The barcode as you've never seen it before!

Take a look at the beautifully inventive things illustrator Steve Simpson has done with the humble barcode - while retaining its key functionality into the bargain.

Steve Simpson has done some wonderfully inventive things with barcodes

Stuck away in a corner on the back of a packaging design, the humble barcode is at best an irrelevance to the designer, and at worst an annoyance.

Well usually, anyway. Going against the grain, freelance illustrator Steve Simpson has instead turned it into something delightful.

They're not just attractive, they're functional too!

And before you bite back that he's merely swapped aesthetics for functionality, note that his barcodes do actually work as barcodes. These beautifully inventive designs have actually been put into use for a variety of brands, from sauces and yoghurt pots to board games.

So next time you visit the supermarket be sure to check the back of your package as well as the front, as we predict a trend that's set to grow and grow!

Simpson’s creations, which also include some cool cow heads and drum kits, are for the most part influenced by the work of Jim Flora, Mary Blair and Arts & Crafts pioneer, William Morris. You can see more of his work on his Behance page.

Alex Williamson is an art and design student in London, who blogs about design, art and illustration. Follow him on Twitter.

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