EAN and UPC barcodes
These would be your most commonly used barcodes as they are used for all general products that are to be sold in retail stores. Anything from DVDs to food items to electrical appliances - if you're selling it in stores, you'll need a retail barcode. UPC and EAN barcodes can be sourced from GS1, or a reputable barcode reseller.
The UPC barcode is the 12-digit version, whereas the EAN barcode has 13 digits. Each perform exactly the same function of holding product information and releasing it once scanned; however some stores will have a system that better suits either of the two formats. It's up to you to find out which format your intended retailers require of you before you pick a version to incorporate into your packaging design.
ISBN and ISSN barcodes are more specific barcode formats that are used primarily for books and serial publications. These barcodes however cannot be issued by GS1, and are instead sourced through the National Library of your country where a database of every single barcoded publication is logged.
ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number, and is thus used for all books, novels and once-off publications. For magazines, newspapers and serial publications, an ISSN (which stands for International Standard Serial Number) is used. ISSN barcodes are slightly different to ISBN barcodes in that numbers can be added on with each issue. This is obviously necessary for a monthly magazine or weekly newspaper.
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