With QR codes, you can digitize physical experiences, like traditional advertisements, brick-and-mortar stores, restaurants, hotels, and more. According to QR Code Marketing, 70% of businesses report a positive return on investment (ROI) on their QR code printing efforts.
However, if you’re printing QR codes for the first time, there are some steps and guidelines you must follow.
Here is an ultimate guide to QR code printing and publishing to help you get started.
Table of Contents
- Choosing the right type of QR code?
- Creating a QR code
- How to design a QR code?
- How to print a QR code?
- Choosing the suitable printing material
- QR code printing guidelines to follow
- QR code printing and publishing mistakes to avoid
- Summing it up
Choosing the right type of QR code?
Before creating a QR code, you need to determine which type of QR code you need. This will depend on your use case, how you’ll use QR codes, and what you want the flow to be.
Let’s say you want a user to visit your website. In that case, a simple URL QR code will do the job.
On the other hand, suppose you want to share a PDF document with your users. In that case, using a PDF QR code will be more practical.
Let’s look at some commonly-used QR code types and their application:
- URL QR code: Share URLs with your audience
- Digital Business Card: Bring users to your digital business card to share contact details
- PDF QR code: Distribute PDF files with a single scan
- Social Media QR code: Bring users to your social media profiles
- Business Page QR code: Share all your business information in one place
- Google Maps QR code: Share your Google Maps location with a single scan
- App Download QR code: Share Play Store and App Store download links
- Menu QR code: Share a digital menu with your restaurant guests
- Landing Page QR code: Create a custom landing page with its QR code
- Image Gallery QR code: Share multiple images in one place with a single QR code
Note: QRCodeChimp offers 35+ QR code solutions for various business use cases. Visit our solutions page to explore all the solutions.
Creating a QR code
Once you decide on the type of QR code you need, the next step is to create a QR code.
Let’s say you want to bring users from your newspaper ad to your website. The URL QR code solution will best fit this use case.
Follow these steps to create a URL QR code:
Visit qrcodechimp.com. Head to the Solutions tab and click on “URL.”
Go to the “Basic Information” section and enter the URL where you want to send your users.
Go to the “Design, Color, and Decorate QR code” section to design your QR code.
Note: You’ll learn more about QR code design in the next section.
Click on “Save QR code,” give it a name, select a folder (optional), and click on “Save.”
The QR code will be saved on your dashboard.
How to design a QR code?
The design of a QR code plays an instrumental role in its scannability. A complex, bulky design might affect the QR code’s scannability. On the other hand, a QR code with a simple design will be easier to scan.
However, a well-designed QR code will likely get more scans by grabbing people’s attention.
So, it’s vital to strike the perfect balance between design and scannability to get the best results.
Here’s how to design your QR code to perfection.
Use unique shapes
QR codes no longer need to be square-shaped. You can create QR codes of various unique shapes, like the circle, heart, diamond, and so on.
Now, how to choose the right shape for your QR code?
The best approach is to go with your brand. For instance, if you own a car showroom, create a car-shaped QR code to align it with your brand and engage your consumers.
If you don’t want to go for complex shapes, you can play it safe with the circle, oval, hexagon, octagon, and star shapes.
Use appealing colors
Colors can make your QR codes attractive and grab people’s attention. Go beyond the commonplace black-and-white QR codes and make your QR codes look stunning with QR codes.
You can choose any color combination as per your choice. However, it’s best to stick to your brand’s colors. For example, if your brand’s logo has orange and yellow colors, use the same in your QR code to align it with your brand.
IMPORTANT: Use contrasting colors
There’s a reason why QR codes have traditionally been black and white. It’s because black and white are contrasting colors.
To scan a QR code, the scanner must detect the eyes on the QR code. When the QR code and background color are contrasting, the scanner can easily detect the eyes and scan the QR code.
But if the colors aren’t contrasting, the scanner may be unable to identify the eyes, causing scannability problems.
Also, avoid using inverted colors, i.e., a lighter QR code and darker background. Even though QR codes with inverted colors may scan, many QR code scanners expect QR codes to have a darker foreground and lighter background.
So, be on the safe side by ditching inverted colors for your QR codes.
Use stickers to increase actionability
Stickers or frames with calls to action (CTAs) can significantly increase your scan rates.
Many top brands have seen their scan rates increase dramatically after including a call to action with their QR codes.
When you add a sticker with CTA to your QR code, you tell the users what they need to do. For instance, if you create an App Download QR code, a “Download App” sticker can significantly increase scans and app downloads.
