You are looking forward to getting a tattoo. It could be your first one or the next one. And you certainly want it to be a unique one.

And you’re tech-savvy too. So a tattoo that’s both unique and hi-tech will be perfect for you. And a QR Code tattoo is just what you need here.

QR Code tattoo: tattoo image

It will be more than a design that meets the eye. A tattoo that interacts with people. A tattoo that gets them to respond by taking action.

But before you go ahead to get a QR Code tattoo, you must know what are the best practices. Keep reading to know what it means.

A. What is a tattoo QR Code

A tattoo QR Code is a type of tattoo that embeds a Quick Response (QR) Code within its design. QR Codes are two-dimensional barcodes that can store various types of information, such as website URLs, contact information, or other data. 

In the case of a tattoo QR Code, the embedded code might typically link to a specific website, personal information, or any other digital content that the wearer wishes to share.

Tattoo QR Codes can serve as a creative and unique way for individuals to express themselves, share personal information, or showcase their digital presence through their body art. 

They can be scanned using a smartphone or other QR Code reader devices, allowing the person scanning the tattoo to access the encoded information directly from the tattoo itself.

B. Things to know before getting a QR Code tattoo

You know that QR Codes are 2D barcodes that store alphanumeric information. And this information is stored in the dots of their intricate design (data modules).

So it is important to make sure that your tattoo scans well.

In addition, the content in your QR Code should be permanent. Yes, this content can expire too.

And you certainly wouldn’t want to be stuck with a tattoo that is not scannable. Or the one that doesn’t show the target content.

So here are three things that you should know before getting a QR Code tattoo:

1. Make sure you hire an expert tattoo artist

You will obviously want a skilled artist to do the job. And that’s important too. Why?

A QR Code is made up of a matrix of dots (also called data modules). And these dots store the target data.

When a scanner reads a QR Code, it counts on each one of these dots. That means every dot is important.

Hence, your tattoo artist must have the expertise to ink each of them in place.

So ask her if she knows how QR Codes work. If she has ever made QR Code tattoos before. And what is her success rate in getting a QR Code tattoo that scans well.

Remember that for QR Codes, it’s not only about getting a design that looks good but also works well.

2. Choose permanent content

You’d want your tattoo to remain functional and meaningful always. So you must ensure that it is free of all the liabilities. What does that mean?

Choose permanent content rather than the temporary one. For example—say you’ve encoded a website link in your QR Code. Ten years later, the website is no longer existent. Your QR Code will then become useless.

It’s like getting a tattoo of your girlfriend’s name and then breaking up with her a year later.

To avoid such situations, you must choose static content.

It means content that will be encoded directly into your QR Code. And we call it—a static QR Code.

A static QR Code is permanent in nature. Once you create it, you cannot edit it. And it remains functional forever.

It is unlike a Dynamic QR Code that can be edited anytime you want. That means, it is not permanent. And if your QR Code generator shuts in the future, your QR Code will become non-functional too.

So what you can do is—rather than encoding content such as a website address, go for simple text in a static QR Code. It can be anything that matters to you. For example—a quote, life motto, or your mother’s name.

In fact, many people have been tattooing QR codes that take the end-users to family photos or other such personal memories.

3. Make sure your QR Code is highly scannable

You’ve seen barcodes. They don’t get scanned once they get damaged, right? But that’s not the case with QR Codes.

Yes, QR Codes remain scannable even after wear and tear. That’s why they’re used in inventory tracking.

But remember—QR Codes can sustain damage only up to 30%. And it’s in your hands to ensure maximum scannability. There are three ways to do it:

a. Add error correction to your QR Code

QR Codes have the property of error correction. That’s exactly what helps them remain scannable despite damage or dirt. And there are four levels of error correction:

  • Level L: sustains up to 7% damage
  • Level M: sustains up to 15% damage

Note that you must keep the error correction level at least H while creating the QR Code for your tattoo.

  • Level H: sustains up to 25% damage
  • Level V: sustains up to 30% damage

In fact, error correction is what helps you add a logo to your QR Code design. How?

An error is introduced by removing some data modules from the center of the QR Code. And then an image is inserted in this space.

Now the question is—why is error correction important here? Well, because your skin and hence, the tattoo is expected to change with age.

