ISBN Barcode Sizes

In order for a barcode to be useful it must be able to be scanned at point of sale. ISBN barcode sizes can impact the scanning performance of an ISBN barcode. The ISBN Bookland EAN barcode follows the GS1 standards for EAN symbols. The international ISBN Agency provides guidelines for the ISBN barcode sizes which publishers should follow. The illustration below denote the two most common ISBN Book Barcode Sizes used by North American publishers. The provided dimension for the ISBN of a book includes the necessary quiet zone and graphic designers should create white backgrounds of these dimensions. It is important to note that the height of the barcode should not be reduced, since they cannot always be read consistently by certain types of barcode scanners.

ISBN barcode sizes



ISBN Barcode Placement

In addition to dimensional barcode formatting requirements, the ISBN standard barcode size also designates the placement requirements for ISBN barcodes. As illustrated below, the barcode should be placed on the lower region of Cover 4 (aka back cover). In order to make scanning seamless and not inconvenience customers, retailers train their cashiers where to expect to scan barcodes on products.


Publisher Services is a division of Bar Code Graphics which services the book industry. As an authorized agent of the US ISBN Agency, Publisher Service provides ISBN and barcodes to new self publishers. In addition, Publisher Services offers an array of services including; professional cover design, interior formatting, book printing, ebook conversion, and book reviews. Please visit