Should Designer Code 1

Marketing with QR Codes

Recommendation: A QR code with a length of up to 72 characters (this corresponds to the length of a typical URL) should be printed in a size of 2 x 2 cm when scanned from a distance of 20 cm.

mediumScan distanceQR code size
A4 e.g. magazine, packaging20 cm2 x 2 cm
A3 e.g. posters1 m10 x 10 cm
3x4m e.g. poster10 m1 x 1 m

Before you print a QR code, read the following information about optimal size, scan distance and QR code generation. If you print a Desinger QR Code, take a look at the article on Color and Contrast Settings for QR Codes:

Note the scan distance

Rule of thumb: the relationship between the scan distance and the size of the QR code is


So if you want to scan a QR code from 10 meters, the QR code should have an area of ​​one square meter. If you want to print a QR code on packaging or postcard, for example, the interested party will scan the QR code from a distance of approx. 15 cm. For this, the QR code should have a minimum size of 15 mm.

On modern smartphones, cameras usually have an auto focus. This makes it possible to scan QR codes from a very short distance, as the camera automatically focuses the QR code.

With large QR codes, pay attention to the minimum distance between the smartphone and the QR code. To scan a QR code with a size of 1 x 1 meter, the user must stand at least 2 meters away so that the camera can capture the code.

Plan a border around the QR code

Plan a margin of at least 4 blocks around the QR code

When you print a QR code, make sure that there is a free edge (relaxation room) all around, in which nothing is printed. This should be at least 4 blocks wide. One block corresponds to the size of one pixel of the QR code. This guarantees that the QR code can be read by any device. QR codes generated on qr1 ° at have this border included by default.

Avoid bends

If the curvature is too great, the QR code can no longer be read.

Also note the curvature of the medium on which the QR code is printed. If a QR code is applied to packaging such as a can or a toothpaste tube, it can no longer be read if it is too curved.

If the medium can be easily wrinkled or distorted (e.g. QR code as a tattoo, or on clothing), caution is also required.


Avoid QR codes on moving objects (e.g. car)

We recommend that you do not print QR codes on moving objects such as cars, buses, trucks, trams, etc. Nobody can scan a QR code when the object is moving. In addition, this also represents a danger to traffic if the person scanning is distracted from the action. The reverse is also true: nobody scans a QR code when someone walks past a parked car. Print QR codes on flyers, in brochures on product packaging or on business cards, this is where the highest scan rates are achieved.

Avoid excessive distortion and 3D effects

In the following example, the Billa marketing team has unfortunately "ruined" the QR code campaign. Two QR codes that don't work, one too small and filled with meaningless information, the other tilted and distorted so much that it can no longer be read. A simple scan test before production would have been enough to stop and correct the printing of this campaign.

Another problem with the above colorful QR code is that the dog's paws protrude into the critical reading zone of the QR code and therefore the QR code cannot be read under any circumstances. The critical zone includes the 3 squares in the corners of the QR code in which nothing may be written.

Use short URLs

Use short or vanity URLs. The shorter the URL in the QR code, the fewer blocks (units) the QR code needs and can therefore be printed smaller.

A QR code with only 21 × 21 blocks can be generated from a shortened URL. A longer URL with up to 72 characters, on the other hand, requires 35 × 35 blocks, as the following example illustrates:

A long URL: - A shortened URL only needs 21 × 21 blocks (units)


Put the appropriate bug fix

When you generate a QR code, you can set a certain level for error detection. The higher this is set, the more the QR code can be damaged, but it still remains readable for the scanner. The QR code also becomes larger, the higher the error detection rate is set. We recommend the lowest level L (7%) for black and white QR codes and the highest level H for QR codes with an embedded logo (up to 30% of the QR code can be damaged and it remains legible).
The following QR codes contain the same information, but differ in the error detection rate and therefore in their size.

Level L 7%Level H 30%

Use QR Codes in scalable vector format

Generate QR Codes QR Codes in vector format. QR codes that are available as .jpg or .png images can become blurred during further processing or pixels can be lost when reducing the size. This means that the QR code might no longer be readable. If the QR code is in vector format, it can be enlarged or reduced as required.

Generate QR code


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Peter Hlavac

Peter Hlavac is the founder of the QR code platform With his expertise in the field of "mobile marketing", he advises well-known companies around the world and offers expert know-how for creating successful QR code campaigns. Stay in touch with him on:

This entry was published on by Peter Hlavac under QR code.