The Global Language of Business

GS1 barcode specifications

A barcode (the official term is GTIN or Global Trade Item Number) is a number represented in a machine readable form. Barcodes are generally represented in vertical lines of varying widths printed on labels to uniquely identify items.Labels are read with a scanner, which interprets the pattern or symbol into numbers and letters that are then passed onto a computer to retrieve original product data.

Why use Barcodes?

Barcodes enable the rapid and unambigous identification of products, assets, documents and people. Using a barcode can greatly reduce human error in data entry and processing, eliminate doubt caused by inconsistent approaches to product labelling and mistakes in reading handwriting.

There are a number of different types of barcode symbols being used today; these include the most widely known basic, linear or 1D barcodes (EAN 13) and the smaller GS1 DataBar Symbols to the latest technology in 2D GS1 Data Matrix codes.

Barcode Symbol Types

There are a number of symbologies among the GS1 family of barcodes or data carriers. These include:

Getting a Barcode

To get a barcode for your products or logistical units, you need to take out a license from your local GS1 organisation.

Click here to get a barcode from GS1 Ireland

SSCC: Serial Shipping Container Codes

Identify and label pallets with an SSCC and the GS1 128 barcode symbol. Watch the video.

Read more

2d barcode QR code digital product information

Connect your customers to the product information they want and need

Explore the benefits

SCANtalk Podcast

New Podcast Launched

SCANtalk is a new podcast by GS1 Ireland. Subscribe today where ever you listen to podcasts.

View Episodes


Find out from a training course participant how our training courses are structured, and what you can expect from your full-day training session.

Read More About This