QR Code Size: How Small Can A QR Code Be?

Last updated:   August 03, 2023

Scanning errors are usually associated with QR code 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? Then it should match your QR code size.

Check out this blog to better understand how to properly size your QR code to make it more readable to scanners.

What is a QR code?

Static and dynamic QR code

QR codes are 2-dimensional QR codes 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, 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.

Static QR code

Between the static versus dynamic QR code, 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, such as links.

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. 

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 codes 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

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

  1. Go to the Free QR Code Generator. 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 need.
  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. 

QR code size: How small can a QR code be?

Anyone who creates a QR code can decide on the size and resolution of the code, the smallest of which is usually around 2 cm 2 in (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 may be necessary for easy reading if it contains a lot of information, such as a long link or a lot of text. But 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.

Scanning from long distance

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.

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).

Scanning from a short distance

For short distances, you can opt 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 QR code size of 6.3 – 30 in (16-75 cm) and 6.3 – 30 in (16-75 cm) is acceptable.

Best practices when using QR codes

Try to apply these best practices when using 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

QR code colorYou can customize your QR codes 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

While generating your QR code, you can save it in SVG or PNG form. It is advisable to use SVG as it has print-quality.

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. 

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.”

Size matters with QR codes

Don’t let the size of your QR codes be the reason why you don’t get enough scans. With the right sizing, your QR code can be your most powerful tool to attract and convert potential leads.

Remember the tips above to create a QR code with the right size. If you want to make your own QR code now, visit the Free QR Code Generator online.

Sign up for an account to use the dynamic QR code solutions, and be one of the successful rolls of QR code users.