We've seen a lot of creative barcodes in the packaging world the past few years (like this post from Demilked shows). Brands are utilizing what once was a purely functional packaging necessity and adding their own creative flair to make something unique and ownable. We recently discovered a great example of creative barcodes that goes above and beyond a simple illustration at a retailer not always known for their packaging: Aldi.
If you have ever been to an Aldi store, you know that Aldi stands for simplicity, efficiency and a no frills approach to the grocery experience - Simple merchandising, straightforward selection, private labels, rock bottom pricing. You may have also noticed that the cashiers move at LIGHTNING SPEEDS. Somehow they are able to essentially throw each item across the scanner which immediately picks up the barcode without hesitation. How do they accomplish this magic? If you take a second look at the majority of the package you'll notice oversized barcode strips that span the entire width of the package.
What's most intriguing about these barcode banners is the simple, yet thoughtful way they've been incorporated into the design. Often times they're tucked underneath appetite appeal, logos or other communication. They'll span the entire gusset of a stand-up pouch utilizing space that's almost useless otherwise. Sometimes they'll be placed in every corner on each face of a box so that no matter how the package is scanned, the code will be read immediately.
Aldi has definitely capitalized on a great opportunity. They don't need packaging to do any competitive marketing, or to be overly fun, premium or quirky. Instead they focus on simple functionality, communication and efficiency which is everything Aldi as a brand stands for.