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Christmas Gift Guide

Olive tree bar code

Bar code on coffee filters

Bar codes as drink glasses

Bar codes as hair

Bar code as waterfall

Bar code as toothbrush

Bar code as tissue box

Bar code as wind turbines

Bar code as tomato

Bar code as chewing gum

Bar code as mix tape

Bar code as mixer

Barcode as meat cleaver

Lately, companies are loosening up when it comes to the look of the parallel lines in the standard bar code, and more playful product codes are starting to show up on store shelves. The bar code on this package of Verdi olives harks back to the product's origin. Scroll through our gallery for a sample of the range of "vanity bar codes" currently showing up on packaging or being sold by bar code design firms.
Caption by / Photo by Vanity Barcodes and Miller Creative
The bar code on this package of Melitta coffee filters takes the form of a bamboo grove.
Caption by / Photo by Design Barcode
The bar codes on these Japanese juice boxes represent the empty space in juice glasses. Very Zen.
Caption by / Photo by Design Barcode
Most creative bar codes use the vertical lines as elements of an interesting design rather than simply putting a pretty frame around the code. The bar codes on these Japanese hair care products serve as shading for line drawings of women's hair.
Caption by / Photo by Design Barcode
Several design firms are catering to this emerging market, including Design Barcode and Vanity Barcodes. Here, bar code as waterfall.
Caption by / Photo by Design Barcode
Bar code as toothbrush. If we consumers, not to mention cashiers the world over, have to look at these black-and-white graphics all the time, they can at least be interesting. Anything beats having prison bars called to mind every time you pick up a loaf of bread.
Caption by / Photo by Design Barcode
Bar code as tissue box. As The Wall Street Journal points out in a recent feature on vanity bar codes, adding one can be expensive because new packaging is needed. Nestle has gradually included vanity bar codes when redesigning packaging or launching new products.
Caption by / Photo by Design Barcode
Bar code as wind turbines.
Caption by / Photo by Design Barcode
Bar code as tomato.
Caption by / Photo by Design Barcode
Bar code as chewing gum that's been trod upon.
Caption by / Photo by Vanity Barcodes and Miller Creative
This mix tape bar code puts some groove into the purchasing equation.
Caption by / Photo by Vanity Barcodes and Miller Creative
Bar code as mixer.
Caption by / Photo by Vanity Barcodes and Miller Creative
Bar code as meat cleaver. "The cleaver slices through the clutter and gets your product noticed. Great for kitchen accessories and more," says Vanity Barcodes.
Caption by / Photo by Vanity Barcodes and Miller Creative
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