Your Guide to Proper QR Code Design and Customization

A QR code design that does not scan is useless; it’s best to customize a unique yet functional and readable QR code.

It’s understandable that customizing your QR code is a fun thing to do and helps you stand out among other QR codes around.

However, customization might become too overwhelming, especially when a free QR code generator you’re using has too many features offered.

So here’s a set of guidelines for you.

How can I design my own QR code?

Typical designs we see are black-and-white square ones. But did you know that you can actually make colored and different-shaped QR codes?

This is where design comes in. Different QR code software has the ability to turn your typical QR code into something unique. First, you have to learn how to create a QR code.

How to create a QR code

1. Go to the Free QR Code Generator website.

2. Pick any solution that you wish to use.

3. Add in the required details.

4. Generate your QR code

5. Customize your QR code appearance.

6. Perform a QR code test on your QR code.

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

The basic elements of a QR code design

QR code design elements
In order to customize a QR code design, you must first learn the basic elements that form part of a QR code. These elements are the ones you can modify:

Eyes- The eyes are the three points in each corner of a QR code. They are easy to spot because they are quite noticeable.

Pattern- The patterns make up pretty much a QR code. It is what you see inside the frame that forms weird little blocks.

Frame and call to action- The frame and call to action go together. The round QR codes you see sometimes are an illusion from the shape.

The QR code itself is not round but just the frame. The CTAs are the descriptive tags on a QR code, oftentimes, you’ll see a “Scan me” call out.

Logo- QR codes, too can have logos. It is automatically positioned in the center to avoid ruining the structure of the code. You can use your own logo.

Color- The vibrant element that gives life to your QR codes is color. There are other available QR code colors apart from the black and white you usually encounter.

Do’s on your QR code styles

Here are the things you should always do when customizing a QR code to ensure an appealing yet functional one:

Maintain a high-contrast color scheme

Color contrast QR code designOne of the essential elements of QR code design is ensuring that the code is easily scannable, and you can’t do this with poor contrast.

Always follow the rule of thumb: light background and dark pattern. This will allow all the elements to be very visible for the scanner to scan.

Add an easy-to-remember logo

Including a logo or icon in your QR code can make it more recognizable and memorable to users. It also builds confidence in scanning your QR code since your logo will suggest it is legit.

However, make sure to create a logo that is high-definition. A blurry or low-quality logo can affect your QR code’s readability.

Modify the eyes and pattern

The eyes and the pattern are very important elements in a QR code. This is what the scanners will mainly detect. 

Try modifying their shape to attract other users to scan your code. There are different QR code styles available in a QR code software waiting for you to try on.

Practice tracking your analytics

Quantifying the effectiveness and attractiveness of your QR code is possible through the QR code tracking feature. 

It allows you to monitor the number of scans, time and date of scanning, location of the scanner, and the device used to scan the code. From these data, you can mprove your QR code design.

Include a call to action and choose a frame

QR code cta and frame
A QR code is most effective when it has a clear instruction. It gives the scanner confidence and a slight idea of what is the embedded data all about.

Including a call-to-action, such as “Scan to learn more” or “Scan to enter our contest,” can increase engagement and make it clear to users what they can expect when they scan the code.

The CTA tag is always paired up with the frame; try experimenting with other QR code shapes, especially if the usual square does not complement the overall design of your material.

Don’t when designing a QR code using a Free QR Code Generator

Of course, there are things to avoid as well when designing a QR code. This is to ensure that your code remains functional and scannable.

Avoid using pastel colors and similar shades

Wrong QR code design

Adding color is one of the QR code design rules,  it more visually appealing, but this element can make the code harder to scan when not chosen properly. 

Stick with a simple and high-contrast color scheme to ensure that the code is easily scannable.

Never use pastel colors as these are hard to scan; also, avoid using the same shade of color for both background and pattern.

Don’t print in the wrong sizes

A common mistake is not being able to identify how small can a QR code be which makes it difficult to scan, especially for users with smaller screens or older smartphones. 

The QR code must be at least 1 inch x 1 inch to ensure users can quickly scan it. The QR code size requirements vary on the scanning distance.

Smaller QR codes mean shorter distances, like flyers. Bigger ones require long distances as in billboards.

Don’t forget to test the QR code

Before using a QR code in a campaign, testing it to ensure it’s scannable and links to the correct information is essential.

Perform a QR code test on multiple devices and in different lighting conditions to ensure it works correctly. 

By avoiding these common mistakes in QR code design, you can ensure that your code is easy to scan and links to the correct information. This strategy will increase the chances of success with your QR code campaign.

Don’t print in incorrect format

Be mindful of where you intend to share or place your QR code. When generating a QR code to be printed, download it in PNG format.

But if you want to print this QR code, then download it in SVG format.

Benefits of following the do’s and don’ts when you design a QR code

The guidelines are there for a reason. Check out the advantages you’ll enjoy when you play by the rules of QR codes:

Branding and recognition

By personalizing a QR code, you get to establish your own branding—something that makes you different from others and makes you memorable. 

A customize QR code will allow others to easily recognize your brand the next time. If they find your QR code appealing, there’s a high chance they’ll also scan your future QR codes.

Security and Trust

When you design a QR code, you can contribute to the security and trustworthiness of the code. By having a custom design, it becomes more challenging for malicious persons to replicate or tamper with the QR code.

This is especially crucial for QR codes that link to sensitive information, secure transactions, or authentication processes.

Users are more likely to trust and scan a QR code that appears unique and official, reducing the risk of falling victim to phishing or fraudulent activities associated with fake QR codes.

Aesthetics and integration

If a QR code with logo is aesthetically pleasing, it’s a lot easier to incorporate it in any graphic material, like flyers and posters, without ruining its overall layout.

Visuals are very important, especially in campaigns like marketing and advertising. An additional element, as in QR code, can contribute a lot to bringing in more customers.

Create visually appealing and functional QR codes today

QR codes are an essential part of today’s digital marketing.

By following the guidelines above, you can create an effective QR code design that is easy to use and drives engagement and conversions for your business. 

The dos of designing, such as using a high-contrast color scheme, a simple logo or icon, and a call-to-action, can help make your QR code more easily scannable and failproof. 

So if you’re now considering the use of QR codes in your day-to-day work, then head to the Free QR Code Generator today, and don’t forget to customize your code for that lasting impression.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make a QR code in Canva?

You can’t generate a QR code on Canva. But certain integrations allow you to instantly a QR code on your Canva designs when enabled.

You no longer have to change tabs and copy-paste your QR code from your software. When you open your Canva, all your QR codes will be available on the side panel where you can just click it and add it to your layout.

This integration is available in the Free QR Code Generator. You just have to sign up for an account and choose any of the available plans.