Sunday, November 18, 2012

Quick Customizing of QR Codes

The artist in me likes to look at the world in color, and QR codes by themselves are rather bland, but do a Google search for customizing QR codes and there will be a myriad of posts--most of which use technical jargon and various programs--to insert logos and other visual elements. The inserted logo or visual element will provide a visual cue to remember the purpose of the code. QR codes are for quick acquisition of information, so why not have a quick and simple method for customizing? Using the method below, I customized the QR codes below in less than 5 minutes each.

As I've stated before, while I'm technically adept at using computer tools, I really have no formal training or understanding of how/why various computer "stuff" works. Reusing my car analogy, I am an experienced driver, but don't ask me to explain the mechanics of why/how my car moves or how to fix it when it breaks.

Baker's Basic Method:

  1. Create the QR code and save it in your files. 
  2. Open the saved QR codes in MS Paint and use the various tools to add color or draw images on the code. While the entire code can be colored, only draw an image on a small portion of the middle to bottom right corner of the code and try not to cover the black lines. I used FILL to color in enclosed areas and paint brushes to draw on the code. As a general rule, try to alter as little as possible.
  3. Use a QR code scanner on a smartphone to test the code throughout the coloring process. If the scanner cannot read the code, then there has been too much alteration. Just undo a few steps and try again. A little trial and error never hurts!
  4. Save the customized QR code in your files. I just add "color" to the end of the original QR Code's file name so that I maintain the original code in case I want a bland copy.

Like an optical illusion poster, 
what can you see in a QR code?

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