QR code body and eye design
You can also customize the body and eyes of your QR code. This includes body type, eye frame type, eyeball type, and scaling options.
Play around with these options to give your QR code a unique and appealing look.
Adding your brand’s logo to your QR code is essential, especially if it’s a part of your marketing strategy. A logo makes your QR code instantly recognizable, resulting in higher customer engagement and more scans.
How to print a QR code?
Now that your QR code is ready, it’s time to print it. Follow these steps to print a QR code.
Save the QR code as an image, PDF, or SVG file in your local storage. Make sure to pick the right size as per your requirements.
Print the QR code on the material of your choice. Make sure to print a high-quality image.
Test your QR code after printing by scanning it from multiple devices across operating systems.
If the QR code scans well, share it with your users by publishing it across channels.
Choosing the suitable printing material
You can print QR codes on a wide range of materials. Before delving into the different materials, let’s look at the factors to consider before choosing a printing material.
- Print quality
- Scanning environment
That said, here are some printing materials you can use, along with their pros and cons.
Paper is one of the most popular materials for QR code printing and can be used for various use cases.
Pros: Affordable, versatile
Cons: Less durable
Plastic is another popular material for printing QR codes, especially for business cards.
Cons: Slightly expensive
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or vinyl for short, is a type of plastic known for its durability and versatility.
Cons: Slightly expensive
You can also print QR codes on metal tags made of stainless steel, copper, and other metals.
Pros: Highly durable
Cons: Expensive, requires laser engraving and other methods of imprinting QR codes
QR code printing guidelines to follow
If you’re going to print QR codes, keep these QR code printing guidelines in mind. Please note that these guidelines aren’t set in concrete, and you can play around with them at your convenience and requirements.
However, try following most of these guidelines to achieve the best outcomes from your QR code printing efforts.
- Size and resolution: The minimum recommended size of a QR code is 1 x 1 inch, and the minimum recommended resolution is 300 DPI.
- Size to distance ratio: The recommended scanning size to distance ratio is 10:1. For instance, if the QR code is 5 x 5 inches, the scanner should be 50 inches away from the QR code.
- Printing material: You can use various materials for QR code printing, but it should be of high quality and produce sharp and clear images.
- Data quantity: Avoid loading your QR code with too much data, as it can lead to a clunky, overcrowded, and less readable QR code. If you must create a QR code with large amounts of data, go for a dynamic QR code.
- Contrasting colors: Use contrasting colors in your QR code to increase scannability and avoid scanning issues.
- Inverted colors: Avoid using inverted colors (light foreground, dark background) in your QR code.
- Call-to-action (CTA): Include a CTA with your QR code to tell users what to do and increase scans.
- Test before publishing: Once you print a QR code, test it on multiple devices before publishing it.
- Protect from damage: Though QR codes have up to 30% of error correction, you must protect your QR codes from damage to ensure they continue scanning for a long time.
QR code printing and publishing mistakes to avoid
Here are some QR code printing mistakes that can affect your campaigns:
- Wrong size: Don’t print a QR code that’s too small or large, as it may not scan properly.
- Poor resolution: If your QR code is blurry, it won’t scan properly. So, make sure your QR codes are sharp and clear instead of being blurry and unclear.
- Lack of testing: If you don’t test your QR code across multiple devices, scanning issues may arise on some smartphones.
- Damaged or distorted QR code: If your QR code is damaged or distorted, it may not scan properly.
- Poor contrast or inverted colors: If your QR code doesn’t have contrasting colors, it may not scan properly.
Summing it up
In conclusion, QR codes are a powerful tool to reach consumers and drive engagement. You can print QR codes at several places to reach your consumers and build meaningful connections with them.
But if you plan to print QR codes, it’s vital to print them correctly. Make sure to follow all the guidelines mentioned in this guide to print your QR codes to perfection and achieve the best results from your QR code campaigns.
QRCodeChimp is a QR code generator and management platform that allows you to create QR codes for various use cases. There’s also a bulk printing feature that enables you to print up to 20,000 QR codes at once.
Sign up with QRCodeChimp today to kickstart your QR code journey.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the ideal size and resolution of a QR code?
A QR code should be at least 1 x 1 inch, whereas the minimum recommended resolution is 300 DPI.
How to print a QR code of a high resolution?
When downloading a QR code, opt for a higher pixel size, as it will increase the resolution and quality of your QR code.
How to test a QR code?
You can test a QR code by scanning it from multiple Android and iOS devices.
How to make my QR code accessible to all users?
You can make your QR code more accessible and reach a broader audience by putting them on high-traffic spots, such as billboards, newspapers, and product packaging.