Printing QR Codes: 13 Important Guidelines to Follow

Update:  January 21, 2024
 Printing QR Codes: 13 Important Guidelines to Follow

How do you print your QR codes? What is the correct size and material to use? This article will also all your questions. 

Printing QR codes can lead to more interactive and effective campaigns and promotional materials.

Any marketer can expect more engagements with this technology.

You can print a QR code on magazines, brochures and flyers, and product packaging.

You can also integrate them on huge prints such as billboards and posters.

It’s essential to guarantee your QR code’s efficiency and quality when printed, which is why you must take note of QR code printing guidelines.

You can also apply these tips as you create a QR code using the best QR code generator to ensure they’re good to go before printing them.

Read on below to find out what these guidelines are so you can apply them the next time you print QR codes.

Before printing the QR code

1. Direct users to the exact content

Before you print QR codes, think carefully about where you want to direct your scanners.

This is important because this will be your basis for creating your call to action.

If the QR code leads to a PDF document, its CTA should be “Scan to view PDF file.”

Don’t clickbait your scanners, as this can disappoint them or waste their time.

Make the user experience brief, concise, and direct to the point.

And since people will use their smartphones to scan the QR code, its landing page should be mobile-friendly.

Be sure also to have organized content per QR code.

Your code should work for a single purpose.

2. Generate a dynamic QR code instead of static

A QR code generator offers two QR code types — static and dynamic.

Static QR codes are permanent.

The QR code’s pattern will look dense and congested if too much data is embedded, making it unappealing.

It will also take more time to scan it.

Meanwhile, dynamic QR codes come with a short URL that leads to a landing page where users can access the embedded link or file.

This allows them to hold lengthy URLs and large files while maintaining minimal squares in the QR code’s pattern.

Make sure to maintain the quality of your QR code by using a dynamic QR code over a static one, especially if you are storing massive data.

This tip can ensure good customer impressions and potential market penetration.

Related: Static vs Dynamic QR Code: Their Pros and Cons

3. Customize your QR code using a visual QR code generator

Customize QR code

You can change the look of your QR code by adding your brand’s logo and colors and choosing frames and eyes.

Using a custom QR code generator gives you an advantage over competing brands for their unique look.

SVG is the best QR code for print format. This image format lets you resize (downsize and upsize) your QR without compromising its quality.

4. Do not invert your QR codes’ colors

Inverted colors are one reason why scanners do not read a QR code.

When customizing, the background should always be lighter than the foreground.

Also, avoid using the same color for the background and foreground; scanners won’t detect that either, and it will look odd when printed.

5. Add a call to action (CTA) to your QR code

Add an engaging CTA to encourage the audience to scan your code.

Here are three things you must take note of when creating a call to action:

  • It should inform scanners of your QR code’s purpose
  • It needs to be short and catchy to engage scanners
  • It must give a sense of urgency

You may use different CTAs, such as “Reveal Secret,” “Get Discount,” or “Avail now,” but make sure that the CTA matches the QR code’s intended purpose.

6. Run a test scan first

You must first scan the QR code after customizing it to ensure it’s working or leads to the correct landing page.

You may use the built-in scanner on your device. You can install a third-party scanner app if you don’t have one.

7. Choose the correct format

A specific file format is suitable for printed and digital QR codes.

The best QR code generator lets you choose between SVG and PNG formats.

If you intend to use your QR code for media posting, you can opt for the PNG format.

But if you wish to print your QR code, the SVG format is the best option.

The SVG QR code image format lets you resize or adjust your QR code without compromising its quality, so it remains scan-able after printing.

8. Find the right spot for your print QR codes

When placing a QR code on printed media such as magazines, position it in the right spot to ensure more user engagement.

Don’t print your QR code between pages. Instead, place it on the first page or the cover.

It allows your QR code to be visible and contributes to the overall design of the material.

During printing

9. Right sizing

QR code size

The size depends on the surface area of where you will place your QR code.

How to print QR codes may differ on the size you want to achieve.

The best size for QR codes on flyers or brochures is 32 mm by 32 mm or 1.25 inches by 1.25 inches.

Meanwhile, the recommended QR code size for public and street advertising is one-tenth of the scanning distance or a 10:1 ratio.

If the scanning distance is 20 meters, your QR code should be 2×2 meters so people can still scan it.

