QR Code Integration

QR Code 'quiet zone'

QR Code ‘quiet zone’

Have you ever tried to integrate a QR Code after having finished the design? Unless your layout is remarkably minimal (which is unlikely, b/c every square inch of real estate is valuable), it will ruin your design. If you’re a perfectionist like me, it’s heartbreaking.

QR Codes are a relatively new phenomenon in North America, & implemented with varying success due to a lack of understanding in terms of your QR Code’s size & complexity.

B/c of this newness, it is extremely easy to get caught at the end of the design process with your client saying “Shouldn’t we have a QR Code?” The answer, of course, is an emphatic yes. And this is how I got caught.

It’s no one’s fault, really – we’re a new artist guild organising our first annual studio tour, & QR Codes weren’t on our mind. (So, to my fellow SGAA members, this is not a gripe about our rack card design process; my intent here is instructional).

First, a link to my two info sources, then I’ll describe how I got the most out of limited space by realising the limitations of QR readers (smartphones).

  1. Link #1 boils down to: 90% of phones can read a 26mm QR Code; 100% can read a 32mm code.
  2. Link #2 describes the average QR Code as representing a 40 character URL, at minimum recommended size.
  3. I made a 40-char URL test code that was 32mm wide @ 300dpi (i.e. print resolution).
  4. Inserted the test code into the design.
  5. Used trial & error to figure out how small I could make our 15-char URL so the ‘module’ size was identical to the 40-char test code.
    • They matched when my 15-char URL QR Code was 275 x 275px
    • Understand I am working on the assumption that the issue isn’t necessarily physical dimension, but ‘module’ resolution, & I could be wrong about this.
  6. Added the four module ‘quiet area,’ as per Link #1

The next stage of the The Springwater ‘Autumn Equinox’ Studio Tour promotional material is a four-panel pamphlet. QR Code integration – all the required info, really – will be known from the get-go.

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