Artworking Barcodes in Illustrator | Jess Girvan | Skillshare

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Artworking Barcodes in Illustrator

teacher avatar Jess Girvan, Artworker, painter, photographer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (17m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Different types of barcodes

    • 3. Generating a barcode

    • 4. Adding a barcode to artwork

    • 5. Recolouring barcodes to 100% black

    • 6. Saving artwork for print

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About This Class

In this class, you will learn how to artwork barcodes in Illustrator. We are going to focus on creating a UPC-A barcode and applying it to artwork. This is one of the most common barcode types used within retail.

In this class you will learn how to:

-Generate barcodes via an online barcode generator

-Correctly resize barcodes

-Apply the correct 'black' to bacodes to enable them to be read correctly by a scanner

-Prepare the barcode (along with other elements of a swing tag artwork) for print.

Meet Your Teacher

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Jess Girvan

Artworker, painter, photographer


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1. Introduction: Hi. I'm Jess on I'm a packaging Al Walker. In this video, I'm going to teach you how to artwork, barcodes and illustrator barcodes. Very important, especially in the packaging world for keeping track of items stock levels. Andi obviously scanning at the till there are many different types of barcodes on. I'm going to teach you about a couple of them about how to generate barcodes. How toe open them up in illustrator change the fonts expanded resize barcodes teach you about the importance of using 100% black on also outlining and getting ready for the printers. Barcodes of a very good thing to know how to do whether you're on our worker or a graphic designer, as at some point, you would probably need to create a barcode. And it's very important that the barcodes set up correctly so that the scan properly 2. Different types of barcodes: There are two main types of bar codes used in the retail world. They are you, PC A and E A N 13. Now the simple way of differentiating the two is when you are given a barcode number from, say, a product team. If it has 12 characters, 12 numbers, then it's you usually U P C. A. And it has 13 than E M E N 13. There are lots of other different types of bar codes their many use for distribution. Andi. There's other things such as Q R codes, which were created in a very similar way in this video, I'm going to teach you how to create a U. P. C. A barcode is that's a very widely used barcode type. 3. Generating a barcode: I currently have open a swing type design that I created in my previous video creating cutter guys and illustrator. I'm going to use this as a base for applying a barcode. Now, when you need to create a barcode, you're usually given a barcode number from a product team on sometimes an article number as well. Right now, I don't have a specific product number, so I'm just going to create a generic 000 barcode just replacement purposes and to show you how to do it now, to create a barcode, there are many free sites that allow you to generate a barcode. So if I search online barcode generator press enter. Now I think this is the warm that I usually use. Yes, this is the barker generator I usually use. Ah, lot of them are very, very similar, but this one's I find this one quite reliable because it allows you to create illustrator vector versions of the barcode on download them on. I just like sticking to what I know, basically. So here you can select what type of Barker's you require. As you can see, there are quite a lot, but in the UK. Usually you PC A. For 12 digit is the standard one. So if you have a bar code number two paste, you can literally just copy and paste it from a word document or wherever else. But for now, I'm going to just put in zeros, so that would be 12 zeros. 123456789 10 11 12 There's a more options, but I never usually click that This is usually just fine on its own. And to the barker number click create Andi is created. A barker just here now gives you different options to download SPG pdf PNG E P s Ah, the best one to download is an E. P s, although a PDF and ESRI G would do essentially the same thing. And they're both vector based PNG, as they say. Definitely stay away from the PNG as that's rest arised and you would build toe editor. So I'm going to click a i e. P s to download the barcode administrator formats. Previews automatically opened. I'm just going to quit that And if I go to my barcode, my downloads the barcode is here. And if I just drank that and open that with Illustrator. When it finally opens, you will see here is al bar code that's being generated through the on my generator now is no, quite, is simple is just pasting this on something. There were more steps that we need to do in order for the barcode to work on and be successful. Scan correctly on work as it's meant to, so you'll find out more about that in the next video. 4. Adding a barcode to artwork: So now we have our barcode opened up in Illustrator. We're just going to select it using the selection tour and drag it onto our art board where we want to place it just like so. So I have locked all of the background layers of the other artwork. So we do not disrupt that artwork and you can see the barcode is on its own layoff. Andi is quite safe. Then we're not gonna mess anything up that we've already done. Now resume into the bar code we can see is made up of a white box behind on the actual bars are lines were strokes on them. On the text is creditable text all in creditable text boxes. Now we can select the numbers, but we can change it to a different fund if we feel like it. And it also depends on the brand guidelines of the company that you're working for. If they have specific guidelines for barcos is very important toe. Look at those guidelines and follow them as closely as possible. So I'll just change it. Toe Helvetica Now you can't see a huge amount of difference because they're just zeros. But it is a different phone now the next thing we can do is you might want to resize the barcode. Now. Before we do that, it's important to expand the barcode. So expand the object, Phil and Stroke. And this just basically met tons in tow. One one shape type thing you can see is also outlined. The numbers on it is very important with barcodes. Once you've generated the barcode, do not change the numbers yourself. If you realize the number is wrong, then recreate the barcode. Freed the bar code generator. Otherwise, it will scan still scan incorrectly because it's been set up incorrectly. So we've expanded it on. The next thing we're going to do is have a look at the colors. 