Code 39 is a 1-dimensional barcode (1-D), which is used to represent the traditional recognized barcode style. 1-D barcodes have different widths and spaces of the lines, but are linear. Its name stems from the original character limit of 39.
Characteristics of Code 39 (3 of 9):
- Encodes 43 characters
- An asterisk represents the start/stop, but is optional in text
- Commonly found in automotive and the United States Department of Defense
Code 128 is also a 1-D barcode. Code 128 is useful in bigger industries for transportation and distribution with a non-point of sale (POS). Code 128 is a combination of 3 subsets (A, B, C) each allowing for different levels of density and character sets. This is represented in the beginning bars of the barcode.
- Encodes 128 characters of American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII)
- Alphanumeric or numeric characters
- Contains large amounts of data in a small space
- Commonly found in supply chain
Quick Response (QR) codes, which are commonly known as 2-dimensional (2-D) barcodes or matrix codes, are viewed both horizontally and vertically. 2-D codes are capable of holding more information. QR codes have the accessibility to be scanned using a laser scanner and are commonly viewed on a smartphone device.
- Alphanumeric or numeric characters (more than 100)
- More flexibility
- Email addresses, names, and other customer information
- Commonly found in retail, entertainment, and advertising