QR Code Colour, Size & Printing Guide

QR code size & colour

Unlike retail barcodes QR codes need to be noticed by customers to be scanned. There are some guidelines around QR code size & colour but the most important factor is getting your desired audience to scan the code and also allowing them the time to do so. For this reason we recommend the following:

QR code size

The minimum recommended size for a QR code is 2cm x 2cm – this is large enough that it will be noticed anywhere and is also quickly scannable by smart phones. You can increase the size of your QR code as needed (even to as large as a billboard) however please make sure to use a high enough quality image file (like the ones we deliver) so that the resolution is not negatively affected by the increased size.

QR code colour

Retail barcode scanners use infrared light to scan 1D barcodes. This limits the available colour combinations. QR codes do not rely on this light as they are scanned by cameras which can detect much more complex colours. This means that the colour combinations available for QR codes are almost limitless and can include changing gradients. The only thing you will have to be aware of is that you will need a significant colour contrast between the typically black sections and typically white sections.

Please note: you will need to export your code image in RGB format for digital delivery ie on your website & CMYK colour for printing ie on your business card. You can do this with any good photo editing software.

QR code printing medium

Be aware that your print medium for the QR code will also affect scanning. Any reflective surface like glass, aluminium or clear plastic may cause issues with the scan depending on the direction of the source of light. While it is possible to print a QR code with a clear background the best practice is to always include some sort of background for the code to sit on as this will ensure scanning success.

QR code Placement

We feel like a broken record saying this over and over again but QR codes are only useful if they are easily seen and scanned by your target audience. The most important factor here is placement. Is your code going on a business card? A website? An adveritising billboard? The entrance to your restaurant? No matter the situation, you need to maximise your audience’s chance of seeing the code and wanting to scan it so plan carefully and place your code in an easily accessible place. Once your audience has scanned the code, they need time to access your content. If your code is in a busy corridor or a place where they do not have time to view your content, the chances are they’ll forget about it straight away. Make sure to take this into account as well when placing your code.

QR code Testing

Scan the code multiple times from different angles and distances to test the response time, view your own content in the space where your code is displayed and take note of your experience. Your audience expects almost instant response so ensure that it works quickly before making your code available to the public.

In conclusion

A prominent, thoughtfully designed and easily scanable QR code shows professionalism and will attract your audience to scan. As always, the best practice is to design the code how you want it and then test it out!