5. Recolouring barcodes to 100% black: so, to the untrained eye, this barcode looks like it is black, but it is not, in fact, black. If we just let his white the white box. So click several times. So you have the white box in isolation mode. Copy it. I'm pressing command and X and then create a new layer command and V to paste it on. Just lock that layers of the white is locked in a separate layer and then select all of the barcode. So this is selecting all of the black parts of the barcode. Now click on the Fill the booklet from the Phil, and you can see that the barcode is made up of C M. Y que. So it's not 100% black Now, this may not seem like an issue, but if this barcode is printed, say on my K, there's a strong possibility that it might not be be ableto scan correctly. So, for example, somebody's buying seven in supermarkets got a bar code on it. They get to the till, and it doesn't scan Andi. This could be a really big problem, especially if you've got thousands of products that need to scan because the store assistance would need toe enter the numbers for every single item is this is very important that the barcode is 100% black. So to make it 100% black, just type in zero 00 100 press OK, now we can select it again just to check the color again. 000 100 100% black. Now, another good way to check whether the barcode is 100% black is if we go window separations preview now have over print preview checked. This will basically show you how it's printed on this. Here shows you all the different plates, all the different plant printing plates that will be used to print this job. So at the moment, we have the cutter guide, which is a spot color. So it prince into the printing knows that the blue is not actually printed, But it's actually going to be a custom mark. Now we can turn off. Scion was no science in the job magenta. So as you can see, we take way Magenta onda, the red turns to yellow yellow So if we turn off all the colors apart from black, we can see that the barcode is remaining. If we turn all the colors back on and then get rid of black, you can see that the barcode has completely disappeared. This means that the barcode is 100% black. Now, if the barcode wasn't 100% black, I just select It changed the colors. Little bear that say so I make this 100 son again. Now this barcode looks like it's black. But if we turn off the black, we can see that the still color underneath and that is a strong, definite sign that the barcode is not 100% black. So whatever you do, you just always room must remember that the barcode needs to be que 100 every time you create a bark Heard it's now that we have confirmed the color of the barcode. I will show you how to resize a barcode. So select the whole barcode and go object transform scale. Now it's important that you select scale corners and set scale strokes and effects. We have already expanded the shapes that everything is outlined. But if you don't expand and do not have scale corners and scale strokes and effects then the stroke. Wits of the barcode will change on. The barcode will not be able to be read. Now is good practice for scaling barcodes Scale them 90 85 80 or 75%. 75% is usually the smallest you would go river barcode and there we have it now barcodes a red left to right and right to left. So it's very important not to scale a barcode manually on not to stretch a barcode, because stretching a barcode sideways will mean that it will not be read scaling a barcode up and down. Now the numbers are distorted. So that is also a no no, but the actual barcode still be able to be read. Now. If you have limited space, I want to reduce the size of the barcode. You can select lines. Andi, press the up and down keys on your keyboard to reduce the truncation off the barcode. This isn't advisable. I wouldn't say reduce it too much, but maybe like three or four taps might be okay on dumb, the barcode would still be read. That just needs to be a decent amount of lines for the scanner to be able to read the barcode. So we have resize the barcode. We've double checked that is 100% black, and it's all going very well. The next thing we need to do is make sure that the artwork is ready to send to the printer . 6. Saving artwork for print: now just for visual pubs is I'm going toe. Unlock the locked artwork players, and I am going to add colored background to this side of the swing tag. It's just pick very light red color Now, As you can see, the barcode is surrounded by a white box, and it's very important to keep a white box around the bar code for it to be easily read. Now. Belco doesn't necessarily have to be black. It could be a very dark color, but to play it safe, it is good practice to keep it black when possible. Sometimes you will also be given a Long River Barco number on article number. Now an article number is specific to each product, just like a barcode. If you're given an article number, just create a text box. Now it can be quite small. Seven points is fine or even six. It could be like a six digit number that varies depending on what the item is, what where the company is. Andi. Lots of other variations. So if you have an article number, just place it underneath the barcode. Also check that is 100% black. There we have it now to send the file to the printer, you may have a cutter guide. Make sure the cutter guide is a spot color. We can go to swatches on. There's extra swatches, so I'm just going to delete them quickly. On. We can see the cutter guide is marked. Cut a guide. Andi is a spot color. A spot color means that the printer will register is a special color, and he'll know that it's used different for cutting, especially because we've named both the swatch on the layer cutter guide. And then we've got the c m y que red Andi. We've got the black of the barcode. Now, if you haven't already select all of the artwork and go object pass outlines Stroke Andi type. Create outlines. Now this will outline everything so mean that the printer can't accidentally change anything on the artwork. We just moved this lay behind. There we go, Andi. It's good to keep the barcode on a separate layer, but it's not completely necessary. Just local the layers and then save your artwork so you can save it both as an illustrator file under the pdf If you wish savers Apia, Adobe pdf and it's always good to save is a high quality print and preserve the illustrator editing capabilities. So there you have it, a barcode that is ready to send to the Apprentice now, before you send any artwork off to the printers. If you've been briefed in with the barcode with a number on and on article number, it's very good practice to just run the artwork past the person who's provided the information on If they have a bar code scanner to check that the barcode works, just have them scan it. So your 100 sensual that when what the artwork goes to print that when it comes back, the barcode is in perfect working order. So there you have it. There's held to create a barcode for packaging or whatever else you might need. A barcode for hope. You've enjoyed this video. Thank you