You probably know what QR Codes are, but do you know about their types?

There’s a lot you can do with QR Codes.

In this guide, we’re diving deep into the intricate web of QR Code types – from the commonplace to the cutting-edge.

So, get ready to embark on an adventure as we demystify the world of types of QR Codes!

A. QR Code types by nature

1. Static QR Codes

Nature:

  • Fixed Information: The data encoded in a static QR Code is fixed and cannot be changed once the code is generated
  • Permanent use with no room for errors: Ideal for situations where the information does not need to change over time or there’s the scope of no manual errors because the QR Code will not be editable
  • No scan tracking: You can’t track their scanning activity with static QR codes. Hence, they are suitable for operational use cases

Common Uses:

  • Inventory management: This is one of the most common use cases of static QRs. Being operational task in nature, one rarely needs scan tracking capabilities
  • Contact Information: Business cards, where a QR Code might contain contact details that will never change
  • WiFi Access: Information to connect to a WiFi network.

Pros:

  • Simplicity: Easy to generate and use.
  • No Maintenance: Once created, no need to manage or update the code

Cons:

– Fixed information

– No scan tracking

– Limited use cases

2. Dynamic QR Codes

Nature:

  • Editable Information: The data encoded in a dynamic QR Code can be changed without altering it. This is usually achieved by encoding a short URL that redirects to the desired information, which can be updated
  • Versatility: Can be used for various purposes where the information might need to change over time
  • Room for advanced features

Common Uses:

  • Marketing Campaigns: Update links to current promotions, events, or product details
  • Tracking and Analytics: Track the number of scans, time, location, and device type used to scan the QR Code
  • Multi-purpose Uses: Change the destination or content based on the time of day, user location, or other factors

Pros:

  • Flexibility: Update the encoded information without changing the QR Code
  • Analytics: Ability to track and analyze scans for better insights and decision-making
  • Cost-effective: Avoids the need to print new QR Codes when the information changes
  • Dynamic QR codes enhance lead generation by linking to online forms or landing pages designed to capture user information. They enable tracking and analytics for each scan, offering insights into user behavior such as location, time, and device used, which is valuable for refining marketing strategies.
  • For security, dynamic QR codes can direct users to password-protected pages, ensuring only authorized access to sensitive information. The password can be changed periodically without altering the QR code, enhancing security for events or time-sensitive content.
  • Dynamic QR codes also support conditional redirection, allowing users to be directed to different URLs based on factors like geographic location, device type, or time of scan. This enables personalized user experiences and efficient delivery of region-specific, device-optimized, or time-sensitive content.

Cons:

– Dependency on internet connection

– Potential for higher costs

– Security risks

B. QR Code types by design

QR Codes can be customized in various ways to enhance their visual appeal and functionality. Here are the different types of QR Codes based on their design:

1. Black-and-White QR Codes

Design:

  • Traditional Look: The classic QR Code design features black squares on a white background
  • High Contrast: Ensures maximum readability and scanning efficiency

Common Uses:

  • Standard Applications: Websites, business cards, product packaging
  • Print Media: Flyers, posters, brochures

Advantages:

  • Simplicity: Easy to generate and scan with any QR Code reader
  • Reliability: High contrast ensures quick and accurate scanning

2. QR Codes with logos

Design:

  • Embedded Logo: A logo or image is incorporated into the center of the QR Code without affecting its functionality
  • Branding: Enhances brand recognition by integrating company logos or relevant images

Common Uses:

  • Brand Promotions: Marketing materials, advertisements, and business cards
  • Corporate Identity: Branded merchandise, packaging

Advantages:

  • Brand Recognition: Reinforces brand identity
  • Visual Appeal: Makes the QR Code more attractive and engaging
  • Better campaign engagement rates: Customized QR Codes are well-known and widely used because they act as a point of engagement to enhance campaign success by attracting more scans

3. QR Codes with frames

Design:

  • Custom Frames: QR Codes with decorative frames or borders around them
  • Call-to-Action: Frames can include a call-to-action text to guide users on what to expect when scanning the code

Common Uses:

  • Promotions: Special offers, event invitations, coupons
  • Instructions: Providing users with instructions or additional context

Advantages:

  • Guidance: Encourages users to scan by providing context
  • Customization: Offers various frame designs to suit different themes and purposes

