[scribus] Transparency in barcode

John Jason Jordan johnxj at comcast.net
Tue Jul 13 04:29:29 CEST 2010

On Mon, 12 Jul 2010 12:33:47 -0400
Gregory Pittman <gregp_ky at yahoo.com> dijo:

>On 07/12/2010 12:21 PM, John Culleton wrote:
>> Further, I cannot recall a professionally prepared book that
>> had a colored or patterned background for a bar code. In this
>> case convention overrules your personal esthetic
>> preferences. Just because it can be done doesn't mean that
>> it is a good idea.
>In the end, though, I think that there should be some leeway in this 
>process. As I go through the supermarket checkout I notice that many 
>barcodes can be in various colors, so there clearly is some degree of 
>contrast which scanners can cope with.
>I also can imagine that a background for a barcode might be desired to 
>be semi-transparent in some degree.

I once had a series of textbooks, each cover using the same layout and
graphics so they looked alike. To differentiate them by more than just
the title we used color. But to save money we printed each cover in
just one ink. I used a 20% background over the whole cover including
the bleed, but text and graphics were at 100%. The background of the
ISBN barcode was left white.

The covers that were in brown, blue, red, purple and green worked
perfectly with bookstore scanners. But one book used orange, and the
bookstore scanners couldn't read the barcode.

We solved the problem with white adhesive labels. I just printed them
on a black and white Laserjet and stuck the labels on the covers over
the orange barcode. Better to print some labels than to pay for
reprinting a couple thousand book covers.

So you are right - some colors will work, and others will not. Nowadays
I have a full color laser that prints my covers so I just make the
barcode completely black and white. Never a problem with black on

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