Saturday, November 7, 2009

This Just In: Lady Liberty Peddles Spicy Cajun Trail Mix

Is Duane Reade violating a UPC code rule by stretching it out into a Statue of Liberty shape? I'm assuming not, though I wouldn't put it past them. But I can guarantee they're in violation of my taste bud laws.

IHDR reader Scott writes:
I don't know if this counts as a horrible retail experience or just as horrible plagiarism. The new packaging for DR house-branded items uses a Universal Product Code as a design element ...

Well, it seems that there is a standard UPC use (here via Wikipedia), but when have we seen Duane Reade follow any standards?


UPC-A Bar code symbols can be printed at various densities to accommodate variety of printing and scanning processes. The significant dimensional parameter is called X-dimension, the ideal width of single module element. The X-dimension has to be constant in UPC-A symbol. The width of each bar (dark bar) and space (light bar) is determined by multiplying the X-dimension by the module width of each dark bar or light bar (1,2,3, or 4).

The X-dimension for the UPC-A at the nominal size is 0.33 mm (0.013 in.). UPC-A can be reduced or magnified in the range of 80% to 200%.

Nominal symbol height for UPC-A is 25.9 mm (1.0 in.).

Quiet zone (light margin)

The minimum Quiet Zone width required by the UPC-A bar code symbol is 9 x X-dimension on both the left and right sides. UPC-E requires 9 X-dimension units on the left side and 7 on the right. (Source; UPC Symbol Specification Manual).

Barcode text

Exactly 12 digits must be printed below the UPC-A barcode.

Yep, I don't know what the hell they're saying either. Best I can surmise: there's a standard, though there's a little bit of breathing room when it comes to sizing. I don't see a 'Statue of Liberty' clause here, so maybe they've found a loophole.

(Thanks, Scott, for the head's up)


Anonymous said...

The bag has a regular bar code on the back you dumbass. Duane Reade is just trying to be creative and it obviously worked if it got you and scott to stop and buy. Besides what what respectable, intelligent person qoutes wikipedia? Not a reliable source of information.

George said...

Intelligent? Some of these codes actually scan. My cashier rung me up one day and I was charge $32 for something that was like $6. FAIL. Though that could be a win for Duane Reade if enough customers go on with out noticing the price discrepancy.

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