Barcode Label Solutions Blog

From Linux barcode graphics to quality printed labels without tears

Posted by Susan Fields


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Thanks to the power of Linux and range of software available, you can have practically any type of Linux barcode graphics that you want. Besides generating the specific dimensions and format of the barcode itself, you can even embed logos to differentiate your barcodes visually. Check out some of the creativity at work among companies using two-dimensional QR codes for example in business sectors such as fashion or automobiles. If you don’t want to make your own custom design program using the different Linux building blocks available, then there’s a good chance that you’ll find a suitable ready-made application on offer elsewhere.

Yet the barcode you end up with will only be of any practical use if it can be printed and then scanned properly. Poor quality images on barcode labels make it difficult, if not impossible, to correctly read the information and track items within your Linux systems. Making everything work correctly means paying attention to the different components in the barcode graphics chain. The software you use should let you design and generate barcodes to the level of print quality you need.


Designing in a lifetime of barcode scan-ability

Next, the printer itself also has to maintain the level of quality you need, without smudging, smearing or degrading the image quality. Remember that barcode labels often have to last for months or even years, and that they have to stay stuck in the way you intended on each product or item concerned. The Linux barcode graphics that you print out today must stay just as clear and sharp over the expected lifetime of the labels made from purpose-designed “facestock” to resist the wear and tear of everyday use. This explains why dedicated label printers will always outperform office or laser printers. Conventional printers operate at the wrong temperatures for barcode labels, suffer from label adhesive and ink smearing and are ill-adapted to reliably and durably printing out Linux barcode graphics.

Thermal printing is the better choice for barcode printing technology, with the two possibilities of either direct thermal or thermal transfer modes. Direct thermal printing may have lower initial costs, but barcode labels are often less durable and maintenance costs higher. Thermal transfer printing on the other hand gives longer-lasting printed images, together with richer, enhanced barcode image definition. The choice of wax, resin or wax/resin printing ribbons also protects the print head of the barcode printer and reduces maintenance charges.

Superlative graphics, standard interfaces, simple printing

IntelliBar printers offer both direct thermal or thermal transfer modes for the best combination of performance and total cost of ownership. In industrial or business barcoding applications, it makes sense to use high performance, low-maintenance, cost-effective printing solutions, like the ones from IntelliTech with the IntelliBar printers and their full range of support. And IntelliBar printers also make users’ lives easy by using the standard PCL interface – “if you can print to a LaserJet (as virtually every Linux system can), then you can print to an IntelliBar printer”.

Finally, you can also look forward to using any one of a wide selection of different media for printing out your Linux barcode graphics. Among other formats, IntelliBar printers handle barcode label rolls and label fanfold media, together with options of different label coatings to protect against heat, cold, dust, dirt, moisture, freezing and other industrial hazards, and different types of pressure-sensitive adhesive backings. The range of printing ribbons then ensures that the barcode graphics you see on your Linux screen are what is printed on your barcode labels, and that they stay readable today, tomorrow and for years to come.

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Tags: Linux and barcodes