So choose a best QR Code generator that helps you add error correction to your QR Code design.

b. Get the tattoo on a flat body surface

You know that a scanner will have to read each dot (data module) to decode the QR Code. And a curved body surface will not let the scanners read each one of these dots.

So avoid curved body surfaces such as your leg, neck, or arm. And choose the ones that are relatively flat. For example—your back, your inner wrist, upper chest, back of the arm, and the flat area of your thigh.

c. Ensure enough color contrast

A standard QR Code is black on a white background. Why do you think is that so?

Well—to ensure color contrast. This is important for the scannability of a QR Code.

While error correction allows you to add a logo and colors to your QR Code, you still have to ensure good contrast between QR Code and the background.

Hence, if you have a light colored skin, go for darker shades of the QR Code. And similarly, if you have a darker skin tone, go for lighter shades of QR Code.

d. Adequate QR Code size and scanning distance

The QR Code size and the distance between the QR Codes and the scanner (smartphone) are important for its scannability.

And for that, you need a QR Code of the right size and the scanner at the right distance. That’s because the ideal scanning distance directly depends on the size of the QR Code.

For example, a QR Code that’s 2cm X 2cm in size, won’t be scannable from 100 cm away. 

Sounds fair, right? But you cannot rely on guesstimates all the time. So, for your convenience,  you can calculate the right size of the QR Code via a basic rule.

The ratio of scanning distance to the QR Code’s size should be close to 10:1. That means if a QR Code is to be scanned from 100 cm away, it must be at least 10 cm wide.

You now know the QR Code tattoo best practices. And the next step is—to create a QR Code online. And to do that, you need an online QR Code generator.

C. How to choose a QR Code generator

To create a QR Code, you’ll need an online QR Code generator. And to choose one, you must first know what all features do you want it to have. For example—does it allow you to design your QR Codes?

Now there are many free QR Code generators out there. But they usually don’t allow you to add design to your QR Codes.

And to do that, you’ll need an advanced QR Code generator which is often paid. So if you do a quick Google search on ‘QR Code generator’, you’ll see pages of results.

How do you then decide which one is the best for your use case? Maybe by comparing them. But comparing each one of them one-by-one will be a tedious process.

So we’ve compiled a detailed comparison chart for the top online QR Code generators. You can simply go through it to decide the best one for your use case.

Once you decide on which QR Code generator you’ll use, the next step is to create a QR Code.

D. How to create a QR Code for tattoo

Using Scanova for a demo, here’s how you can create one:

1. Go to Scanova QR Code generator and create an account to start with your 14-day free trial.

2. From All Categories, choose a QR Code category

3. For a demo, let’s create a Simple Text QR Code. So select the Simple Text category

QR Code categories for designing QR Code Tattoo

4. Enter the text that you wish to encode in the QR Code

5. Click Continue

6. A window will appear prompting you to name and save the QR Code. Enter a name and click Save

7. Next, you’ll see two QR Code designs on the screen—custom with logo and custom with a background.

Choose the design option for your QR Code Tattoo

You can use either of the design for your tattoo. You can create your tattoo in standard design (black-and-white) without editing it.

8. Once your QR Code is ready, say after you design it, click on Done Editing and proceed to download it.

9. Again you’ll see a window prompting you to specify QR Code image size and format. Once you specify the details, click Export

Image size and format: QR Code Tattoo

That’s it. Your QR Code has now been downloaded. Make sure you scan it to check if it’s working fine.

Once you’re sure that it scans well, head on to a tattoo artist to get the QR Code inked.

E. Ways you can use a tattoo QR Code

A QR Code tattoo can be used in various creative and practical ways, depending on the information or functionality it provides. Here are some common uses for QR Code tattoos:

1. Personal information

You can encode your contact information, like your name, phone number, email address, or social media profiles. This can be helpful in case you lose your phone or need to share your details quickly with someone.

2. Website or portfolio

Many people use QR Code tattoos to link to their personal website, online portfolio, or blog. This allows others to access your digital presence directly from your tattoo.

3. Memorial tattoos

Some people get QR Code tattoos in memory of a loved one. The QR Code can link to a video, photo album, or a webpage dedicated to the person’s memory.

4. Art and expression

QR Code tattoos can be used as a form of self-expression. The code can link to a piece of digital art, music, or other creative content you’ve created.

5. Secret messages

You can encode a hidden message within the QR Code, making it a fun and unique way to share information with select individuals who have access to the decoding app.