4. QR Codes with Backgrounds

Design:

  • Custom Backgrounds: QR Codes with custom images or colors as backgrounds
  • Themed Designs: Aligns the QR Code design with specific themes, events, or brand colors

Common Uses:

  • Marketing: Advertisements, promotional materials
  • Events: Invitations, tickets

Advantages:

  • Aesthetic Appeal: Enhances visual attractiveness and thematic consistency
  • Branding: Matches the overall design scheme of the materials they are placed on

C. QR Code types by storage capacity

QR Codes can also be classified based on their storage capacity. The storage capacity affects the amount and type of data that can be encoded within the QR Code. 

Here are the primary types of QR Codes based on storage:

1. Numeric QR Codes

Storage capacity:

Up to 7,089 Characters: Numeric QR Codes are optimized for storing numerical data.

Common Uses:

These QR codes are most commonly used to store IDs and Numbers. For example, product IDs for asset tracking, serial numbers, phone numbers, or other numerical data.

Advantages:

– Efficient Storage: Can store a large amount of numerical data in a relatively small code

– High Density: Optimized for encoding numbers, making them more compact

2. Alphanumeric QR Codes

Storage Capacity:

– Up to 4,296 Characters: Alphanumeric QR Codes can store a mix of numbers and letters.

Common Uses:

URLs and Text: Encoding website URLs, alphanumeric codes, short messages, or any combination of text and numbers.

Advantages:

– Versatile: Suitable for a wide range of applications due to the ability to store both letters and numbers

– Readable: Easily readable by any standard QR Code reader

3. Binary (Byte) QR Codes

Storage Capacity:

– Up to 2,953 Bytes: Binary QR Codes are capable of storing binary data, such as ASCII characters and other byte-based information.

Common Uses: 

– File Storage: Encoding small files, such as text files, vCards, or other byte data

– Complex Data: Suitable for encoding more complex data structures

Advantages:

– Flexible: Can encode a wide range of data types, including text, images, and other binary files

– Comprehensive: Suitable for applications requiring more complex data encoding

4. Kanji QR Codes

Storage Capacity:

– Up to 1,817 Kanji Characters: Kanji QR Codes are optimized for storing Kanji characters, making them ideal for encoding Japanese text

Common Uses:

– Japanese Text: Storing Japanese characters, such as Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana

– Cultural Applications: Used in contexts where Japanese text needs to be encoded and scanned

Advantages:

– Cultural Relevance: Specifically designed for Japanese text, ensuring accurate encoding and decoding

– Efficient: Optimized for the specific character set, allowing efficient use of space

D. QR Code types by content

1. Website URL QR Code

A commonly used type of QR Code is the Website URL QR Code. Generating one allows you to direct traffic to your website effortlessly. Simply input the URL of the desired page and generate your QR Code.

When scanned, users will be directed to the linked page, sparing them the need to manually type the web address into their mobile browser. This saves time and effort for your target audience. All you need to do is create the QR Code and incorporate it into promotional materials like flyers, brochures, or posters.

Here’s a guide on how to create a Website URL to QR Code.

2. Business Card QR Code

If you find your business card lacking excitement, consider incorporating a Business Card QR Code. By adding this to your card, individuals you meet can effortlessly save your contact details on their smartphones.

Consequently, your clients no longer have to manually input your phone number into their phonebook; scanning the QR Code prompts them to save you as a contact.

This proves particularly beneficial as many individuals tend to misplace the business cards they receive.

Explore this guide to learn how to create a Business Card QR Code.

3. PDF QR Code

You have the option to present a full PDF document to your audience using a PDF QR Code. Upon scanning, the PDF will open directly in the browser of the scanning device. Discover how to generate a PDF QR Code.

You need not concern yourself with distributing the soft copy of your PDF to a large audience. Just link the PDF to a QR Code and print it out.

PDF QR Codes find utility in various applications such as restaurant menus, resumes, and PowerPoint presentations.

4. Multi-URL QR Code

Now that you’re aware of how QR Codes can boost website traffic, have you considered encoding multiple URLs in a single code? That’s where a Multi-URL QR Code comes into play.

Upon scanning, users will be directed to a landing page featuring all the encoded web links and corresponding buttons. From there, they can choose the destination they prefer.

