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Premedia & Printer Requirements | Intro to Digimarc Barcode

27 February 2024

Digimarc Barcode contains the same data as traditional visible barcodes, such as EAN/UPC barcodes. Unlike visible barcodes that are typically applied to one or two locations on a package, Digimarc Barcode can be applied via an artwork enhancement process throughout the entire package design.

If a commercial printer uses 1D barcode verification scanners to grade and verify traditional 1D barcodes (EAN/UPC), the printer will not be able to detect Digimarc Barcode. Due to the low visibility of Digimarc Barcode and its repetition within the graphic elements of packaging artwork, the production process requires a specific set of quality check (QC) tools and knowledge. This ensures that the consistency and integrity of Digimarc Barcode is maintained throughout the premedia and printing process.

Download the Digimarc Barcode Test Press Sheet


The process of applying Digimarc Barcode into a graphics file is called “enhancement.” Enhancement involves altering a file at the pixel level. This alteration is minor and may not be easily noticed on the file or plates. The process utilizes the specifications and color space for the specific press used to print each job, and it is important that tolerances are maintained. Once printed, Digimarc Barcode can be scanned by enabled barcode scanners as well as mobile devices with a Digimarc-enabled app.

Digimarc Barcode typically utilizes multiple color separations, each which contain barcode data. These will be notated visually by icons on the coinciding Digimarc Barcode Enhancement Report and the Digimarc QC Details Legend supplied by the organization that enhanced the graphics file.

NOTICE: Once a packaging file has been enhanced with Digimarc Barcode, the file and all the elements within it are linked to a globally unique product code, known as a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) and cannot be used in other files.

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