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.

Barcode Tattoos & Barcodes as Art

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.
barcode tattoos

Am I ready to jump on board the barcode tattoos 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. 

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And if you’d like to create some barcode art of your own, generate your own code today – for free!