Have you seen those strange black boxes popping up everywhere? Over posters, delivery labels, even business cards? Everyone has a different blocky pattern? Like futuristic hieroglyphics? Those would be QR codes. Now let’s talk about how to use QR codes in your print.
QR Codes (a Quick Response code) is just a new design of the classic barcode. Within the pattern of pixels, the code stores data from phone numbers to names. They can also be set up to open up website links and process information in an app.
You might have seen these being scanned by delivery drivers when they drop off a parcel, or more recently on the hundreds of thousands of lateral flow test cartridges the UK public have been scanning to record their covid test results on the government website.
They can contain such a vast amount of information compared to the more common barcode. This is thanks to the creator of the QR code, Denso Wave, needing a way to quickly scan and track components in a car factor that included not just numbers and letters, but also kanji characters.
From car parts, to opening a restaurant’s menus on their website from scanning the QR code stuck to the table with my phone and get my sushi direct to my table, they have proven to be much more than a marketing fad. A danger in design and print is over-stuffing your artwork with information you know is important but not aesthetically appealing. Including a QR code on a poster for an event can enable someone to open up a webpage to book tickets as soon the poster caught their eye. A QR code on a business card can hold much more contact information than you could fit on the 85mm x 55mm rectangle in a person’s hand.
When you use a QR code in your print, you are doing two things:
- Saving space in your design
- Removing obstacles between your audience seeing your advertisement and buying your product (searching for your company versus immediately directed to a specific page on your website)
It has become very easy to generate QR codes. The QR Code Generator is a great free website, and QRExplore QRExplore is a good option for generating large batches at once. Adobe Indesign (one of our favourite pieces of software for designing print) has a built in QR Code generator.
Almost every smartphone has a QR scanner built in, and almost everyone has a smartphone. So why not include such a useful tool in your design that will benefit almost everyone!
If you are interested in discussing how to use QR codes in your print, get in touch with us at Response@d2rcrossmedia.com or give us a call on 01923 601035.