Printing QR Codes – preserving your code’s scannability

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Visual QR Code

Like any chef will tell you, true greatness lies in the small details. Unfortunately, many of us often can’t be bothered to pay attention to follow the instructions exactly as they’re written, read the small print,  or take outside factors into consideration when we’re planning something big. And that’s exactly where we fall – why we were late for that meeting, why our apple strudel didn’t taste like it should have, why that table collapsed. This wise adage is true for QR Codes as well – when you’re printing QR Codes, sometimes catching that small imperfection can save you a lot of time and hassle further down the road.

Paying attention to the small details when printing QR Codes

Creating QR Codes is incredibly easy to do with all of the millions of generators out there, and it’s often very cheap as well. There are lots of QR Code types you can use – URL, All-in-One, vCard, ect. – and tons of features available : dynamic editing, direct codes, advanced analytics and so on. Today you don’t even have to settle for ugly black and white codes, with Visual QR Codes flooding the market. So it seems that the first part is quite simple but sadly, many people stumble over the second, just as critical step – the printing of the QR Code. And then they are so disappointed when their beloved code doesn’t scan well. So we’re here to make sure that you don’t make any of these easily avoidable mistakes:

1)      Do not distort the height and width dimensions. In order to make sure that the dots remain in the right proportions to each other, the height and width can only be changed if their dimensions to each other are preserved. Some generators, like Visualead, will automatically adjust the height if you change the width, and vice versa, preserving the dimension for you.

2)      Don’t crop the QR Code! Those squares on the side (otherwise known as markers) are very important for the scannability of the code. In addition, many scanners require a very small white border around the QR Code to scan the code.

3)      Don’t resize it below 1 inch squared. This is especially important as most scanners will not even recognize that this is a code if it is smaller than 1 inch. And as much as miniature codes are adorable, they’re pointless if they can’t be scanned.

So make sure to spare yourself the heartbreak and agony of planning a great campaign and printing QR Codes on millions of pamphlets, only to discover later that they aren’t scannable. We always recommend – print one example, scan it with several different scanners, and if all is well, you’ve got the green light for your campaign!

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