12 Best Barcode Tattoo Design Ideas for Men and Women in 2020


A barcode is a control system operated by means of an optical scanner capable of reading a series of vertical lines on a label. The system was first used in the 1950s and was invented for the purpose of improving productive efficiency.

 barcode tattoo

Barcode tattoo of @nojnoj91 via Instagram

Meaning of Barcode Tattoos for Men and Women

A few years ago, getting a barcode tattoo became a matter of trend. Many have been tempted by this popular inclination. At first it was a symbol of identity but, for many people, it was also a kind of protest against consumerism, a strong critique of the consumer society in which we live, where we all are. commercial products and where everything has a price. Others simply believe it is an act of rebellion and lawlessness against the society in which we currently live.

 barcode tattoo

Barcode tattoo of @piru.tattooer via Instagram

In 2000, in the popular "Dark Angel" series created by James Cameron, the protagonist wore a barcode tattoo on the back of her neck because she was a genetic "product" created to be a soldier. At that time, it reinforced the rise of this type of tattoos.

The symbol in question is very simple. It is a series of vertical parallel lines of varying sizes and spacing. In the lower part, there are numbers and/or letters. Usually, we take advantage of this space to place elements representing something important in the life of the tattooed person.

The barcode as a drawing for a tattoo appeared in this art relatively recently, therefore it is considered one of the newest and most popular tattoo designs. And every day the number of those who want a barcode tattoo on their body is increasing, therefore, its popularity is constantly growing.

 barcode tattoo

Barcode tattoo of @i.am.claudiocosta via Instagram


Sailor Moon Cat Luna Artemis

Aquanaut and Tiger

Buddha and Skull

Information of Barcode Tattoos

In fact, the familiar, linear barcode, which looks like a sequence of black and white stripes of different widths, is a system for presenting information for reading by special scanners. At the bottom of the stripes, as a rule, there are numbers. Today, the barcode is found on all products that can be bought, and carries certain information about the product, for example, the place and date of its production, price, etc.

But in principle, absolutely any information, but of limited volume, can be encoded into a linear barcode. In this case, the meaning of the barcode tattoo will completely depend on the meaning of the information encoded in it, which can be read using a scanner, even in a store. Often, when applying a barcode, they use their date of birth or some symbols significant for a person: numbers or letters as the numbers below.

barcode tattoo

Barcode tattoo of @kamzillahtattoo via Instagram

On the other hand, a barcode tattoo can be a challenge to the consumer society. A sign of the identification of a person as a person and a protest against the formation of the same type of human biomass, a protest against the views on a person as a commodity. This is a sign of separation from mass culture and the desire to preserve their own individuality. Or, such a tattoo can be a warning that if we humans are not careful and cultured, then we may soon become an object of trade ourselves.

The meaning of a barcode tattoo can be different. So for the actor Pavel Priluchny, the barcode with the inscription "DOC" became a reminder of the role in the film "On the Game", which brought him popularity, and gradually became part of Pavel's individual style.

 barcode tattoo

Barcode tattoo of @tanthra_tattoo__studio via Instagram


Koi Bagua and Wing

Dragon and Eyeballs

The most popular places for barcode tattooing are the back of the neck (like a hitman, hitman) and the wrist. The recently appeared QR-code is often used, from which information is read using digital cameras. Sometimes there are barcode tattoos that are visible only in ultraviolet light.

But the meaning of barcode tattooing is not always positive. Here it is necessary to remember the possible danger of a barcode on the human body. The fact is that with the help of a barcode on the wrist and a microchip for each person, it is possible to establish control over the entire human society and voluntarily enslave the human mass for the formation of a world government. But this theory may turn out to be real in the future, but not today.

But in any case, a person needs to be fully aware of the essence of a barcode tattoo and the reason for applying it for himself. After all, a barcode is one of those tattoos that are applied more to distinguish oneself from the crowd than for beauty.

barcode tattoo

Barcode tattoo of @tattooming1 via Instagram

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Another Meaning of Barcode Tattoos: The Barcode in Street Art, a Symbol of Enslavement

-The Symbolism of Barcode Tattoos in Street Art

The barcode symbolizes a cold, totalitarian technological universe, where everything is labeled, recorded, a market universe where everything has a price. These small parallel black bars are hijacked by street artists and visual artists.

The stencil affixed to the ground in front of Beaubourg, National Center of Art and Culture, is a modest protest against the museum of modern art and the financial extravagances of contemporary art.

barcode tattoo

Barcode tattoo of @yashas_budal via Instagram

-Barcode Tattoos in Street Art: Prison

The black bars easily evoke a prison. The phrase "spend a life behind bars" is very common in Anglo-Saxon newspapers which report the life sentences of criminals. If you add "Consumers" to this sentence, in lettering similar to that of Coca-Cola, the sentence becomes an injunction. Under the influence of advertising, consumers put themselves in prison in joyful voluntary servitude.  

Bansky uses prison barcodes on several occasions. Here he shows a wild animal escaping from its cage with the bars apart. The liberated leopard is found printed on mugs and T-shirts. Protestant street art also accommodates the trade it denounces.

Police and barcodes are easily associated in street art as in this image of a policeman wielding a baton: his eyes are replaced by barcodes making him a number, a soulless clone.

barcode tattoo

Barcode tattoo of @ladyjane_tattoo via Instagram


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-Barcode Tattoos in Street Art: Dark Angel

Some people get a barcode tattoo on the back of their necks like in Dark Angel. In the American series, children, genetically modified to become super-soldiers, are listed thanks to their tattooed identification code, a technique worthy of the fascist universe of 1984, the novel by George Orwell where everyone is subject to control Big Brother's totalitarian. 

In Saint-Petersburg, the  'Shtrikh Kod',  an office building designed by Vitruvius & sons is decorated with black bars on a red background. What could be better than a giant barcode to celebrate commerce?

 barcode tattoo

Barcode tattoo of @flinttattoo via Instagram

-Barcode Tattoos: The Using of Barcode

Since the 1970s barcodes have invaded the packaging of just about everything that is sold on earth. It is a simple and inexpensive way to identify products using an electronic reader.

Barcodes will soon be replaced by Rifid chips, which are much more expensive to produce and also more invasive.

Like the incandescent bulb and the Polaroid, technologies that have become obsolete, the barcode is used by artists and street artists.

 barcode tattoo

Barcode tattoo of @hana5446 via Instagram

Technological Evolution of Barcode

Currently, although barcode tattoos continue to be in demand, QR code tattoos are the most popular. This is a new way to record or identify things using a specific app on mobile devices.

 barcode tattoo

Barcode tattoo of @inkbykelv via Instagram

Barcode Tattoo Idea for Men and Women

These tattoos are simple. Just draw clean lines, usually black in color, to form them. However, some people may choose to add one or another detail, such as a little color or small figures (stars, hearts…) even in negative, in the code itself. No need to have a great technique to achieve this pattern. But it is important that the lines are not too close together because over time, the barcode tattoo may lose its original design.

When it comes to the most used parts of the body, it's no wonder that the most popular is the back of the neck. But the wrists are also in great demand.

 barcode tattoo

Barcode tattoo of @tattoo_small_oottat via Instagram