Making cool QR codesFeb 04, 2013
A lot of us have seen these magical barcodes that can be scanned by smartphone revealing some useful or interesting piece of information. These weird looking boxes, named QR codes, are becoming more and more popular on posters, products and websites. They are providing additional interactive experience for smartphone users thus getting viewers deeper involved with the products or services advertised.
A lot of us don't know that QR codes can incorporate strong enough error correction mechanism to allow extensive designing and still be readable. Adding a personalized design to your QR code can get more attention and viewers more interested in actually scanning it.
Add colors and gradients
QR codes do not have to be standard black and white. The general rule states that the code has to be relatively dark on light background. You can apply as many colors, shadows and gradients as you like assuming you keep the contrast adequate. Otherwise it will be difficult to scan.
Change the harsh edges
The dots in QR code do not have to be regularly shaped hard edged squares. You can soften the edges, reshape them or even merge a lot of dots and the code will still be readable.
Use highest error correction
QR codes can incorporate quite strong error correction mechanisms. The highest commonly offered is level H or 30% error correction. This means that you can change up to 30% of the code and it will still be readable. So use this space to add your own symbolics or design elements. Although the areas that have smaller impact if changed can be calculated, it is a lot easier to just use trial and error to make things work.
Keep in mind that it is a good idea to test your code against multiple QR readers just to be sure your customers will not leave with a frustration of not geting it to work.
Soehne & Partner: QR code hotel concept. Not scannable from this pic.
Firstly you have to make a QR code with the information you need. It can be done for example here. We have also added some ideas of cool QR codes to get your ideas going: