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GS1 Image Standards and Digital Asset Management

Gain a better understanding of GS1 image standards and digital asset management (DAM) with PhotoRobot systems and control software.

Understanding GS1 Standards and Digital Asset Management

GS1 image standards are more than simply the new standard for product images. These standards lay the framework for a global language of business via a universal digital asset management (DAM) policy. 

For those with no experience or familiarity with the system, GS1 simply is a set of rules for business communication. The name relates to a global system of standards, including unique identification codes and data on products, services, and locations.

Additionally, GS1 image guidelines ensure businesses provide accurate, relevant, and transparent product information. These “GS1 Product Image Specifications” dictate image type, resolution, file naming conventions, and final deliverables. 

Interface with product spin above individual rows.

PhotoRobot systems follow GS1 Image Guidelines to mass produce GS1 images in parallel with 360 product photography. You focus on capturing the product photos. Our software extracts GS1 images, organizes files in a separate folder, and publishes marketing images and planograms.

What is GS1 (General Specifications 1)?

Without realizing it, even if they aren’t familiar with the GS1 organization, consumers encounter GS1 products everywhere. Take for example the barcode, present on every product on every shelf. This barcode is one of many GS1 products in today’s world.

The barcode and other widely-adopted GS1 products serve to create universal electronic communication standards for worldwide usage. They define requirements in processing, storage and exchange of product imagery.

The Standard GS1 Product Image Package

First published in 2008 and revised many times, GS1 product image specifications (and annexes) is a full-featured document of guidelines. These guidelines dictate for example: margin, dimension, clipping, file format & naming, product views, and far more. 

Product photo example shot with PhotoRobot.

In the most recent version, find even specifications on standards for 360-degree product photography, detailed imagery, and metadata for branding.

PhotoRobot uses GS1 image guidelines as part of our default product photography and file naming conventions. Our systems ensure you identify, capture, and share all relevant product information, while at the same time capturing 360° product images.

Standard GS1 Images and File Naming Conventions

Let’s look now at standard GS1 images and file naming. These images display important information such as ingredient lists, nutritional facts, the packaging, barcode, and more. There is then a universal naming convention product images must follow. See the most common set of images businesses require below.

Examples of GS1 planogram, marketing and informational images.

In the images above, the first row represents what we call Planogram images. Retail stores use this category of GS1 imagery to determine product placement on shelves. Product photographs include all six sides of the packaging, and a view straight on / of the frontside. 

Next, the second row in the illustration shows two different categories of GS1 images. Marketing images consist of three product photos capturing the package from a slight downward angle. We mostly use these images for marketing purposes, often in eCommerce photography, in print, and digital grocery store circulars. 

Finally, there are secondary product images (Informational images), which consist of a variable number of photos. Most commonly, these images show informational elements such as barcodes, ingredient lists, and nutritional facts. Other images that fall under this umbrella include Drug and Supplement facts, and Guarantee panels.

Packaging Levels of a GS1 Image Set

A complete GS1 image set might also display all levels of packaging. This is dependent on the end consumer, but might include views of the case, the inner packaging, and retail or consumer units. See the image categories below for example.

Example of complete GS1 set.

GS1 Standards for 360-Degree Spin Photography

Guidelines for GS1 imagery now also exist to cover 360° spin photography. Spins have become increasingly popular in product marketing. Retailers deploying spin imagery across their eCommerce platforms include Amazon, Home Depot, Lowes, Shopify, Walmart, and more.

In order to capture a spin set, we usually need between 24 and 72 images. These are photographed at 15-degree increments around a product. Special software (like PhotoRobot_Controls) then stitches photos together into an interactive video.

GS1 complaint product spin

For this, GS1 standards call for a minimum of 24 frames, although sets from as low as 12 to as many as 72 are also possible. Here, PhotoRobot captures spins that meet requirements in tandem with additional GS1 images.

PhotoRobot Spin and GS1 Image Capture

Get both the product spin set and all angles for GS1 images utilizing “preset” parameters in the control and automation software. In under 1 minute, we capture an entire product in 360-degrees and with all necessary GS1 images.

This requires little effort on the operator’s part. It includes time to move the camera to the other up-view angle (3 seconds with the Multi_Cam). Then, we still have time to flip the product upside-down and move the camera to 90° to photograph the bottom. 

PhotoRobot capture and edit software interface

Smart scripts then extract necessary images into a separate folder and publish files as marketing images, planograms, or informational images. The software captures the product and all imagery, including weights, dimensions, ingredients, and nutritional & on-package data. 

Meanwhile, it also produces in parallel a 2-row 360-degree spin. We can then work with images locally or in the Cloud to share, review, retouch, post process, and distribute.

Digital Asset Management (DAM) with PhotoRobot

Although many examples thus far have been consumer packaged goods, GS1 applies to any consumer-based trade item. As long as it’s packaged or labeled with an identifiable retail barcode, it can fall under GS1 digital asset management.

Digital Asset Management includes management tasks, and digital asset decisions on ingestion, annotation, catologing, storage, retrieval and distribution. For this, data and metadata serve as signposts for searching, retrieving, and accessing control of digital assets.

Graphic of reading a barcode.

Take for example batch processing with PhotoRobot. Utilizing data from barcodes in combination with image capture presets, we can define settings for photographing different types of products. For example, i​f you have preset configurations you want to use for similar types of sporting goods or toys, simply assign these to individual items. 

It’s even possible to sort products on shelves, and assign different barcodes with dedicated presets to each. PhotoRobot presets also control not only angles, but camera settings, lighting, post processing, and other parameters. 

GS1 Product Image Specification and DAM

When adopting GS1 product image standards, you likewise create a strong foundation for your digital asset management. Their comprehensive standards lay the groundwork for saving both time and money while ensuring you speak in the global language of business.

More importantly, businesses ensure consumers have readily available access to accurate, relevant, and transparent product information. In supply chain management, businesses also achieve visibility and traceability far superior to spreadsheet or ERP-dependent supply chains.

Learn more about capturing GS1 images with PhotoRobot today. Contact us. We’ll help you begin mass producing 360s in parallel with GS1 images.