Tips for Creating QR Codes with Style
Creating QR Codes can and should be far more than simple black and white pixels. The same as with many elements of graphic design, a pleasing aesthetic balance is important for marketing campaigns to function successfully.
Table of contents
- Why is it important to design custom QR Codes?
- Stand out from the crowd
- Expand brand awareness
- Create an opportunity to further test campaign success
- Balance readability with graphics
- Creating QR Codes with custom features
- Use colors that contrast, but not too much
- Include images or a logo
- Play with frames and edges
- Maintain a square shape
- Don’t forget the quiet zone
- Best practices for printing QR Codes
- Size matters
- Double-check your link
- Quality images count
- Eye-level locations
- Focus on one QR Code
- Use a CTA
- 4 Examples of well-designed custom QR Codes
- #1 Ticket giveaway posters
- #2 Starter discounts on shop windows
- #3 Enhance product packaging
- #4 Special event registration
Why is it important to design custom QR Codes?
The success rate of marketing campaigns is often highly influenced by the graphic design used. With QR Code Generator, it’s possible to customize many aspects of all your individual QR Codes, as well as saving the designs as templates for later use. Here we’ve outlined some of the major advantages that QR Code design provides.
Stand out from the crowd
Original QR Codes look more or less the same: a box with black and white squares. But nowadays they can be so much more than that when given some graphic design oomph. QR Code Generator software has enabled functionality for custom frames, different levels of colors, and the ability to include a CTA (Call to Action). Using these elements makes it so your individual brand is conveyed through the QR Code. When compared to the look of the original QR Code design, a customized QR Code with designs is likely to be scanned more often.
Expand brand awareness
To emphasize on the topic of branding, when QR Codes are designed with your brand specifications, they can add to total brand awareness. Think of the concept of a logo. It’s something people remember because they see it repeatedly, then connect to a specific company. This, in turn, creates customer retention after a purchase is made because they remember that brand.
The same concept goes for QR Codes. They should include your brand colors, font, and elements that speak about your brand. They can even include the logo inside them as well for a good double dose of branding.
Create an opportunity to further test campaign success
A big perk when it comes to designing individual QR Codes is that you can save your designs as templates. But not only this, particularly if you use a Dynamic QR Code, you can track and make edits throughout their entire use. If your goal is to find out which types of QR Codes bring the best results, you can test out different designs to see which ones work best.
Balance readability with graphics
The other thing to keep in mind is to make sure that the aesthetics are well-balanced. The QR Code always needs to be readable amongst the designs of the rest of the material surrounding it. The sections below explore how to do this more in-depth.
Creating QR Codes with custom features
Use colors that contrast, but not too much
QR Code design should include a balance between colors that contrast so that the QR Code stands out, but it still also has to match with the rest of the material. The focus should be to include your brand colors and then contrast them so a reader’s eye is brought to the QR Code. If everything is the same color, they might not even notice the QR Code. If there’s too much color, the entire material design likely won’t match.
Contrast also means checking the background that your QR Code will be placed on. Particularly if you are using QR Codes on print materials, make sure the QR Code still contrasts from the background, otherwise, it could become unreadable.
Include images or a logo
The customization software from QR Code Generator enables users the use of logos or images within the QR Code itself. Furthermore, it’s also possible to include your logo on the loading screen where you are redirecting users to. This again expands your brand awareness in every QR Code.
Play with frames and edges
There are tons of different frames you can use to customize QR Codes with an individual shine. Give QR Codes different edges and make them even more unique. You can also use different frame tactics as a way to help a QR Code stand out further graphically.
Maintain a square shape
Despite the design tips above for the frames and edges, QR Codes should always remain in a square shape. Rectangular and other QR Code shapes do exist, but particularly when it comes to using them in marketing campaigns, you’re likely to get more scans by keeping them in their recognizable square shape. The advantage of the square shape is that it was developed to minimize scan time, which makes content load faster afterwards as well.
