Archive for the ‘QR Codes’ Category

RadioShack QR code projects

RadioShack (yes, RadioShack) is getting into QR codes and encouraging designers to build projects using parts from their stores. Check out how this group, Instructables created an innovative QR code out of LED, batteries and paper.

Visit RadioShack’s DIY website for more info on The Great Create projects.



QR Code as Fashion Statement

qr codes as fashion statement

QR codes are now so trendy, they are appearing on clothing. I spotted these hipsters at Bite of Seattle. The codes were promoting vacations to Victoria, B.C.

I like the shirt below, which surrounds the QR code with an array of geometric patterns. This one is sold by, which worked with Ray-Ban and Wired Magazine designer Matt W. Moore.

What do you think of QR codes on fashion? Is it cool? Or is it trying too hard to look cool?

Scan Me shirt

Categories: QR Codes Tags: ,

QR Codes Get Big & Beautiful

jetblue qr codes

Ad for JetBlue Getaways, spotted in a train station

I recently went on a business trip to New York and spotted many innovative ways that designers are using QR codes on traditional billboard ads.

I love how this design for JetBlue Getaways makes the QR code a primary element of the ad. If you look closely, you can see that each square of the enlarged code includes a picture of people on vacation. The actual scannable code is included in the lower-left corner.

While the JetBlue ad caught my eye, unfortunately, it wasn’t very functional. I couldn’t bring up the site on my iPhone, because I was inside a subway. Ah… if only we were in Seoul, Korea, where people chatter and text even in the bowels of a train station.


picasso qr codes

Picasso Exhibit QR code

By far the most stunning example of QR code advertising. The code accesses the website, featuring 15 pieces of Picasso’s art, and a link to buy tickets to the exhibit, which is currently at the Virgina Museum of Fine Arts. A large mural of this can be seen in New York’s Soho district, near Wooster and Grand. When I was in NY, I only saw the beginnings of the mural. I would love to see the finished version; it’s truly a work of art.


picasso QR code mural in Soho

Picasso QR code mural. Image from

For more images of cool QR codes, check out the Flickr group, QR codes in the Wild.


Categories: Mobile, QR Codes

How to Use QR Codes

April 13, 2011 1 comment

qr code

Perhaps you’ve seen these black and white maze-like squares in magazines, billboards and catalogs and wondered what they were. QR codes or quick response codes were first invented in Japan in 1994 for the auto industry. The technology is now being used in a broader context, including advertisements aimed at smartphone users. QR codes can be scanned by smartphones to bring up a website for more information. It can be a great way to bridge your print advertising with new media.

I have been incorporating QR codes into my organization’s ads since November 2010, and I have seen increasing response to them each month. Here are some tips on how to use QR codes.

How to Use QR Codes in Advertising

  • There are many sites that can help you create QR codes for free or a small cost. Check out, or These are just a few sites; many others offer similar features.


  • Size Matters. Once the QR code is generated, place it on a print ad. Make sure that the QR code is at least 1 inch by 1 inch. Smaller codes may not be scannable.


  • To scan the code, smartphone users first need to download a QR reader. Many readers are available for free or a small charge.


  • Track It! See how many people are scanning your QR code. Most sites that generate the codes will offer tracking for a monthly fee.


Categories: Mobile, QR Codes

Increase in QR code response

April 13, 2011 2 comments

Along with the jump in mobile web traffic, I’ve noticed an increase in response to QR code advertising from January to March 2011. QR codes are black and white codes that can be scanned by smartphones to bring up a website. As you can see from these graphs, the increase in response from month to month is significant.

Visits to my org’s website through QR code 1
qr code response increase

Visits to my org’s website through QR code 2
qr code increase

Background Info: In January, my org put out 3 ads that incorporated QR codes in Dallas and Cleveland. By February 1, we had 12 QR codes running in ads in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and New York, in addition to Dallas and Cleveland. But from February to March, there was no difference in the number of ads that showed QR codes. In fact, our ads stayed the same in all markets.

So I wonder if the jump that we see from February to March can be attributed to the fact that QR codes are becoming more visible in billboards and magazines, and more people are taking notice of them.