Designing QR Codes Plus A Dozen Beautiful and Creative Examples


QR codes, short for Quick Response codes, are starting to get popular these days. If you are not yet familiar with QR codes, here’s a simple introduction about it. QR codes are similar to bar codes that we see everyday on consumer products. Bar codes are used by retailers for inventory and product pricing for POS. Now what’s the difference between the two? Bar codes are only linear one-dimensional codes which can only hold up to 20 numerical digits, while QR codes are two-dimensional (2D) matrix codes that can accommodate thousands of alphanumeric characters or data. Which makes QR codes more practical to use for a lot of purposes.

How does QR codes work

QR codes are scanned with mobile devices like iPhone, Android, or other camera enabled Smartphones. With QR codes, you can link users to your site’s URL, download content, activate phone functions and easily connect the mobile device to the internet.

So how do you generate QR codes? There a numerous QR code generators around. You can try two popular QR code generators, Kaywa and Zxing Project QR Code generators. You simply enter the data you want to send with your QR code, a web page link, text, phone number or SMS. Generate the code and it will provide you your own unique QR code instantly.

Reading QR codes will require your mobile device an application or a QR code reader/scanner. Searching for QR code readers will give you ample choices compatible with your particular brand and model of mobile phone. Head on to Mobile Barcodes for a list of the best QR Code reading software available for download.

Practical applications of QR codes

There are many ways you can use QR codes. Here are some of the most common applications for QR codes these days.

  1. Business cards
  2.  Corporate or product brochures and other marketing
  3. Posters and announcements
  4. Product packaging and tags
  5. Signages and billboard ads
  6. Clothes (QR codes printed on shirts are a big hit these days)
  7. Magazine or newspaper ads
  8. Website, email or any online campaign
  9. Name tags
  10. Books
  11. A whole lot more than you can think of…

Designer QR codes

QR codes doesn’t have to look boring. You can design QR codes outside its black and white mazed like box. QR codes are very potential marketing tools, and presenting visually appealing QR codes will surely enhance your branding and appeal to your audiences.

Here are a few short tips on how you can enhance your QR code’s looks and create your own stunning designer QR codes.

  1. Add colors to your QR codes. They don’t always have to be black and white. You can add colors as long as you maintain proper contrast between the dark foreground and light background.
  2. Soften it with rounded corners. Softening the corners will dramatically reduce the visual stiffness of QR codes. Soften it and see the difference.
  3. Use other graphic elements to add dimension to your QR codes. You can add images or any design element like your logo on your QR code. Just make sure you don’t obstruct some of the important boxes that contain data.
  4. Use trial and error. You might ask on the previous tip, how do I know which of my QR code blocks I can mess around without affecting code readability. Well, technically you can do the math to compute which blocks aren’t necessary and can be played around or removed. But doing computations like that is unnecessary, you can just do your design, scan and test it as you go along.

Be sure to try different code readers. Different mobile devices and code readers may read your QR code differently. Make sure also that your designed QR code will be read instantly and will not take more than a few seconds to scan and generate results. If it takes a while to scan it, you need to redesign, simplify and try again.

I tried it out and here’s my first crack in doing designer QR codes for designfreebies. I quickly made two vector QR code designs using Illustrator. You may try and scan them and see if they work giving you designfreebies home page link.

To give you more ideas on how you can create your very own designer QR codes, here are a few examples of beautiful and creative QR codes that you can check for inspiration. If you have any designer QR codes you want to share, please let us know by mentioning it in your comment. Enjoy!

1. Zophia

Design: QR Arts


Design: Corkbin

3. HBO’s Boardwalk Empire Promotion

Design: SET Japan

4. IPA QR Code

Design: QR Arts

5. Collective Architectures Book

Design: Buenos Diaz

6. Louis Vitton QR Code

Design: SET Japan/Takashi Murakami

7. WIRED Magazine

Design: SET Japan

8. Brainy

Design: QR Code Workshop

9. Qubism and QRcodes

Design: QR Arts

10. Telstra’s MUM 2.0 Campaign

Design: SET Japan

11. Coffee QR Code

Design: QR Code Workshop

12. Jameson

Design: QR Code Workshop


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