Currently a company called Vanity Barcodes are strutting their stuff in various press releases where founder Yael Miller from Jersey gets to explain all the fun barcodes they can offer. We recall a company called "Barcode Design" in Japan that won a Cannes Titanium for this in 2006, and so does everyone else. Though even back then, it was badlanded as Pfadfinderei in Germany did design for record labels that had fun with the codes earlier too. I'm not badlanding this to be mean, I'm alerting you designers out there to a new skill you'll need - plus it's fun! I bet you've been doing this to barcodes in you sketches for years already.
Vanity Barcodes - designed barcodes are now big business worldwide