Any Color You Choose—Except Red!

Companies typically default to black for their serialization codes, but they may be missing an opportunity to create a more unified color scheme on their packaging.

When looking at laser printing of your serialized data on a carton, the “black box” containing your serialization information does not have to be black. In fact, some marketing-savvy drug companies are choosing to match or compliment brand or package design colors by having the laser code ablated on a more colorful surface than black, according to Ian Parsonage, Senior Director, Global Serialization Services for PCI.

Many darker shades of solid colors can do the job. The trick, in Pantone terms, is to keep the percentage of red as low as possible. When trying to produce ISO grades, the barcode readers and scanners for verification both use red light which, if the color contains a significant percentage of red, makes it either impossible to read the laser code or lowers the contrast thus reducing the apparent grade of the code. So those brands incorporating any shade of red (or more than 10-15% red) should stick to the good old-fashioned black box or choose a complimentary color!

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