Proper QR Code Sizes: How Small Can A QR Code Be?

Scanning errors are usually associated with QR size issues, so how small can a QR code be for it to remain scannable?

The answer depends on where you intend to place your QR code. Are you scanning it from a short distance or a long-range?

Check out this blog to better understand how to properly size your QR code to make it more readable to scanners; at the same time, learn how to utilize a free QR code generator to create quality QR codes.

Get to know QR codes

Static and dynamic QR code size

QR codes are 2-dimensional barcodes that we usually see in black-and-white patterns. Users can access this QR code using smartphone cameras or other scanners.

These QR codes can hold more information than a typical barcode. You can embed URLs, images, videos, or a digital business card. 

Today, users widely use QR code marketing or advertising and retail to provide consumers with convenience.  

You might also see QR codes used in payments. They are reliable tools for sending payments, reducing the risk of human error that comes with manually typing payment details.

But did you know that there are two types of QR codes? Let’s get to know them better.

Static QR code

Between the static versus dynamic QR code comparison, the static QR code is also known as the free QR code. It contains fixed and permanent data that you can’t edit anytime you want.

For instances where you want the data on your QR code replaced, you must regenerate a QR code again.

That’s why with static QR codes, you have to be careful of the data you embed in them, so you won’t have to create and distribute them again.

Despite that, static QR codes are still the best option for sharing permanent information.

Dynamic QR codes

Dynamic QR codes are advanced QR codes with more features. It also allows users to embed larger data without making the pattern look denser—-which often causes scanning errors.

You can edit the embedded data without generating a new code with dynamic QR codes.

It also allows you to monitor the scan analytics of your code using QR code tracking including the number of scans, time and date of scanning, and the device used to scan your code.

Because of these features, dynamic QR codes are more advisable for complex campaigns such as marketing, advertising, and promotions.

How to make a QR code in 7 easy steps

QR codes are easy to make. Here are the general steps:

1. Go to the Free QR CodeGenerator website. This QR code site has comprehensive customization features and a user-friendly interface.

2. Choose your solution. There are lots of solutions offered by this generator, so make to pick one that can address your needs.

3. Provide the needed data. The generator will require you to input your data before generating the code. Make sure to check if you’ve added the correct details.

4. Generate your QR code.

5. Customize your QR code. You can change the frame and eye shape of your QR code; you can also change the color, add your brand logo, and a call to action for a more effective code.

6. Test your QR code. Checking whether your QR code works before deploying is important to avoid negative user feedback.

7. Download, print, and distribute your QR code. 

Standard and correct QR code sizes

Business card QR code size

Anyone who creates a QR code can decide on the size and resolution of the code, the QR code minimum size or smallest of which is usually around 2 cm by 2 cm (0.8 x 0.8 inches).

On the other hand, the complexity of the encoded data and the scanning distance can affect the bare minimum size required.

A larger QR code size may be necessary for easy reading if it contains a lot of information, such as a long link or a lot of text.

However, the QR code can be much smaller if it only has a small quantity of information, such as a phone number or a brief message.

The QR code must be large and clear enough to be scanned and decoded by a smartphone camera or QR code reader.

Scanning a barcode may be challenging or impossible if the code is too small, has a low resolution, or is located in an area with inadequate lighting or visibility.

How small can a QR code be on different printed materials?

As mentioned above, the size of your QR code depends on your material. Check out the sizing provided below for the best options:

Billboards and overhead posters

Billboard QR code size

If you are to place a QR code on a billboard, you have to print it big enough so users can still scan it even from a distance.

Scanning devices won’t detect the code if you print it too small on a huge surface, as this will require scanners to be very close to the QR code.

Other surfaces that need large QR code prints are overhead posters, electronic billboards, shop windows, and vehicles.

We advise the size to be 19-61.3 in (48-157 cm), which is way bigger than the small QR code measurement.

Flyers and cards 

Flyers QR code size

For short distances, you can opt for a small to medium QR size. It doesn’t have to be too big, so users won’t have to adjust the distance when scanning it.

Surfaces for short-distance scanning include flyers, posters, cards, and packaging. A code size of 6.3 – 30 in (16-75 cm) and 6.3 – 30 in (16-75 cm) is acceptable.

QR code dimensions according to resolution

The minimum pixel size of a QR code is at least 38 x 38 pixels, but since 38 pixels only equates to 1 centimeter, it means that the minimum QR size of  2 cm is not met.

So for a better quality, doubling the pixel to 76 x 76 will guarantee an equated 2 cm x 2 cm size.

For digital QR codes,  at least 240 by 240 pixels (6.35 cm by 6.35 cm) with a minimum of 72 DPI (dots per inch) resolution is already of minimum quality.

Best practices when creating QR codes using a Free QR Code Generator

Try to apply these best practices when creating a QR code to ensure its effectiveness:

Preserve the quiet zone

The quiet zone is an important part of a QR code. It is the space that separates the pattern from the designs. Scanners only detect the pixels, and the quiet zone tells which is scannable.

Proper color contrast

You can customize your QR code color in any way you like. However, you must ensure that it has the proper contrast. A dark pattern and light background are always the standards.

Pastel and light colors are also not advisable to use as they can cause an error in scanning. Don’t use the same color for both patterns and background, too, as scanners won’t be able to detect the code.

Print in good quality

Apart from QR code dimensions, consider also proper printing.

While generating your QR code, you can save it in SVG or PNG form.

If you want to print your code, download your QR code in SVG format because the quality remains the same no matter what stretching. But if you share your QR code digitally, downloading it in PNG format is okay.

Test your QR code

Always test your QR code before deploying them; you must not give users a reason to create a bad impression of your business by deploying a problematic QR code.

Add a call to action

Attract more scanners by giving them instructions on what to do with your QR code; a call to action is the perfect solution.

Make your CTA compelling by adding an element of urgency like “Scan Now” or “Hurry and Scan.”

The right size makes the right QR code

Don’t let the size of your QR codes be the reason why you don’t get enough scans. 

Equipping yourself with learning about how small a QR code can be allows you to be even more effective in attracting and converting potential leads.

Remember the tips above to create a QR code with the right size. Don’t let your scanners down by producing low-quality QR codes.

Visit the Free QR Code Generator and sign up for an account to use the dynamic QR code solutions, and be one of the successful rolls of QR code users.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What if QR code is too small?

If the QR code is too small, then the scanning distance should be short for scanners to decode it.

But if you’re scanning a small QR code from a long distance, there’s a high chance you’ll be unable to scan the code properly.

What is the smallest size for a QR code? 

The minimum size for a QR code can be up to 2 cm by 2 cm in size. Smaller than that may cause scanning errors.