QR Code minimum size is a concern when working with QR Codes, and users often come to us with questions such as:

I am putting a QR Code on the label of my clothing range. How small can the size be?’

What is the ideal size of a QR Code to put on a business card?’

I need to add a QR Code on the packaging of my product. Is there a minimum size of QR Code I need to use?

I tested my QR Code but when I printed a copy for my magazine it didn’t scan? What’s the problem?’

You most likely have a similar question if you are reading this. So we decided to write a post about it and answer the big question – what is the ideal size of a QR Code?

You might not want to hear this but there is no correct answer to this question. The good news though is that you can calculate the ideal size for your campaign. It will ensure that your QR Code is scannable.

QR Code Minimum Size

A  high-resolution camera on your phone can scan a QR Code as small as 0.4 inches or 1 cm in width. If your phone scanner can detect each module, then it will be able to read your code.

qr code history
The small black and white squares forming the pattern is each a module

 

For most phone cameras to be able to read a QR Code, they should at least be 1.2 inch or 3 cm or 115 pixels (in width and height).

Also, the QR Code should have a contrasting border or margin width of at least 4 modules.

Calculating QR Code Size

The ideal size of the QR Code for your campaign will depend on a few important factors:

1. Scanning Distance

Where are you planning to put up your QR Code and what is the expected scanning distance?

For example, for QR Codes on business cards, the scanner will be about a feet away. For a large billboard, the scanner will be about hundred meters away.

Once you decide the expected scanning distance for your campaign, apply this standard rule:

qr code minimum size

Example: You wish to put up a QR Code on a flyer that goes up on a notice board. The scanning distance would approximately be around 1 feet (or 12 inches). Applying the given rule, the minimum size of the QR Code should be 1.2 inches.

If you follow this simple rule, your QR Code will have high scannability in a majority of the cases.

2. Amount of Data

ExampleYou wish to put up a QR Code on a flyer that goes up on a notice board. The scanning distance would approximately be around 1 feet (or 12 inches). Applying the given rule, the minimum size of the QR Code should be 1.2 inches.

If you follow this simple rule, your QR Code will have high scannability in a majority of the cases.

2. Amount of Data

The number of rows, columns, and characters in a QR Code also determine the scannability for a given size. Increasing the number of rows and columns in a fixed size QR Code decreases its scannability.

Furthermore, to ensure higher scannability of QR Codes, use the rule given below:

qr code minimum size

ExampleYou want to put up a QR Code on a business card but you are not sure about the size.

Approx. Scanning Distance: 0.5 ft or 6 in.

Number of Rows in a Vcard QR Code = 57 

Applying the rule,the QR Code minimum size should be = 1.37 in. or 3.48 cm or 132 pixels (width and height)

Also, a good practice is to use URL shorteners to decrease the number of characters. This will, as a result cut the number of rows and columns, and hence the size of the QR Code.

3. QR CODE DESIGN

QR Codes with color and images need a high error correction level to remain scannable.High error correction will increase the number of rows and columns. Thus, increasing QR Code minimum size.

qr code minimum size

(These QR Codes were designed using Scanova QR Code Generator)

4. Printing Requirements

You need a large size QR Code for print media such as a poster, billboard banner, or a wall. A good practice is to export your QR Code image in a vector format (SVG, EPS, PS, or PDF). This will ensure that if the size of the image increases, as a result the resolution of the image will also increase.

While following the above rules is a good practice, the golden rule is to:


Create the right-sized QR Code now

Create a fully scannable, visually-appealing, and dynamic QR Code for your print campaigns to attract more scans.
CTA scanova blog

 

Gautam Garg is a Co-founder of Scanova. He is a QR Code enthusiast and a big fan of inbound marketing, CRO, and usability. When taking a break, he likes to travel solo and eat spicy food. Follow him on Twitter @GGarg88

  • flier

    thanks Gautam for this nice post. I have a question. What Mega pixel (MP) camera is sufficient for a QR code scanning ?

  • flier

    what is the ideal MP or mega pixel is sufficient for phone camera to capture QR code correctly ? Is there a minimum MP required ?

  • it was useful but how can i resize qr code in photoshop?