Google is celebrating the 57th anniversary of the first barcode patent by (surprise!) replacing their logo:
Having played around with barcodes over the years, I got curious. I printed out the page, plugged in my declawed CueCat, and scanned the barcode. The result was both expected and surprising: “gOOGLE”.
I haven’t been able to determine which barcode format is being used, and I have tested about 25 different formats. Some sources are indicating that the format is Code 128, but I haven’t been able to replicate that even though I have tried several different barcode generators.
Why lead with the lowercase “g”? Why have “OOGLE” in uppercase? Why celebrate the 57th anniversary? I am curious, but have not found any clues, nor has Google posted anything on either their official blog or the logos page.
I think barcode standards are under-appreciated in the library world. They have done more to aid our handling of materials than anything short of computers, with which they are intertwined. They serve as perhaps the best example of a standard that benefits all users, and I suspect they will be around in some form or another for quite a while.
Following some information found on TechCrunch led me to the Google zxing project. Running the barcode09.gif file through their barcode recognition software generates “Google” with the format of CODE_128. Within the Google sofware family, at least, the barcode works as I would expect.