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10 Tips for creating perfect QR codes

September 11, 2023

QR codes have become an integral part of our daily lives, offering a quick and effective way of sharing information between your brand and your consumers.

However, not all QR codes are created equal. For your QR code to be effective, there are a number of crucial factors to consider.

In this guide, we give you the top 10 tips for creating perfect QR codes that grab attention and increase your scan rate.

First of all, ask yourself these questions:

  • Where can we position it?
  • In how many languages?
  • Where do we fit in?
  • Do we have any colour constraints? Single colour?
  • What promise, what CTA for a convincing message?
  • Is access to information online or offline?

Tip to keep in mind: remember to generate a tracked link!

1. Design it to fit 

Make your QR code big enough

Be proud of your QR codes, don't hide them and display them prominently so that your customers notice them and scan them. QR codes should measure at least 3 x 3 cm.

Make sure there is a white space of half a centimetre around all four sides of your QR code.

When in doubt, err on the side of caution and print the QR code in a larger format. But exactly what size? Practise scanning with the ideal print size and go from there.

2. Choose the right colours

Use the right contrast

Make sure your personalised code is recognisable as a QR code by using contrasting colours. High contrast makes it easier for scanners to read the code quickly. Opt for a contrast of at least 55% between colours.

Before printing, make sure your QR code is legible by testing it with different applications.

3. Personalise it

Add a neutral zone around your logo

Give your QR code a unique touch by adding your logo in the centre. Not only does this reinforce your brand identity, it also makes the code visually appealing.

Add a neutral zone around your logo when you add one so that it doesn't alter your code.

Your QR codes will be instantly recognisable by your users.

4. Add a striking wording

Add an incentive to scan your QR code

Clearly explain the purpose of your QR code. Tell your customers what they can expect when they click on the QR code. Use descriptive language to explain what's behind the code, whether it's a video tutorial, product registration or exclusive offers.

Add an incentive for your customers such as "Scan me and extend your guarantee by one year" to intrigue them and motivate them to scan your code. In this case, use action verbs to encourage them to take action.

Be creative, don't hesitate to play with marketing psychology. You could also consider using reverse psychology by saying something unexpected, such as "Don't scan this QR code! This can pique curiosity and encourage engagement.

5. Attract attention

Use visual to attract attention to your QR code

Use visual elements to attract attention. An arrow pointing to the QR code or a pictogram for international audiences can make your code more legible and universally understood. Explore round and square formats.

6. Position the code on the product

Make your QR code easy to scan

If you print the QR code directly on a product, make sure it doesn't interfere with the product's design. Find a harmonious and easily accessible location.

The QR code must be easy to scan with a smartphone or other device. Avoid placing it in hard-to-reach places. Make sure that the QR code is oriented so that it can be scanned easily. It should not be tilted or difficult to align with a camera. Avoid placing the QR code in areas likely to wear away quickly, such as the exposed edges of your product, as this could compromise legibility.

7. Place it inside the packaging

Put your QR code on your product packaging

It is sometimes preferable to place the QR code inside the product packaging. This gives a clean external appearance while providing access to valuable content.

Place the QR code in a place where customers are likely to find it easily. This could be on the top of the pack, inside the top flap, or on a label or instruction card included in the pack. Don't forget to inform customers that the QR code is inside the pack. This can be done by printing an explicit statement on the outside of the packaging, such as "QR code inside for more information."

Finally, make sure that the QR code is not bent, stretched or distorted once the product has been unpacked. It must remain legible at all times.

8. Position it on the leaflet

Put your QR code on the first page of the leaflet

If your product is accompanied by a leaflet, remember to place the QR code on the first page for quick access to essential information. Avoid creases and distortions.

Use light highlighting or a box around the QR code to attract readers' attention.

9. Print in good quality

Use high quality on durable materials

Make sure that your QR code is printed in high quality on durable materials, especially if it is going to be exposed to outdoor conditions, as is the case with bicycle stickers.

Make sure that the material on which the QR code is printed is of high quality, so that the code remains legible and scannable throughout the product's lifetime.

10. Test them out!

Use dynamic QR code and up-to-date link

Imagine your customers' dismay when they take the time to look through your code to find a broken link or out-of-date information. As well as creating frustration, this tarnishes your brand image.

To ensure you always have an up-to-date QR code, make sure you create a dynamic QR code! You can change the target URL or content at any time, even after printing and distributing hundreds of copies of your marketing material.

Before finalising your QR code campaign, test it thoroughly to make sure it works as intended.

  1. Print samples
  2. Check that they can be scanned with different mobile phones
  3. Check that your QR code points to the right destination with a link tracked by utm

Once the first samples have been distributed, repeat the operation.

In a nutshell

Creating the perfect QR code requires careful attention to detail and a considered approach.

By following these tips and taking inspiration from successful brands, you can create QR codes that not only work perfectly, but also engage your audience.

Whether you're promoting a product or sharing information, the right QR code can make all the difference.