Barcode Messages


Red Dragon by William Blake


Barcodes are on more or less everything we buy.  They are an optical  machine readable representation of data (the Wikipedia definition).  There are many types of bar codes and lots of combinations.  Some think bar codes are the mark of the Beast 666, mentioned in the bible (here).

As usual though, I am only interested in what can be done artistically with these codes.  Unlike an earlier post about pylons, (the idea did not catch on) in Japan the elevation of bar codes into decorative and interesting design has caught on.  How much nicer it would be if this was done all over the world!  We might start looking at our product a little more carefully whilst we are queuing at the checkout (and start thinking about what we are actually buying – and asking ourself do we really need it, and put it back!:)). 

 Then again…we might just buy anything because it has a great bar code on which we haven’t yet got in our collection:D  Yes!  Our collection!  Maybe these will eventually become collectible:D

Bar code images from HERE and HERE and if you want to have your own exclusive one made HERE

Some have linked barcodes with biblical

Meanwhile, over on Bookstains…

The Mona Lisa Poetry Challenge is still on my other blog Bookstains and open to all!  (6 poems now)Just click Mona







The Van Gogh poetry Challenge is still going on – read them all  (theres 10  poems now) and contribute by clicking Vincent

12 Responses to “Barcode Messages”

  1. Bar-code Art. Hmm. As an image I’ll buy that. On another level they’re rather insisdious. Oh yeah, that biblical connection….might be better to NOT scoff at that. Hedge one’s bets so to speak. Oh yeah. Now leading with Blake’s art–that’s a catcher!

    • It does make you wonder (about the biblical connection) there’s a lot of mystery in numbers, some have a very esorteric signifigance. I never knew the William Blake Paicture was called Red Dragon though – Love the drama of Blake!

  2. Even before I finished reading your post, I decided I would be a collector of these intricate little art forms. I’d be bugging my family members for any new little barcode art they may have come up with. What mindless fun! Thanks, Lynda for an interesting post, once again!

    • Hheh I think they make the product more interesting – I think they are only doing it in Japan at the moment, I’m sure it will catch on though! I wonder if they would make them so they peel off? Imagine finding a rare one….and tearing it:0

  3. if seen this before while surfing the web.
    A fantastic idea, well worth commercialising

    • i think the barcode should be appropriate to the product – its fun to guess at which product some of the above bar codes are trying to sell (the gun for example:0)

  4. artistatexit0 Says:

    Some of the designs have a bit of ingenuity to them and makes you wonder if the same can be send for the products they represent? Why not just forget the product and go for the code? I have seen bar codes used as tattoo images, although I’m not sure what this is meant to say? Thanks Lynda!

  5. I’ve also seen the barcodes used as tattoo designs Al. perhaps soon we could be using them as money or legal tender. All the cashier will have to do is to scan them to find the value:)…eeek! what am I saying:0

  6. Never thought a barcode could be an additional selling point. What an interesting surprise, and amazing that some of the more intricate ones are able to be scanned!

  7. If we have to have em – might as well make them interesting eh:D

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