This feature is particularly valuable for multi-lingual websites. Additionally, it proves advantageous for campaigns aiming to direct users to various pages such as product, about, and contact pages.

Here’s what our customers say about us:

5. vCard QR Code


You have the option to craft a personal page containing all your contact details and effortlessly share it with others.

Simply have them scan the Dynamic Vcard QR Code printed on your business card. This enables them to swiftly add you to their smartphone contacts.

Generate your Dynamic Vcard QR Code now.

The use of this QR Code type on business cards has become increasingly popular. It simplifies the process of saving contacts without the need for manual entry.

Including a QR Code on your business card not only modernizes it but also enhances engagement, especially when customized to reflect your brand identity.

6. Restaurant QR Code

Restaurant QR Codes streamline the dining experience by offering various services and information to customers. These QR Codes can include menu codes for contactless viewing, order codes for convenient ordering from smartphones, reservation codes for easy booking, and feedback codes for gathering customer input. 

By scanning restaurant QR Codes, diners can access menus, place orders, make reservations, or provide feedback, all from their smartphones. This not only enhances efficiency but also promotes safety and convenience in the restaurant environment.

7. Google Maps QR Code

If you aim to share your precise location with visitors, perhaps for an event or party venue, creating a Google Maps QR Code is the solution.

Simply input the location or coordinates into the generator to produce your QR Code. When scanned, it grants access to your exact whereabouts.

This ensures guests avoid any confusion about the location and can easily navigate to the correct venue.

By incorporating a Google Maps QR Code, you enhance your invitation card by offering precise location details.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create a Maps QR Code.

8. Social Media QR Code

With businesses spread across Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Instagram, it’s challenging to prioritize one platform. So, what’s the solution?

You develop a Social Media QR Code, providing your audience access to all your social media profiles. This code contains links to each of your accounts, allowing end-users to connect with you on their preferred platform.

Simply create and incorporate the QR Code onto your promotional materials, accompanied by a message like “Scan to follow.”

End-users only need to scan to visit, follow, like, or subscribe to your accounts.

9. Wedding QR Code

A wedding invitation serves as the formal announcement of your wedding to friends and family, making it an opportunity worth maximizing. By including a Wedding QR Code on your invitation card, you can:

a. Provide guests with the Google Maps location of the venue.

b. Share photos and videos capturing your journey as a couple.

c. Encourage guests to mark the event on their calendars.

d. Facilitate RSVP submissions from guests via their smartphones.

10. Event QR Code

Similar to a Wedding QR Code, you have the option to create an Event QR Code. This QR Code, upon scanning, directs guests to access event details such as venue location, event description, agenda, or perhaps insights on the event’s theme.

With an Event QR Code, you can link as much information as you desire, eliminating concerns about limited space.

Imagine you’re organizing a sizable event and need QR Codes placed in various locations. In such cases, a bulk QR Code generator tool like QR Batch proves invaluable.

For further insights, you can explore this comprehensive guide on Event QR Codes.

11. Product packaging QR Code

This QR Code type is among the most commonly employed. In today’s market, numerous brands offer comparable products. As a marketer, it’s essential to distinguish your brand by actively engaging customers. Adding a QR Code to your product packaging enables you to:

1. Offer detailed product information to buyers.

2. Recommend a cooking recipe.

3. Showcase your product range.

4. Raise awareness about your campaigns.

5. Solicit customer feedback.

With a QR Code on your product, you enhance transparency regarding product details and foster improved customer engagement.

Brands that trust us:

12. Image QR Code

To display images like product visuals, safety instructions, or infographics demonstrating product usage, consider generating an Image QR Code. Additionally, you can link diagrams, blueprints, or illustrations of books to this QR Code type.

Upon scanning, the QR Code prompts the browser on the scanning device to open the associated image. Here’s a brief tutorial on creating an Image QR Code.

The number of people using QR Codes is projected to surpass 2.2 billion by 2025. Source: Juniper

13. App Store QR Code

To simplify the process of downloading your mobile app for potential users, consider generating an App Store QR Code.

Even if your app is available across various app stores, a single QR Code suffices. iPhone users are directed to the App Store, while Android users are redirected to Google Play.

