It never occurred to me that there was an untapped creative opportunity in “designing” your barcode (UPC) until I saw this awesome article on the Wall Street Journal about vanity barcodes. Barcodes are a unique product identifier in retail databases. They get read by scanning machines to indicate either the arrival, depature, updated pricing, or simply the presence of products in a retail environment. Yawn. Makes you want to hit the sack, right? Yeah, me too.
Check out Design Barcodes, Inc. out of Japan. These guys create custom barcode designs (that can actually be scanned) for major companies like Nestle and put a wicked cool twist on those 12 digits.
Why not do the same with your records? Just think of barcodes as a tiny canvas awaiting your creative treatment.