width.
- A Code 128 barcode tattoo could be smaller in size – and adding a bit of short text beneath it will complete your “message.”
- A QR code just might be the ticket.
Am I ready to jump on board the barcode tattoo bandwagon? Hmm, I’ll have to think about that one. But if you have a barcode tattoo or another form of barcode art, I’d love to see it. Share it today on our facebook page!
And if you’d like to create some barcode art of your own, generate your own code today – for free!