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The barcode as you've never seen it before!

Steve Simpson has done some wonderfully inventive things with barcodes

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 (opens in new tab) has instead turned it into something delightful.

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

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 (opens in new tab) page.

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

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Have you seen a great example of branding work? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of six full-time members of staff: Editor Kerrie Hughes, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Deals Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Digital Arts and Design Editor Ian Dean, and Staff Writer Amelia Bamsey, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.