ITF-14 Barcodes

Logistic shelf and master cartons should be identified with a GTIN-14 identifier.  In most environments, these cartons are not read by point-of-sale scanners and do not carry a UPC barcode symbol. An ITF-14 barcode encodes the GTIN-14 information. The GTIN-14 data structure is comprised of four components:  

ITF-14 barcode

  • Indicator – This denotes the level of packaging for a particular carton. This one-digit prefix can range from 0 to 8.
  • GS1 Company Prefix – Vendors must obtain a GS1 Company Prefix directly from GS1 to uniquely identify their company.  Depending on the number of items a company needs to identify, a GS1 Company Prefix may be 7 to 10 digits in length.
  • Item Reference– References the same product number used for the item level GTIN (GTIN-8, GTIN-12, GTIN-13) when a carton is made up of the same item.  For cartons that contain an assortment of items a new product number is assigned.
  • Check Digit – The last digit of GTIN-14 is a calculated check digit. Using a MOD10 check digit algorithm, the calculated check digit prevents substitution errors. An online check digit calculator is available at

  Creating a GTIN-14 for a carton containing the same items  

If the items within a carton have different product numbers (i.e. mixed pack), the Packaging Indicator should be a “0” and a brand new unique Product Number must be used to represent this unique assortment.

ITF-14 Barcode Symbol

The ITF-14 barcode is the most common data carrier used for the GTIN-14 data structure in retail organizations. ITF-14 is a 14 digit bar code that uses the “Interleaved 2 of 5” symbology (I2of5, or ITF).  The GTIN-14 data can also be conveyed in other GS1 barcode data carriers, such as a GS1-128 barcode. ITF-14 bar code symbols include bearer bars, which are surrounding bars which protect the bar code image. If the ITF-14 is printed directly on a corrugated carton it must be surrounded by bearer bars. For ITF-14 bar code symbols printed on a label, only horizontal bearer bars along the top and bottom are necessary. The following illustration displays example images and the minimum sizing for each scenario.

Size: The two components which determine the width of an ITF-14 bar code symbol are the x-dimension and the wide-to-narrow ratio.  As illustrated in the above picture, the minimum x-dimension varies depending on how the ITF-14 is printed. The other sizing component of an ITF-14, the wide-to-narrow ratio, is a measure of the wide elements to the narrow elements. The wide-to-narrow ratio is held constant and should always be between 2.25:1 to 3:1. If you require digital barcode artwork (eps format) for any type of symbol, please visit or contact us by phone at 800-662-0701. Our online application is the only GS1 certified solution to provide digital barcode artwork. Printed ITF-14 labels are available at