This eliminates the need for your target audience to manually enter the link in their mobile browser for app download; they simply scan the QR Code.

With the downloading process streamlined, you’ll likely see an increase in app downloads.

Utilize an online QR Code generator like Scanova to create an App Store QR Code effortlessly.

14. App deep link QR Code

Another option is to guide your end-users to a particular page within your mobile app using the App Deep Link QR Code.

You only need to input the link to the desired page in the respective fields. This functionality is compatible with both iOS and Android platforms.

If your end-users haven’t already installed your app, they will be directed to the appropriate app store for download.

15. Audio QR Code

To share audio files such as music, podcasts, or tutorials, consider utilizing an Audio QR Code.

Simply upload your preferred audio file and generate a QR Code. Upon scanning, this QR Code will play the uploaded audio directly on the scanning device. Create an Audio QR Code today.

Prominent music platforms like Spotify employ QR Codes to simplify music sharing for users. For further insights, refer to this comprehensive guide.

Eighty-four percent of mobile users have scanned a QR Code at least once. Source: BusinessWire

16. Landing page QR Code

Imagine you need to share extensive text content like terms and conditions, safety instructions, technical specifications, descriptions of artwork, side effects, and precautions.

In such cases, a landing page with text formatting features like the Rich Text QR Code is indispensable. When scanned, this QR Code directs users to a page displaying the content you’ve provided.

Create your Rich Text QR Code online today.

17. Instagram QR Code

To encourage people to follow you on Instagram, consider generating an Instagram QR Code. When scanned, this QR Code seamlessly directs users to your Instagram profile.

Much like an app QR Code, this allows your target audience to effortlessly visit and follow your account.

18. Coupon QR Code

In your print promotional endeavors, consider distributing mobile coupons to your target audience. Upon scanning, a Coupon QR Code directs users to a mobile coupon landing page tailored to your specifications.

Learn how to generate a Coupon QR Code to facilitate this process.

19. Word document QR Code

QR Codes can also be utilized to distribute Word documents. End-users only need to scan the QR Code to access the document.

There are various methods available for creating a Word Document QR Code, allowing you to select the one that best fits your needs.

20. Text QR Code

If you wish for your customers to access specific plain text content, such as product information, codes, or special messages, consider generating a Text QR Code. Enter the desired text and create your QR Code effortlessly.

Additionally, if you require unique information for each product, employing QR Codes in bulk is necessary. Utilize a professional bulk QR Code generator tool like QR Batch to accomplish this efficiently.

21. Calendar QR Code

Encourage your audience to stay updated on upcoming events by scanning your Calendar Event QR Code. Upon scanning, they can easily view and save event details directly to their smartphones. Learn how to create a Calendar Event QR Code to facilitate this process.

By using a Calendar QR Code, your audience will have no excuse for forgetting about the event.

22. Wi-FI QR Code

Enable your guests or employees to connect to your WiFi network effortlessly by scanning a WiFi QR Code. Here’s how:

-Specify your WiFi security protocol (WPA, WPA2, WEP).

-Include your network name.

-Provide your password.

Android users can seamlessly connect to the network, while iPhone users can view this information on their screens.

23. Video QR Code

Generate a Video QR Code that, upon scanning, directs the audience to watch a video.

Simply obtain a URL linking to your video and utilize a QR Code generator to create your Video QR Code, which you can then use as desired.

For instance, Video QR Codes find utility on construction and mining sites, where they can be linked to training videos for on-the-spot training, thereby minimizing risks.

24. YouTube QR Code

Generate a YouTube QR Code to direct individuals to your video on YouTube via your print media promotions. All you require is the YouTube URL of the video. Here’s a brief tutorial on creating a YouTube QR Code.

Viewers simply need to scan the QR Code to access your video. With minimal effort required, you can expect a definite increase in the number of views on your video.

25. Twitter QR Code

Boosting mentions from your audience on Twitter enhances your social authority. When users scan your Twitter QR Code, a pre-loaded tweet appears on their smartphones, ready for posting with just a click of the Tweet button.

Learn how to create a Twitter QR Code to facilitate this process.

26. Contact QR Code

By scanning your Contact QR Code, a potential customer can directly dial your phone number. Generate your Contact QR Code now.

