Design Around the Lines: Barcodes Don’t Have to Be Boring

We love the idea of taking overlooked design elements and making them beautiful. The barcode is a good example of this. It’s on nearly everything we buy – from your latest iPad purchase to a Snickers bar at the market – just a bunch of lines and numbers with very little (if any) thought put in to how it looks. We’ve covered Steve Simpson’s remixes before, and now we’ve run across D-Barcode, a Japanese design firm that’s been steadily revamping this oft overlooked element.

Steve Simpson Remixes the Ubiquitous Barcode

Creative Barcode Designs from Steve Simpson 16Creative Barcode Designs from Steve Simpson 1

Check out these seriously fun remixes of barcode design from Irish illustrator Steve Simpson. Actually, “barcode design” is almost a misnomer, completely overlooked by everyday designers. The ubiquitous symbol is simply looked at as a necessity. Simpson says we should forget that idea and get more creative. Just look at the many ways he’s reworked the vertical lines required for the barcode to work: they can become crocodile teeth, a sushi mat, Latin American style birds (or at least their legs), and even a convincing cactus forest.