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.

A QR code built from everyday objects - David Sykes

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.

Getting started

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:

Replies to this post

  • Rene Feb 08

    I like the qr code from "everyday objects". Unfortunately not recognizable with my qrcode reader.
    If you are looking for a qrcode generator able to generate a tracking and analytic qrcode without the need for any registration or user account visit www.qrcode-generator24.com

  • Roham Feb 10

    Hi Oliver,
    Great post, it makes me very glad that people are talking more and more about humanizing these QR Codes.
    The colors of an artistic code is another important thing to consider as many light colors such as yellow or light pink may not be detectable by some QR code readers.
    I was wondering how I can contact you. I would love to hear your feedback on a project that we are doing.
    Let me know,

  • Teet Parts Feb 14

    Hi Roham

    Thank you for contacting us.
    You can contact our team through our support e-mail: support@edicy.com.

    Teet Parts

  • Andy Feb 25

    Here's another approach to custom qr codes. Ooakteez.com. They're embedded in the t-shirt graphic... cool. NeoReader is good for reading QR's that are reversed and/or embedded.

  • qrlove May 31

    amazing... for people who which to run a custom QR code generator website.. have a look at this script: http://www.customqrscript.com

  • Snipp Interactive Jun 20

    Cool custom QR codes are the way to go!

    We actually just released our own completely free custom QR code generator: http://qr.snipp.com

    Users can create unlimited number of codes with no restrictions on the number of scans per code and all QR codes can be created in high-resolution, print-ready formats.

  • AidaFooks Jun 27

    I think it is very effective post for us. Thanks for this nice and Helpful post. There is exciting moderately nice about the "". I like the suggestion.
    I think, A QR code is basically a two-dimensional barcode that can be read by a smart phone equipped with a camera.
    I want to share some Information about QR Codes.

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