How to Make a QR Code


So we all know that these QR codes exist, but how on earth do they make these things??  Well there are a few different ways.  One way is to have them professionally done by a marketing company, pay lots of money and have to worry about the ROI on the things once they are put into action to see if they are actually worth it.  The other way is the way that I like…the free way!  No, not the type of roadway. ;) 


So there are a few free QR code sites that you can utilize out there.  Bit.ly is a popular site that will shorten the URL into a QR code. Simply add “.qr” to the end of your URL.  This will create a QR code for every URL that you enter.  You could do your whole site!  Google also makes their own URL shortener called goo.gl that will also do the same thing as Bit.ly. 


If you are making these QR codes for marketing purposes, you will also want to set up tracking on them so that you can see how often they are being used and who is using them.   


Ever look at a QR code and think it’s the ugliest thing ever?  Well, there are also ways to make your QR codes look pretty!  QR codes no longer have to be the traditional black and white plain squares they were originally designed to be. 


Here are some ways to make your QR codes more attractive!
  • Add color: Probably the simplest way to make a QR code more attractive is to add some color to it.  Make it a different color or multiple colors without affecting its ability to be scanned!  Generally, you will want to stick with darker colors so that they stand out more.  Lighter colors will wash out and not be noticed as much.  Also, make sure that there is enough contrast so that it will be easy to scan.  You will want to stay away from a reverse color palette where the code is light and the background is dark.  These do not generally get read by QR readers. 
  • Soften it up: Simply round the corners of the boxes to give it a more subtle look and not so harsh.  This will make your QR code more pleasing to the eye and more approachable!
  • Include Dimensionality: Include a company logo or design in the middle of the QR code to give it some 3D feel!  Make it into a work of art!  Adding a logo will give you some depth perception into the QR code.  Obstruct parts of the code or make the boxes meld together. 
  • 30% Error: If you want to add a 3D feel to your QR code, make sure that you limit the graphic that is obstructing part of your code to no more than 30% of the code so that it does not affect its scanning ability.  Making a QR code with 0% error will make your QR code look more traditional.
  • Trial and Error: Test our your QR code designs and see how they work.  Make a few designs and see which ones look and scan the best!

Creating and designing these QR codes is not only a art but also a science.  The more clever you get in your design, the more of a successful marketing technique it will be!  Just the other day I saw online, a QR code in the shape of a tree in Central Park!