Ever hear of a QR (Quick Response) Code? What once was thought to be a fad is taking the market more and more quickly as we find new ways to engage our customer and our product.
As we always do, here’s a link to the barcode readers “accepted definition” – A QR code (abbreviation for Quick Response code) is a specific readable (or two-dimensional code) that is barcode readers by dedicated QR barcode readers and URL. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, URL, or other data.
QR Codes can hold many different items from numbers, to alpha-numeric codes, and come in different versions, 1, 2, 3, 10, 40. While the versions hold different amounts and types of data, the generator will do most of this work for you. These codes require an app to decode them for your mobile device, but who doesn’t have a smart phone at this point? I know you’re out there, but your friend can scan it and GPS the locations for you.
In this post, I wanted to touch more on the subject of QR Code and it’s functions. We started trying to modify and customize the QR Code to make it “sexy”. The Bevill Edge® team did a great job, here’s how they did it.
1. Generate the Code
2. Edit the Code in Photoshop using trial and Error based on the wiki graphic
3. Share it!
First they started by “generating” the code into the 2D version of the black and white. Using Adobe Photoshop CS5, they were able to remove the white background and integrate the #1F1F1F background gray that is our branding. This what the easy part. Once selecting the black background, layer styling was used to emboss the back edge to make them more “Bevill Edge 3D”. The same technique was used to modify the black position squares and the color was replaced to meet our branding (#b20e0e). When you modify the black edges, you may lose the functionality of the code and render it ‘not scannable’. I suggest you check constantly while you work to see when the code breaks so you can make a single undo and try again. For example, the depth of the 3D work causes the edge to become more gray than a hard line due to feathering in the style. Simply reducing the depth of the emboss until it works quickly every time will help you realize the settings necessary.
My favorite part was the adding of the logo to the image. And it proved to be the most difficult through trial and error. The code allows for 30% error correction. You might ask what that means for editing, but the truth is, we don’t know and can’t find anyone else that does either. The wiki page above is the closest references to the technical information we can find on the web. So how’d we do it? Iterative trial and error, just like everything else about this project. By modifying the Bevill Edge® Logo the team removed the radial triangles and changed their color, embossed the image and added a drop shadow to give it more depth. The placement of the logo was able to take advantage of the alignment dot on the code and still provide the ability to measure. Here’s the comparison and end result:
So what can QR codes be used for? Using your imagination, you could link to a host of ideas and other things that are on Internet today. From websites to events, blogs and media to Google places. QR codes connect your audience to your material without clunky web addresses being typed into smart phone browsers. People on the go can quickly pick up your material, transfer from your blog to a mobile app and continue reading, or even download contact information into their address book.
Imagine a world where driving down the highway, your navigator could scan a billboard and be halfway to making a reservation, be it a restaurant website or a hotel in a minute. It’s not the future, it’s now.
When you are using digital marketing or other forms of web 2.0′ish’ stuff, remember that usually, it’s the mistakes that become the production masterpiece. Keep at it and tell they world why your products and people are the right solution at the right time.
You can get started right here, courtesy of the Bevill Edge® team, create your QR code today.