Digital Watermarking to Digimarc

Built on a digital watermarking foundation, Digimarc Barcode is the imperceptible, versatile digital identity that improves efficiencies up and down the value chain.


Digimarc Barcode: Digital Watermarking’s Revolutionary Descendant

Digimarc is a long-time pioneer of digital watermarking techniques, and we have proudly advanced the technology over the years. Digimarc released its first product in 1996, a software plug-in for applying digital watermarks to images. The product became the first third-party, add-on bundled with Adobe Photoshop. In 1997 we received our first of many digital watermarking patents.

This expertise led to the invention of Digimarc Barcode, an imperceptible (or visible in certain use cases), unique identifier that contains industry-standard GTIN numbers that are also found in UPC barcodes. Digimarc is repeated many times throughout product packaging artwork, making scanning much more efficient than traditional visual barcodes. Digimarc Barcode provides a number of key benefits, including sustainability, traceability and brand protection.


How We Apply Digimarc

Digimarc Barcode is applied within individual color channels, or ink separations, where the changes are visible. But, the combined composite image contains unobtrusive product codes.

Click the button below to see how enhanced color channels seamlessly combine.

How We ‘Tune’ The Strength of Digimarc

The degree to which colors are adjusted for Digimarc Barcode is known as the enhancement strength. Higher strength levels enable devices to detect Digimarc Barcode more effectively.

Adjust the slider below to see how enhancement strength affects visibility.

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Try Scanning Digimarc for Yourself

Use the Digimarc Discover app to experience how Digimarc-enhanced media can deliver a wide range of benefits, including traceability, brand protection, efficiency, and more.

Download the Digimarc Discover app:

Download the Digimarc Discover app from the Apple App store Download the Digimarc Discover app from the Google Play store

The example package below carries a GTIN (global trade identification number), typically found in EAN/UPC barcodes. Scan with Digimarc Discover and tap the card that appears.

Cilantro Lime Rice box enhanced with Digimarc Barcode

Benefits of Digimarc Barcode

Sustainability & Recycling

Digimarc works with leading consumer brands to revolutionize plastics recycling as part of the HolyGrail 2.0 project. The Platform can improve plastic sorting rates and accuracy during recycling, improving the quality of recyclates, and ultimately diverting packaging from landfills and oceans. More broadly, the Digimarc Platform can also help retailers and consumer brands support more sustainable, safer and responsible stores and products. Digimarc can minimize product waste in the supply chain due to mislabeling errors on the inspection line, as well as reduce food waste when applied to fresh product labels.

Brand Protection

Digimarc on packaging serves as a critical layer in a successful anticounterfeiting strategy, helping consumer brands ensure the integrity of goods while preserving their reputation in the marketplace. Digimarc can be either visually obvious (overt), or visually imperceptible (covert).


Digimarc provides unique, serialized identities on packaging via digital printing, industrial inkjet printers and laser etching techniques to support consumer brand traceability initiatives.

Features of Digimarc Barcode

Artwork is the Barcode

The application of Digimarc involves making precise adjustments to the intensity of colors in the package artwork, resulting in a unique machine-readable identifier. The artwork is the barcode, easily scanned, and providing brand managers with more space on the product to promote their products and marketing communications.

Reinvent the Barcode

The global barcode standard organization GS1 (including GS1 US and GS1 Germany) has adopted Digimarc Barcode. Digimarc supports GS1 Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) and specific application identifiers. Yet Digimarc goes beyond barcodes, reinventing the representation of the data behind common barcodes, including: EAN-8, UPC-A, UPC-E, EAN-13; and ITF-14. DataBar and DataMatrix, for example, benefit because Digimarc Barcode carries industry-standard identifiers. Similar to QR codes, Digimarc Barcode can link to webpages when scanned, yet without some of its problems, including being misdirected to fraudulent sites by unscrupulous web actors.

Easy to Work With

The process of applying Digimarc Barcode into a graphics file is called "enhancement." Digimarc enhancement of package artwork is performed by trained partners (Find premedia partners). Enhancement involves altering a file at the pixel level. This alteration is minor and may not be easily noticed on the file or plates. The process utilizes the specifications and color space for the specific press used to print each job, and it is important that tolerances are maintained. Once printed, Digimarc Barcode can be scanned by enabled barcode scanners as well as mobile devices with a Digimarc-enabled app.

Heart of the Platform

Digimarc Barcode, along with Digimarc Discover identification software and Digimarc Verify for quality control, comprise the Digimarc Platform for automatic identification of objects. The Platform has nearly endless applications, including for manufacturing, supply chain and logistics, and all this is made possible because Digimarc Barcode serves as the reliable and accurate identifier at the heart of this innovative stack.

Identity of the Modern Supply

Digimarc Barcode is the culmination of decades of research and work that began with digital watermarking technology and is now available as an advanced, digital identity that delivers benefits throughout the supply chain.

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