Sexy QR codes: The bad the good and the ugly
Whoever said that brains and beauty are an impossible combo was definitely not aware of the QR code generator and mobile content deliverer uQRme. Those fantastic barcodes that can be scanned or “spotted” by a Smartphone to launch an offline-to-online experience are often bullied on for their ugliness and plainness. But uQRme is shallow and wanted to give their users a chance to generate sexier QR codes. So to give them that beauty lift that they very much needed, they implemented a Color Palette, added a button to soften those rough edges, incorporated Dimensionality for a 3D impact and just in case the user changed their mind on their fantastically designed QR, uQRme gave them the option to reset and start all over again. They’ve entered a new phase of “designed codes” that can be integrated into marketing campaigns in an attractive way that is much friendlier on the eyes.
This QR Code Generator has incredible potential from a design perspective, so let’s take a look at a few techniques and tips you should keep in mind when designing your QR code to make you stand out and be more attractive to your audience.
1. Add a little color with the Color Palette
Adding color to your QR Code is the easiest way to add branding power and stand out. Your QR code does not have to be the basic boring black and white in order to be spotted. You can embed multiple colors and apply a color gradient without affecting scannability. BE CAREFUL THOUGH! The code color should generally be dark and placed against a light-colored background. Make sure the contrast is sufficient, or the code will be difficult to scan.
TIP: uQRme recommends that you don’t “reverse out” the QR code, where the background is dark and the boxes are light colored. Some QR code readers might not be able to scan it.
2. Make it soft with Soften Hard Edges and Round Corners
QR codes that have rough edges are not pretty. You can drastically lessen the severity of this look by rounding some corners. It’s not necessary to round all of the corners, but softening up the edges will definitely make the QR codes appear not so “robotic like”.
3. Give it some Dimensionality for a 3D Impact
A really great way to brand your QR code is to add your well..BRAND! Give it some imagery, such as a logo. By placing an image in front of the code, you give the QR code a sense of depth, making it more into an artwork and making it truly unique.
Don’t need to put the logo in the middle; you could also add interesting elements to the corners or the sides for an even less standard look. Adding images or characters between the boxes is another way to spice up your QR code.
4. No need to be perfect! QR Codes With 30% Error Correction
If you decide to add a logo to your QR Code to create a 3D feel, you need to decide which part of the coding to obstruct with your logo. The key to creating these beauties, is to take advantage of the fact that up to 30% of a QR code’s data can be missing or obstructed, and still be scanned. Building in the 30% error correction rate adds more “noise” (extra boxes) within the code, but those extra boxes within the code can then be removed to make way for a logo or other interesting imagery.
BUT BE WARNED! If you use a QR code with 0% error correction, the code will look more streamlined, but opportunities to brand the code by adding in a logo are very limited. Removing or obstructing a single box within a 0% error QR code could render it unscannable.
TRIPLE check your QR Code BEFORE using it!
Technically, it is possible to mathematically compute which boxes in a QR code are the buffers that can be removed, but such computations are generally unnecessary. By applying a simple process of trial-and-error, anyone can begin applying their design techniques to a code and then test for scannability. SO PLEASE PLEASE print out your beautiful and unique QR code and test its scannability before you actually use it with at least 3 QR Code readers. Using your code without testing its scannability could turn out to be a nightmare and will make you and others angry. WE DON’T WANT THAT!
NOTE: If a designed code takes more than a few seconds to scan, it probably needs to be redesigned.
How was your experience beautifying your QR codes? Share it in a comment!