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Position QR Code: Technical Elements and Practical Tips

QR Code usage has increased manifold in the last couple of years. Compared to 2018, QR Code interaction grew by 94% in 2020. And there has been no looking back ever since.

Many businesses (small and medium) and even individuals are using QR Codes for many use cases today. For example:

  • Making and receiving payments
  • Running actionable and trackable print media marketing campaigns
  • Enabling a faster and smoother process for inventory tracking
  • Making event invitation cards interactive and helpful for the guests
  • Bridging the gap between print media and digital content

There can be any such use case and QR Codes would fit perfectly into them.

However, while QR Codes are useful, it’s equally important to use them the right way. That means you’ll have to take care of a couple of best practices to make your QR Code scans perfectly well.

In this article, we will quickly discuss how to position your QR Code for a successful campaign. Let’s get started.

A. A quick brief on important elements of a QR Code

In case you like, you can watch this quick video guide to know QR Code elements and how it works:

QR Code is made up of many small elements which contribute to its scannability in various ways. To emphasize the most important ones, here are a few:

1. Eyes

Eyes are the three large squares that are present at the corners of a QR Code. These eyes serve as position markers for a QR Code.

That means they help the scanners identify the QR Code’s orientation. That’s what confers QR Codes the capability of 360 degrees scannability.

2. Data modules

Data modules are the tiny squares that are spread throughout the QR Code as rows and columns. These are responsible for storing the data that you add to a QR Code.

Fun fact: Did you know that changing the color and pattern of data modules is possible? Yes, in fact, many businesses love doing that to make the QR Code look branded.

3. Quiet zone

Quiet zone refers to the blank space present around the QR Code. It helps the scanners clearly distinguish the QR Code from its surroundings for good scannability.

4. Background

A QR Code can have a colored or even transparent background. Alternatively, it can also have an image as its background. All that you need to do is make sure that the QR Code has a high contrast with the background. It ensures that the QR Code has a high scannability.

A logo can b added in the middle of a QR Code. It could be an image (such as a logo) or even text. For example, Scan Me or Scan Here.

A logo is added to the QR Code by removing some data modules from the centre. That means an error is introduced into the QR Code. And to rectify this error, error correction comes into the picture.

Error correction makes sure that a QR Code remains scannable even after being damaged or distorted by up to 30%. To learn more about it, you can refer to this detailed guide on error correction.

B. How to position a QR Code

To make sure your QR Code campaigns see success, it’s important that you place them the right way.

To help you do that, here is a checklist that you must follow. Doing so will make sure you not only have a QR Code but it functions well too. Let’s get started:

1. A suitable environment

You now know that a QR Code is made up of many important elements. All of these are paramount for the scanners to identify the QR Code and read the data stored in it.

So it’s important that you position your QR Code in an environment where it’s easy for scanners to read all its elements. That means there should always be ambient light wherever you place your QR Code.

Doing so will make sure your QR Code is easily available for the scanners to read it.

2. High contrast with the background

As mentioned earlier, there should be high contrast between the QR Code and its background. Hence, for a dark-colored QR Code, the background should be light-colored. This holds true the other way around too.

High contrast makes the QR Code prominent enough for each data matrix to be clearly read by the scanners. That means a highly scannable and functional QR Code for your campaigns.

3. A clear picture

Always make sure that you export a high-resolution image of the QR Code to b used. And if you’re planning on using it for print media creatives, then export the QR Code in vector formats. For example, SVG, EPS, and PDF.

These formats make sure your QR Code doesn’t pixelate despite any re-designing or resizing. That’s why designers prefer working with these formats too.

4. Suitable surface for the QR Code

Make sure that you select a flat surface to put your QR Code on. Curved surfaces tend to hinder their scannability. Since curved surfaces distort the appearance of a QR Code, it becomes tough for the scanners to read it.

That’s why QR Codes are most commonly used on flyers, banners, digital displays, etc.

5. Ease of accessibility

While deciding a suitable spot to put your QR Code, make sure it’s easily accessible for your audience.

For example, you shouldn’t put your QR Code behind a moving vehicle (which is a common mistake). Why? Because nobody will run after it to take a scan.

So try to rather add it to easily accessible spots for your target audience. And while doing so, make sure your QR Code is of the right size which depends on the possible distance that people will scan it from.

The ratio of the scanning distance to the size of the QR Code should be 10:1. To know more about the suitable size of your QR Code, you can go through this guide.

If you’re still reading, you know everything about how to position your QR Code. You can now go ahead and get started with creating one.

To do that, you just need an appropriate QR Code generator. While you can head on to the search engine and look for various options, that’ll take a lot of time.

We have a readymade analysis to help you compare the top service providers available. You can go through it here. By the end of it, you’ll be able to make the right decision for yourself.

That’s it. You’ve learned everything about positioning your QR Code. Just get started with your first QR Code campaign now:


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By Rahul Kumar

Rahul Kumar is an experienced content writer and is always happy to offer his expertise and opinions on the world of QR Codes.

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