This QR Code proves particularly valuable in emergencies where prompt action is necessary.

27. Email QR Code

By scanning an Email QR Code, your audience can easily send you an email, as it opens the default email application with your email address pre-filled in the recipient field.

Learn how to create an Email QR Code.

For instance, you can employ this QR Code on product packaging. Upon scanning, customers can quickly send an email for any support inquiry.

28. SMS QR Code

Interested in launching an SMS incentive campaign? Hoping to grow your mobile subscriber list? Simplify the process for your audience to send you an SMS.

When they scan your SMS QR Code, a pre-filled SMS appears on their phones, requiring only a click on Send.

29. Bitcoin QR Code

Generate a QR Code for your Bitcoin address to facilitate easy Bitcoin transfers from your friends. Here’s a guide on creating a Bitcoin QR Code.

E. QR Code types by data security

QR Codes can also be categorized based on the level of data security they provide. Security is crucial in many applications to ensure the integrity, privacy, and authenticity of the data encoded within the QR Code. Here are the main types of QR Codes based on data security:

1. Standard QR Codes

Security Level:

– Basic Security: Standard QR Codes do not have any built-in security features beyond error correction

Common Uses:

– General Applications: URLs, contact information, product details, etc.

– Low-Risk Information: Non-sensitive data that does not require encryption or access control

Advantages:

– Ease of Use: Simple to generate and scan

– Widely Compatible: Compatible with all standard QR Code readers

2. Encrypted QR Codes

Security Level:

– High Security: Encrypted QR Codes contain data that has been encrypted before being encoded

Common Uses:

– Sensitive Information: Storing confidential data, such as personal information, secure URLs, or financial data

– Access Control: Applications where data privacy and security are paramount

Advantages:

– Data Protection: Ensures that the encoded data can only be read by someone with the correct decryption key

– Enhanced Privacy: Protects sensitive information from unauthorized access

3. Password-Protected QR Codes

Security Level:

– Medium Security: These QR Codes require a password to access the encoded data

Common Uses:

– Restricted Access: Situations where access to the data should be limited to certain individuals

– Event Tickets: Secure event access, invitation-only events

Advantages:

– Controlled Access: Ensures that only users with the correct password can access the data

– Ease of Implementation: Simpler than full encryption, but still adds a layer of security

4. QR Codes with embedded digital signatures

Security Level:

– High Security: These QR Codes include a digital signature to verify the authenticity and integrity of the data

Common Uses:

– Authenticity Verification: Applications requiring proof of authenticity, such as official documents, certificates, and legal contracts

– Secure Transactions: Ensuring the integrity of transactional data

Advantages:

– Integrity Assurance: Confirms that the data has not been tampered with

– Authenticity Verification: Verifies the source of the data, ensuring it comes from a trusted entity

F. FAQs: Types of QR Codes

1. What are URL QR Codes?

URL QR Codes direct users to specific web pages, enabling easy access to online content like websites, product pages, or promotions.

2. How do Contact QR Codes work?

Contact QR Codes encode contact information such as name, phone number, email, and address, simplifying the process of adding new contacts to users’ devices.

3. What are WiFi QR Codes used for?

WiFi QR Codes provide instant access to WiFi networks by encoding network credentials, streamlining the connectivity process for users.

4. What information do Event QR Codes contain?

Event QR Codes deliver event-related details such as dates, times, locations, and RSVP options, facilitating event management and attendance tracking.

5. How can Social Media QR Codes be utilized?

Social Media QR Codes link to social media profiles on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, encouraging user engagement and interaction.

6. What is the purpose of Location QR Codes?

Location QR Codes redirect users to specific map locations, simplifying navigation to physical addresses, landmarks, or points of interest.

Summing Up

Whether you’re looking to share contact information, direct customers to your website, or create engaging marketing materials, QR Codes can be an invaluable tool. From free options to more advanced generators, there’s something out there to suit every need and budget.

By following best practices—such as keeping your QR Codes simple, ensuring high contrast, and prioritizing security—you can create codes that are not only functional but also user-friendly and reliable. Don’t forget to test your QR Codes on various devices and under different conditions to ensure they work flawlessly every time.

Thanks for joining us on this journey through the ins and outs of types of QR Codes. We hope you found this guide helpful and inspiring!

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