3 Ways to Beautify these Handy Advertising Tools

By: Marty Malone

You’ve probably seen them in magazine advertisements, online, and maybe even on flyers around campus. They’re called QR codes, and they’ve been getting more popular along with the rise of the smart phone.

QR (or Quick Response) codes are little squares with intricate designs that are essentially barcodes that link to a website when scanned with a smartphone camera.

There are many apps in Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Marketplace that can read QR codes. Once you download one (I recommend Google Goggles, since it’s a QR code reader among many other things), you open the app, point your camera at the square, and it will automatically scan it and pop up the corresponding website.

However, these bland black and white squares may be considered an eye sore to many. Luckily there are a few things that can be done to make these squares more attractive.

1. Add color

The standard colors are always black and white for QR codes, however swapping out the black for another dark color and the white with a lighter color will still make the code function properly.

2. Soften the edges

The rough edges may be a bit too severe for some brands, so softening the corners can add a softer, friendlier look to the QR code.

3. Take advantage of the 30% error correction

If 30% of a QR code is blocked, it will still be able to link to the correct website. This helpful hint means small, unique images can be added into a code while not taking away its functionality.

It should be said that whenever designing these codes, one must test out the final, edited code… just in case.

Here’s a simple website that let’s one edit the colors of a QR code: (http://www.qrstuff.com/). For softening edges and inserting images, which is a much more time consuming project, knowledge of Photoshop will definitely in handy.


Written by Ad Buzz

The American Advertising Federation Illinois Chapter brings to you Ad Buzz, a blog dedicated to all things advertising related, from our favorite campaigns to trends going on in the industry.

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