Don’t forget the quiet zone
All QR Codes contain a quiet zone, meaning a blank space that separates the QR Codes from the surrounding designs. When you are designing material around QR Codes, no matter whether print or digital, make sure to keep this section in mind so that the edges don’t get blurred, which could make the QR Code unscannable.
Best practices for printing QR Codes
Particularly when you are using QR Codes on print materials, there are some important points to keep in mind. While digital QR Codes can be edited (as long as you use a Dynamic QR Code), editing print materials means reprinting the entire material, which can cost time and money. Take precautions in your original design to avoid print mishaps.
Print materials, of course, come in a wide variety of sizes. There are big differences between the sizing of graphics on a billboard versus on a small brochure. Take these differences into account when printing your QR Code as well. It has to be big enough that it’s clearly findable, but also shouldn’t take over the whole page. Balance is the key here.
Double-check your link
Making sure that all of your information is correct before printing is of the utmost importance. Especially if you’ve printed mass amounts of materials, the QR Code design itself, of course, can’t be changed. You can, however, help lessen the chance of disaster striking by using an editable Dynamic QR Code, in which you can updates links and other content a user is directed to without changing the QR Code design itself.
Quality images count
While this is the case with all printed graphics, QR Code images and designs themselves should also be printed with high-quality images in mind. If your QR Code is too small or blurry, then it could be that due to errors the QR Code is not scannable. High quality ensures more scans.
Particularly when you are placing QR Codes on a display such as a billboard, it’s especially important to place the QR Codes where people can easily see them directly. If you place them too low or too high, they could go entirely unseen, a potential disaster for a marketing campaign.
Focus on one QR Code
Having more than one QR Code on one print document could make things confusing. The point of QR Codes is to include a CTA (Call to Action) so that users make a certain action based on that instruction. Multiple QR Codes means needing multiple CTAs, which confuses your customer on what action they should take. In addition, QR Code scanners can only detect one QR Code at a time.
Use a CTA
CTAs, in general, are an important topic for all marketing campaigns because it centers the focus of the campaign. The CTA is the exact action that you want a customer to take according to that marketing campaign, which should be focused on bringing them one step closer to making a purchase or even making a purchase directly. Without a CTA on a QR Code, it’s also difficult for users to understand why it’s beneficial for them to take the action of scanning.
4 Examples of well-designed custom QR Codes
QR Code Generator has some fantastic designs to take a look at if you need a source of inspiration. We’ve added some additional examples below.
#1 Ticket giveaway posters
This Twitter user documented his awesome use of his QR Code made by QR Code Generator to use on posters for ticket giveaways. What a fantastic way to spread brand awareness and offer new customers a sweet bonus.
What they did right:
- The QR Code stands out well graphically.
- It’s a balanced size in comparison with the poster size.
- Clear CTA for users to enter into the prize drawing.
#2 Starter discounts on shop windows
Lacoste decided to add a QR Code to their shop front that allowed users to sign up and receive a 15% discount if they register after playing one of their arcade games. This is a fantastic way to offer new customers an incentive to sign up, which allows the company access to their email, resulting in even further email retargeting opportunities.
What they did right:
- The QR Code stands out well against the glass background.
- It’s placed in an area that’s easily viewable.
- They changed up the colors a bit so it stands out more.
#3 Enhance product packaging
Wilkinson Sword, a company known for razor blades, wanted to encourage users to take part in a competition, a clever way of gaining more social media traction as well. They added a QR Code next to the label in Tesco stores, a highly tactful move.
What they did right:
- Very clever placement of a QR Code label next to their products in the supermarket.
- The complete label fits their brand image well due to the colors and font.
- While the QR Code is black and white, it stands out well so users can clearly notice its purpose.
#4 Special event registration
This high school cheer squad decided to kick their event registration up a notch (literally) by adding a QR Code to a social media post. The intent was to get more people to sign up for a special dance clinic that was coming up in the near future. Hats off to this fantastic design!
What they did right:
- A moving arrow GIF to send attention to the QR Code.
- Countdown timer to increase urgency.
- Fantastic formatting of the design and font that focuses on the CTA of scanning the QR Code.