Barcodes for Magazines

ISSN Magazine Barcodes Malta

Magazines have a different barcoding system than most other retail products. Magazine barcodes are called ISSN barcodes, and they are based on a unique ISSN number that each magazine is assigned. If you intend on publishing and selling a magazine, you will need an ISSN number which can be obtained from the ISSN International Center. Once you have your number, we can generate a high-quality barcode image that you can incorporate into your cover art before printing your magazine.

Magazines using our barcodes
Some magazines we have made barcodes for.

Once you have your ISSN number, visit our ISSN product page to purchase a barcode image or purchase one below.

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Price: 15.00

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Turning an ISSN into a Barcode

An 8-digit ISSN number is converted into a 13-digit EAN13 barcode in a three-step process (note that our system does this automatically, you don’t need to calculate this yourself):
1: The last digit of the ISSN is removed, so ISSN 0123-4560 would become 0123456
2: 977 is put in front of the 7 remaining digits. All ISSNs start with 977. Our number is now 9770123456
3: Two more digits are added, which is a price code. 00 is the default amount here, and this number is changed every time you want to change the price. EG 977012345600 would become 977012345601 the first time the price is changed. You will need to order a new barcode image from us if you want to do this, or if you anticipate a future price change you can order it preemptively
4: A check digit is calculated from the barcode number via specific mathematical operations. In the case of 977012345600, the check digit is 8. Therefore the total 13-digit barcode number is 9770123456008. If any of the preceding numbers are changed, the check digit will change too.

ISSN number to barcode

An optional step done by some publications is adding a 2 or 5 digit supplement barcode after the main barcode to allow tracking of each issue. This can then vary with the issue, e.g., it could be 01-12 for 12 monthly issues, 01-52 for weekly issues, or 01-04 for quarterly issues. These barcodes can be reused each year – they only need to be changed when the price changes. If you are interested in this, let us know and we can create as many supplemental images as you need (note that we charge for these images as per our ISSN pricing structure).

How to Use Your ISSN

After we receive your order, we will email your barcode images to you. The images will come in 5 different formats (jpeg, eps, tiff, BMP & pdf). You can choose the format you prefer & insert the barcode into the design for your magazine cover. After your magazine has been printed and distributed to your retailers, they will enter the barcode number and product information into their inventory system. After that, when your barcode is scanned the product details will appear on the retailer’s screen.