Quick Response (QR) Code Basics

Quick Response (QR) Codes are everywhere you look these days. No surprise, the total number of QR barcode scans grew a whopping 1200% from July to December last year. According to comScore, in June 2011 alone, 14 million Americans scanned QR codes with their mobile phones.

Numbers don’t lie – QR technology has been embraced by consumers and will only continue to increase as more and more people use Smart phones to gain quick information.

Now is a good time to understand the importance of QR codes and how to use them to benefit your business. The following are good basic QR code guidelines (adapted with permission from themobilists.com) to help you understand what to do and what not to do:


  • Materials: QR codes cannot be read on highly reflective or highly curved surfaces, especially when the light hits it just right and whites out the dark squares

  • Color: Print on white or soft pastel color background. Don’t print on a dark color. Do not reverse or invert in print. The black must be black or a dark contrast color for scanners to appropriately pick it up. The scanners use the three dark corner marks as reference points.


Note: If you’re going to colorize your code, make sure there is at least 55% contrast difference between the squares and the background.


  • Size: As small as ¾ inch on business cards (best 1 inch square or larger). Most all camera phones can properly read a 1.25 x 1.25” code. The latest models have been known to read codes that are less than 0.4”x0.4” but why take the risk?


For more QR code information ask your HPG rep for details, or visit: http://www.themobilists.com/2011/10/11/qr-code-best-practices-in-print/