QR Codes – Who Said QR Codes Are Boring?


What is a QR code?

QR stands for “quick response” code and was originally designed in 1994 by Denso-Wave for the automotive industry. Due to the rise of the smartphone, QR codes have become popular outside the automotive industry and have made it’s way to all sorts of printing material. With every person having a smartphone, everyone has a QR code scanner in their pockets.



What can you store inside a QR code?

Inside QR Codes you can store various types of information. This includes Regular text, Phone numbers, Email address, meCard, vCard and WiFi settings. There are a lot of possibilities though, these are the most common ones. It also depends on the QR Reader you are using, not every QR Reader can recognise everything.
Depending on the amount information the QR Code grows in size.
Here are example’s of the various sizes of QR Codes:


QR Codes Sizes

QR Codes Sizes



How does a QR code work?

The QR Code doesn’t need to be complete, it works with the Reed–Solomon error correction. This means that when a part of the QR Code is missing or damaged that it is still readable. This is the exact reason what gives the designer the option to modify the QR Code to their needs as long as it stays within the error correction level. Here’s an image that gives you a basic understanding about the structure of a QR Code.


QR Code Elements




Experimenting with QR codes

We tried experimenting with a QR Code of the URL and information of OtherFocus. We added shapes, colours and added round corners.
All of the QR Codes below are still readable by a QR Reader.


OtherFocus QR Code Experimenting


OtherFocus QR Code Experimenting




Examples of custom QR Codes


QR Code Help Japan Now




QR Codes in Disnep Posters in Japan

QR Code of Starbucks

QR Code Made Of Wine Corks

QR Code Made Of Wine Corks



QR Code Generator

There are many QR Code generators out there, though for designers we would like some more flexebility to be able to modify a QR Code with the company logo for example. In that case there is a really good QR Code generator that let’s you download the QR Code as a vector EPS file. Try it out here.


There’s also another website called QR Hacker, this website allows you to generate a QR Code and then modify it. You can change the colour, insert a photo or your own logo. Try it out at their website.




QR Code Readers

Scan (IOS)

QR Droid (Android)

QR Code Scanner (Blackberry)




Final words

There are discussions going on about whether QR Codes are actually being used by people. Nonetheless QR Codes brings you much faster to information than typing in an URL/Text etc manually. Secondly, QR Codes are being used everywhere, there should be a reason for that right?


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