November 17


QR Code Basics – Part 2

The second blog in our QR code series, here is more information on what to do (and not to do) to use QR codes effectively, revised from information on

QR codes are quickly becoming mainstream technology – and a good new tool for instant marketing communication. Are you in? HPG has been printing QR codes for our clients since 2009. We can help you understand some of the basic rules AND get you started.

What you need to know about Smart phone cameras: Since the minimum focal distance of some camera phones can be just 3-4”, the more complex the code, the larger it should be. “vCards”, which when scanned, automatically add contact information such as name and phone number into the users cell phone, are notorious for having a lot of information, so the larger the better. There are many different types of Smart phones. Test your QR with Android, BlackBerry, Windows and iPhones – even older models with different camera resolutions.

Shorter is better: Shorten your URL. Use something like or, for example. This reduces the amount of data the code needs to hold and makes it much easier to scan.  Here is a more in depth blog about URL shorteners!

White space: You need this around a QR code. Give it a small border of at least 1/8” white space so Smart phones can read it correctly.

Position: When in print, keep away from the fold to improve the ability to scan without reflection of the other facing page. In direct mail, keep QR codes away from the edge (remember the white space boarder).

Usage: Print the URL near the QR code as a fallback measure. Not everyone has a smartphone, so you may want to provide a shortcode to text information, if appropriate.

QR codes are continuing to gain popularity. For more QR code info or to learn how your company can benefit, ask your HPG rep for details.


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