Why You Should Care About Your QR Codes Design (and What You Can Do to Make Your Brand Stand Out)

Posted on November 13, 2023 | Updated on November 13, 2023

Changing a QR code’s design can do more than make it easier for people to access your brand’s information, products and services. It can also improve the look of your design and make it more appealing to potential customers. There are many ways to make QR codes design more attractive and functional. Keep reading to learn why you should update your QR code’s design and how to do it.

Why Should I Use QR Codes?

QR codes have a large storage capacity, making them ideal for promoting additional helpful information for people interested in a product, service or brand. QR codes have many uses in design and business. Here are some of them:

  • Business Promotion: Commercial advertising involves reaching out to audiences on a massive scale. Since most people carry smartphones, placing QR codes on promotional material can help improve business marketing reach. Use QR codes on direct mail or places with high foot traffic for greater effectiveness.
  • Brand Recognition: People are naturally curious about things that interest them. Introduce your brand to people wherever and whenever with QR codes. Add QR codes to your posters, commercial spaces and print ads to increase brand awareness.
  • Provide Additional Information: Working with limited space? Use your QR code’s design to help you put more information out there. Provide consumers with additional helpful information about your product or service with a simple scan on their mobile device.
  • Supplement Marketing Campaigns: Using mixed media can be an excellent way to diversify your marketing efforts. Using QR codes now will allow you to eat into the market with a high-tech method relevant to the times.
  • Create Brand Trust: People are often weary of clicking links due to cybersecurity concerns. Use QR codes to show prospective customers a safe and secure way to access your brand’s products or services.

What is QR Code Design?

QR code design involves changing a QR code’s appearance, data patterns and other elements to fit branding requirements. QR codes are now highly customizable and can incorporate design elements like logos, shapes, company colors and so on to improve visibility and functionality.

7 Tips to Make Your QR Codes Design Pop

QR codes were initially designed for the automotive industry, explaining their plain black-and-white look. Nowadays, businesses can customize the look of their QR codes with colors, shapes and other elements. This can make QR codes more appealing to potential customers and reflect brand marketing styles.

Here are some steps you can take to elevate the look and functionality of your customized QR codes:

1. Keep it Square

One of the main goals of using QR codes is to lead people to a specific page or link. People will find it challenging to scan your QR code if it’s misaligned, stretched or distorted. Disproportional QR codes are also unsightly and can put people off, making them ignore your QR code entirely.

Remember that you’re using QR codes to make finding information about your brand, product or service easier for people. Keep your QR code square to make it aesthetically pleasing and functional.

2. Add Colors

While there’s nothing wrong with standard black-and-white QR codes, they can look a little bland. If you want people to scan your QR code, you must make it appealing.

A pop of color can make your QR code more inviting wherever you place it. Adding colors to your QR codes design is also an excellent way to align with your branding guidelines. Incorporate your company’s colors into the QR code to make your design more cohesive.

3. Add Your Logo

It’s always a good idea to give customers an idea about what they’re scanning. Adding your logo to your QR code is like adding a signature to a letter. It shows people that the QR code is authentic. It’s a way to build trust by showing people you’ll lead them to a trustworthy site.

This method is also an excellent way to align with your branding. When people see the QR code and the logo combined, they immediately know where the code takes them.

4. Mind the Quiet Zone

The space around your QR code is called the “quiet zone,” it tells the scanners how to distinguish the code from its surroundings. Be mindful of the space between your QR code and other visual elements in your design. If the space is too small, your code might not work. Ensure your QR code has enough space around it to prevent scanning issues.

5. Use a Call-to-Action

Elevate your QR code’s visual appeal and make it more persuasive by including a call-to-action (CTA). Adding a frame to your QR code is an excellent way to do this. You can use this frame to balance your code’s design and get your audience to respond simultaneously.

You can add a CTA to the middle of your code and within the frame to make it look visible. Be mindful of your CTA’s length to ensure it’s legible and avoids interfering with your code’s scannability.

6. Guide Your Audience

As a designer, you must guide your audience where to look for the essential information in any visual project. This also applies to making customized QR codes. Position your QR code where it’s easiest to see and scan. You can even go as far as to make it the focal point of your design.

7. Use High Contrast

People’s eyes wander around visual materials to make sense of what they’re looking at. Using similar colors for your QR code and background can make it challenging for people to notice your design. Use contrasting colors to bring attention to your QR code. This will make it easy for people to see your code and allow them to scan it even when on the move.

Fast FAQs About QR Codes

What is a QR Code?

QR code means ‘quick response’ code and it’s used to store information using a combination of visual patterns and data. QR codes are square symbols that can be scanned with a laser or a smartphone to see the encoded information.

What Is It For?

QR codes store information and make it accessible to people via scanning. QR codes are typically found in print and digital materials. Designers use QR codes to guide people to links, pages and other online virtual information.

Do QR Codes Expire?

QR codes have no expiration date. They will remain active until you change the link. You need to generate a new QR code to update its information.

What Can I Use to Scan a QR Code?

Most smartphones nowadays have built-in scanners for QR codes. You can download a separate QR code scanner online if your phone does not have a built-in scanner.

How Do I Scan a QR Code?

Open your phone camera or QR code scanner app and point it at the code you want to scan. Your phone automatically scans the code and transfers you to the embedded link or page.

QR Codes: Scanning the Bigger Picture

QR codes may seem insignificant initially, but they can significantly help your brand. Designing your QR code to reflect your brand ideals and creating highly personalized and valuable offers is an excellent way to attract customers with a scan on their phones.

About The Author

Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her exploring the outdoors with her husband and dog in their RV, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or curled up with a good book with her cats Gem and Cali.

You can find more of Eleanor's work at www.eleanorhecks.com.

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