F. Should You Do It?

A QR Code tattoo is an awesome and tech-savvy attraction. And it can be very useful if you are using it for your personal brand. How?

Suppose someone asks for your business card and you tell them to simply scan the QR Code at your wrist with their smartphone. How convenient and tech-savvy it would be for both of you.

Such an experience will ensure that they will never forget it. This will help you put one hell of a first impression. And you will be pleased with the impact.

G. Best practices for tattoo QR Code

Creating a QR Code tattoo involves careful consideration to ensure that the tattoo is scannable, visually appealing, and serves its intended purpose effectively. 

Here are some best practices to keep in mind when designing and getting a QR Code tattoo:

1. Choose a reputable tattoo artist

Select an experienced tattoo artist who has a good understanding of how to create clear and precise lines, ensuring that the QR Code is scannable and aesthetically pleasing.

2. Size and placement

Ensure that the QR Code is large enough to be easily scanned, with ample contrast between the code and the surrounding tattoo design. Consider the body placement carefully to ensure the tattoo remains easily accessible for scanning.

3. Opt for high contrast

Use high contrast between the QR Code and the background to enhance the readability and scannability of the tattoo. Dark ink on a light background or vice versa can help ensure the QR Code is easily recognizable.

4. Test scanning before inking

Prior to getting the QR Code tattooed, test the scannability of the design on different devices and with various QR Code reader apps to confirm that it works effectively.

5. Choose stable content

Ensure that the content linked to the QR Code is stable and will remain accessible over time. Avoid linking to temporary or easily changeable content to maintain the longevity of the tattoo’s purpose.

6. Consider future alterations

Anticipate potential changes in the linked content and design the tattoo in a way that allows for future updates or modifications without compromising the overall design.

7. Follow proper aftercare

Adhere to the aftercare instructions provided by your tattoo artist to promote proper healing and maintain the integrity of the QR Code tattoo. This includes protecting the tattoo from direct sunlight and keeping it clean and moisturized.

8. Ensure privacy and security

If the QR Code links to personal or sensitive information, ensure that the linked content is secure and that you’re comfortable with the potential implications of sharing that information.

H. FAQs: Tattoo QR Code

1. Are QR Code tattoos permanent?

Yes, like traditional tattoos, QR Code tattoos are generally considered permanent. However, if you wish to remove or alter the tattoo, it would require specific laser tattoo removal treatments.

2. Can QR Code tattoos be scanned by any QR Code reader?

Yes, QR Code tattoos can be scanned by most standard QR Code reader apps available on smartphones. Ensure that the tattoo is well-designed and the QR Code is clear and properly inked for easy scanning.

3. Do QR Code tattoos fade over time?

Like all tattoos, QR Code tattoos can experience some fading over the years, especially if not properly maintained or exposed to excessive sunlight. Opting for high-quality ink and following proper aftercare instructions can help preserve the tattoo’s quality.

4. Are QR Code tattoos safe?

As long as you get a tattoo from a reputable and hygienic tattoo artist who follows proper safety protocols, QR Code tattoos are generally safe. However, it’s crucial to ensure that you follow all aftercare instructions to prevent infections.

5. Can QR Code tattoos be customized?

Yes, QR Code tattoos can be customized to some extent, including the design around the QR Code or the choice of colors. However, the actual QR Code itself must remain unaltered to maintain scanability.

6. Are there any limitations to what a QR Code tattoo can link to?

Generally, QR Codes can link to any online content, including websites, social media profiles, online portfolios, or digital files. However, ensure that the linked content complies with any legal and ethical standards.

7. Do all smartphones support QR Code scanning for tattoos?

Most modern smartphones have built-in QR Code scanning capabilities through their camera apps or dedicated QR Code reader apps. However, it’s recommended to test the tattoo on different devices to ensure compatibility.

Remember to consult with a professional tattoo artist who has experience in creating QR Code tattoos to ensure that your design is scannable and visually appealing.

Summing Up

That’s all you need to know about a QR Code Tattoo. From creating the QR Code to hiring a tattoo artist, each step is important to make your tattoo functional forever.

So if you’re a tech-lover or want a unique tattoo design that people can engage with, a QR Code Tattoo is your way to go. It will not only be interesting to look at but will also remain meaningful forever.

Still have any queries? Ask them in the comments.

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