Branding a QR Code

From our research, creating a customized QR code is literally “trial and error”. There is no defined space within the pattern to be either removed and replaced. The simplest, but most drawn out process is to add/modify/delete pixels as needed without breaking the link. Successful custom QR codes range in complexity. A safe example is the BBC code created by Duncan Robertson. It is safe to assume that keeping the black and white color scheme allows for maximum compatibility, but we are seeing designers break this rule as well. The best example of “pushing the QR code envelope” is the Louis Vuitton code created by Takashi Murakami and SET. The advantage to the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Super Simple) method in custom QR code design lies in the error correction. Less coloring or complexity allows more smart phones to compensate for the link errors, read the code and decipher the link. We can’t forget end-user compatibility. If your consumer can’t read it, it doesn’t matter how pretty it may be.

So you want to experiment with a customized QR Code?

  1. First, you’ll need to use a QR code generator. You can access our free QR code generator here.
  2. Second, you will need to download a QR code reader for your smart phone. I use ScanLife for the Blackberry Storm 2. You can use Barcode Scanner for Android devices.
  3. Once you created your QR code, you’ll need to download the image and edit it with whatever photo editing software you choose. I prefer Photoshop. With Photoshop, you’ll be able to create custom layers to alter the QR code. With your revisions, you should be able to scan from your monitor to check the code’s effectiveness.
  4. Edit until you’re satisfied with the design.

Good luck experimenting! 🙂

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