The printed material won’t be useful if you don’t use the recommended QR code size.

10. Check your printing material

Using high-quality material helps preserve the quality of your printed QR codes.

When printing QRs on stickers, ensure the material is not glossy.

This type of material can reflect light, and that may affect readability.

Refrain from using materials that will distort the image of your QR code or hinder its readability.

Aside from that, you can also print a paper QR code, for fabric, glass, aluminum, and plastics.

11. Choose a high-quality printer and ink

There are specific printers and ink for each type of printing material, such as laser printers for paper and sublimation printers for textiles.

The ink also varies depending on its compatibility with the medium.

For instance, using paper on a sublimation printer will lead to dull colors since its ink works only for textiles.

Always go for the one that can provide clear and quality prints which suit your surface material.

After printing QR codes

12. Place your material where more people will see it

Coupon QR code

Place your printed QR code campaign in locations where more people can see them to maximize engagement.

Put your QR code on bulletin boards, advertising posters, building entrances, parks, metro stations, bus stops, retail malls, and information desks.

13. Ensure scanability of QR code despite material damage

All QR codes have an error correction feature that makes them still readable, even with a few scratches.

There are four error correction levels: L, M, Q, and H.

You can use Level L with a 7% correction rate for a less dense QR code image, while Level M is recommended for marketing use at a 15% correction rate.

Level Q has a correction rate of 25%, while Level H has the highest correction level of 30%, which can withstand artificial or environmental damage.

But take note: since the error correction works by adding backup data to the QR code’s pattern, a higher correction level would lead to a congested QR code.

Why follow QR code printing guidelines?

Here are some reasons why you should follow the guidelines mentioned above:

Create a good impression on users

Building a good relationship with users should be your top concern, and you can’t achieve that with a malfunctioning printed QR code.

When a QR code is easy to scan or readable, you give your users a good impression of your business and service, giving you an advantage over competitors.

Save money

Following the proper guidelines on printing codes saves you money from reprinting a new set of QR codes to replace faulty ones.

Imagine the cost you will incur, especially if you are printing for a marketing campaign and had it all wrong.

If you reprint them all again, you will have to double your expenses.

Maximize engagement

The QR code printing guidelines help you create a QR code print ad that’s attractive and efficient, and this can boost the engagement of your campaign.

Your campaign will be more successful when more people scan your QR code and engage with its embedded target page. This can also raise brand awareness and online visibility.

Guarantee a successful QR code marketing campaign with QR TIGER

Adding QR codes to your print materials will make them more efficient and interactive.

They can connect offline and online platforms for a more engaging campaign.

If you follow the tips on printing your QR codes, you can maximize the effectiveness of your QR code print advertising strategies.

Guarantee the quality of your QR codes using QR TIGER, an ISO 27001-certified software trusted by the biggest brands in the world, including Cartier, Marriot, and Disney.

Go to the best QR code generator and get a free trial today.

Frequently asked questions

Is there a specific QR code paper to use?

No, there is no specific QR code paper needed to use your QR codes.

As long as the code is readable and is printed on flat, non-textured, matte-finished paper.

For smaller QR codes, you can use smooth-coated papers with good ink holdout.

You can use an uncoated porous sheet for larger QR codes for code preservation.

Where can I attach my printed QR code?

QR codes can be attached anywhere as long as the material’s surface does not make creases, stretches, and folds.

A definitive area where you can attach your printed QR code ranges from business cards, book covers, magazines, billboards, products such as electronics, cosmetics, etc., to newspapers and flyers to any areas you can think of.

As long as it works completely fine and no trouble occurs.

You can also attach your QR codes to school documents as your reference and other students’ future studies.

How can I get a dynamic QR code generator?

You can get your dynamic QR code generator by using the best QR code generator you can find online, like QR TIGER.

Once you find a QR code generator, you can explore and learn new ways and uses for generating QR codes.

How to print a QR code on paper?

You can choose among the best QR code printers today to print a QR code.

Is there a specific QR code printer that we can use for printing?

There is no particular QR code printer that you can use for printing.

As long as the printer you use prints high-quality outputs and no technical errors follows in the future, then you are in good shape for promoting your content, products, and services.

Just remember to follow these 13 useful tips and guidelines in printing QRs correctly to avoid any mishaps soon.

Brands using QR codes

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