Thursday, September 13, 2012

Embed Your Company Logo Into a QR Code

by Nate Schubert

This IDAutomation Company Logo has been embedded in a Scannable QR Code

Since QR Codes first came into mainstream marketing use in recent years, they have been used for virtually everything in the field. QR Codes can be encoded with web addresses that take a person on the street and turn them into a consumer on a smart phone. They are can make it easier to track the performance of campaigns or promotions. They can even spruce up a company logo while adding virtually any type of functionality. In fact, embedding your company logo into a QR Code just may prove be one of the best uses of the technology to date.

What are the Benefits of a QR Code Logo?

As the visual representation of your brand, logo's are pretty important. As such, your logo needs to appear on products, service brochures, company vehicles, uniforms or promotional items so that consumers can easily make the jump that you're "the company that sells that thing I like." The problem with this is that logo's can take up space which can be quite hard to come by when deciding what you should and should not put on your printed materials. The single most significant benefit to adding a QR Code to your logo is that it adds dual-functionality to the area:
  • The Logo will associate your products with your brand.
  • The QR Code can be encoded with a web address which will take people via smart phone to a particular website location, or VCard contact data such as name, telephone number, email address, physical address and more.
This type of dual-functionality can mean a lot for business owners who want to get the most out of their printed materials. Business cards can have QR Codes that import contact data into a persons smart phone. Specific web addresses can be encoded into various printed materials, which will in turn take individuals via smart phone to a particular web address that is relevant to the material from which it was scanned. This can prove to be a great benefit in direct mail pieces, brochures that outline a particular service, promotional items that focus on one facet of your products and services and more.

How To Embed a Logo Image Into a QR Code

Now that you have thought up a million genius ways to use QR Codes to enhance your company logo, you've got one question left. How can you actually embed your logo into a scannable QR Code? Here are some easy steps, as long as you follow them!
  1. Create a QR Code image of your choice for VCard data, web address or whatever you like.
  2. Open your new QR Code in an image-editor application such as Photoshop or the open-source GIMP.
  3. Using layers or similar features, lay your logo on top of the QR Code image. Make sure you have enough white space as a border around the logo itself, or the barcode may not scan.
  4. Resize your logo image over the QR Code until the barcode successfully scans. 
  5. Test, test, test! IDAutomation provides an excellent 2D Barcode Scanner that not only reads the barcode, but can also utilize it's PQA (Print Quality Assessment) feature for greater insight into the properties of the barcode itself.
This is a pretty simple tutorial for creating a QR Code with a logo inside, but you may have to modify the white space and/or sizing until you can achieve that successful scan. QR Code has error-correction which means a certain portion of the barcode can be damaged and still scan. IDAutomation software products will allow you to increase the error correction level in the barcode, which can give you a bit more freedom with the placement of your logo. In a sense, the logo being placed over the center of the QR code is a type of damage, so it has to be small enough to not interfere too much with the scan itself. 

There are a lot of different things a clever business owner can do with a QR-Logo hybrid image. We would love to hear more about any images like this spotted in the wild. Let us know!

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