Step 7. To double-check your QR code contains what you think it does, or to check the content of one someone has sent you, use the online decoder at onlinebarcodereader.com. Click Browse, find and select your file - it will need to be in Jpeg or PNG format - then press ‘Send file’. The contents of the QR code will be shown onscreen.
Step 8. Add your QR code to a document as you would any other image. However, it’s crucial that the square containing the code is big enough. For a Version 1 (21x21 block) code it should be at least 1in square; this rises in proportion to the number of blocks so, for example, a Version 5 (37x37 block) code must be 37/21 = 1.8in.
Step 9. A space of four blocks around the QR code was specified in Step 5. It’s important not to encroach on that white space in designing your document. Although you can position content immediately adjacent to your QR code, which includes this so-called quiet zone, don’t allow anything to overlap it.
Step 10. You might have tested your QR code in Step 7, but now it’s in a document you need to test it works with a smartphone or tablet. Print the page at full size and check that the code takes you to the correct website. If you don’t have a QR code reader on your handset, download one from i-nigma.mobi.
Step 11. You can also add QR codes to web pages. This might allow a phone number to be dialled or contact details to be downloaded to a phone’s address book. Details will vary depending on what software you use for web authoring, but the guidance on minimum size and the quiet zone still apply.
Step 12. QR codes are functional, but they don’t have to be boring. There are many instances of them being used within artwork. Generate your code at a high resolution and with a high error correction level, since customisation will destroy some data. Now get to work in a graphics package.
Step 13. Exactly how you customise your QR code is limited only by your imagination. A good tip is to blank out any area you’re thinking of replacing with an image and make sure that the code remains readable. This way, you won’t waste time on customising a creation that has no use.
Step 14. Having gone to the trouble of creating your QR code, why hide it away on a brochure or business card? QR code T-shirts have become rather fashionable (in a geeky way). You can order one with a standard QR code from goqr.me, or head to Zazzle to include your custom version.