1. Computing

How to Create Designer QR Codes

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Shape and Orientation
QR Code shape and orientation

You can change the shape of a QR code to some extent but taking it too far can make the code unreadable.

© Jacci Howard Bear
QR Codes are square. But turn it on one corner and you have more of a diamond shape. Put it inside of another shape and it can be anything you want. Most QR code readers need to scan the code in its upright position so if you turn it too much consumers will have to twist and turn their phones at uncomfortable angles in order to scan your crooked code. Keep that in mind before you tip it over too much.

Designer QR codes can even have a little fun with the modules themselves to some extent. Round the corners, turn the squares into circles, add a logo in the middle, create a 3D effect.

Changing the perspective can be a little tricky. Most QR code readers like to read codes that are squares not rectangles or trapezoids or other skewed shapes. When altering the perspective of your QR code, as always you want to test, test, test.

You can incorporate the QR code into another shape such as a circle or the Macy's star but what you're doing is simply placing the square code inside another shape. Don't try distorting the QR code itself into a circle, star, triangle, or other shape. You might get a way with small changes but chances are the code won't scan if you venture too far from a square block of code.

Nick Ford, writing at QRanywhere shows off some real world examples of designer QR code shapes and orientation, including these: Iron Man 2 Starring QR Codes shows us a movie ad that turns the QR code on its corner. In First Designer QR Code Makes TV History Ford talks about a commercial that aired during the final episode of LOST. In addition to turning it on its corner, there's a drop of extra graphic enhancement.

In HOW TO: Make Your QR Codes More Beautiful Hamilton Chan describes 4 ways to beautify your codes with color, rounded corners, and 3D.

  1. What Can You Do With a QR Code?
  2. Error Correction and Versions
  3. Contrast and Color
  4. Edges and Texture
  5. Additions and Deletions
  6. Shape and Orientation

more: using qr codes in desktop publishing

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