The Best QR Code Printing Guide of 2022

Apr 30, 2021
qr code printer

Creating a QR code is a simple process and when it's time to print a QR code it's important to follow a few of our tips. We'll show you how to create a QR code with Supercode's QR code generator and how to print a QR code without any mistakes. If you want the best quality printed QR codes, then this article is for you.

1. How to choose the type of QR code you need

1.1. Decide how you will be using your QR codes 

When deciding how you will be using your QR codes consider how many you will need. Is there one code users will scan many times like a social media code linking to your branded accounts, or will you create codes in bulk that scanners can use many times or one-off codes for coupons and discounts?

And why are you using QR codes? Is it for traceability, registration, ticket entry to events, QR code marketing, or scans to landing pages with need-to-know information? There are many ways to use QR codes to get your company name out there and incorporate them into fantastic digital marketing campaigns.

1.2. Choose the right type of QR code

There is also a code for any use, so choose the type that suits your purpose the most: 

  • URL QR codes that link to websites that are great for sharing AR and VR experiences and m-commerce shopping. 
  • SMS QR codes that send information to mobiles in areas with no internet connection.
  • Email QR codes for customer interaction without misspelling an email address.
  • vCard QR codes are great for business cards that directly input information into data fields of the users' mobile phones.
  • Bulk QR codes that can have information imported from a CSV file for unlimited or one-time-use scans. 
  • Image QR codes make an impression with users when scanning to show off a gallery of your work with a call-to-action button like booking an appointment in addition to routing to your website.
  • PDF QR codes save downloadable information straight to cell phones so you can share valuable content with your audience without printing out pages of paper.
  • WhatsApp QR codes route the user to a phone number where they can converse with you through WhatsApp so you never mistype a number again.

Static codes cannot be modified in the long run vs. dynamic codes which can be continuously updated for agile marketing campaigns. If you would like to edit later, please choose a dynamic code such as URL, feedback, or social media codes. You don't need to print a QR code again when it is modified on the back end. For tips, please check out our guide about static vs. dynamic QR codes.

create qr code type supercode
Image source: Supercode QR Code Generator

2. How to design QR codes

2.1 Color it - Use branded colors

Make your code eye-catching to the user while giving your company brand recognition. Contrast is important because QR codes will not scan if the squares and background are similar colors. You can test scan with your mobile phone in the process of making one. If you print a QR code on a transparent surface such as a window with moving images in the background, the code will be difficult to scan. While QR codes on shop windows are great exposure, always design the code itself with contrasting colors so it is easy to scan or have white space around it to capture the code in the scanner. It is still possible to have a beautiful contrast and incorporate branded colors. Read our Best QR Code Design Guide here.

modify design supercode qr code generator
Image source: Supercode QR Code Generator

2.2. Frame it - Place a call to action on your frame

Make a frame with beautiful colors and a message to place around your code. Choose from different frames and customize your colors and messages. Have a clear CTA on every code. People are more inclined to utilize the QR code when they have a clear reason. If it is a promotion, a social media account link, e-store, or just more information about the company, do leave a clear message to inspire people to scan. Customers need to know why they are scanning such as: "Scan to follow us on Instagram" or "Scan here for menu" depending on the need.

modify frame qr code generator supercode
Image source: Supercode QR Code Generator

2.3 Brand it - Don't forget your logo

Logos are important for branding because it is the visual symbol consumers use to associate your company with the campaign. When your identity is memorable it separates you from the competition and captures consumer attention. It also makes a lasting impression on people who are new to using your brand. Additionally, logos should be small enough to be able to scan the code successfully but big enough to recognize your brand. Don't put the logo over the three squares on the corners or it will not scan.

design logo supercode qr code generator
Image source: Supercode QR Code Generator

2.4 Save it, put it in a folder, and download it

At this point you will create a folder or add your code to an existing folder and you are done. Download in JPG, JPEG, or SVG format during this stage.

supercode qr code folders
Image source: Supercode QR Code Generator

3. How big do QR codes need to be?

3.1 Appropriate QR code size for print

For smaller codes and shorter ranges: The best minimum size for the QR code is at least 1inx1in, 2.5cm x 2.5cm, or 115 x 115 pixels. Older mobile phones may have difficulties scanning anything smaller. Short distance scanning includes things like contactless payment, product packaging, or clothing tags, just to name a few. 

How big do QR codes need to be for larger codes being scanned from far away? Sizes should be proportionate to distance. If a code is farther away, making it larger is necessary to pick up the scan. Larger codes are great for buildings, billboards, and displays. The scanning size to distance should be approximately 10:1. So if the code is 10m (32 feet) away from the scanner it should be about 1m (3.2 feet) wide and tall. 

Please always test codes at different ranges before finalizing your campaign to see what the perfect size is for you.

4. Where to have QR codes printed out

4.1 Print a QR code yourself 

The more codes you print, the higher the cost. There are small sticker printers that are available but this can be hard to scale. Getting a printer depends on whether businesses regularly generate a high number of QRs or only need a few. Different printers are suggested depending on how many codes you need and how quickly you need them printed.

4.2 Print a QR code at a professional printing shop 

Choose a professional printing shop for short-term needs and always print a sample first to test the code. Make sure the size is appropriate for the distance before posting at the final location.

4.3 Print QR codes on labels and packaging through the manufacturer

When committing to long-term codes that will be on your clothing tags, bags, receipts, and any other product information labeled on materials repeatedly, incorporate the codes into the design of your labels and packaging and do a test on a sample before printing it on all of your products to find disappointment later on if it doesn't scan to the correct information or is blocked by other designs on labels. Dynamic QR codes can be changed on the back end at any time for updated information but static QR codes cannot be edited so this is something to take into consideration when producing long-term codes and incorporating them into permanent packaging on your company's products.

5. Can you print a QR code anywhere?

5.1 Can you print a QR code on any material? 

Printing QR codes on flat, visible surfaces where they are easily accessible to scanners is best. Printing QR codes on shiny, glossy materials and surfaces will reflect too much light and make it difficult for cameras and QR code scanning apps to read the code. Either print on banners at trade shows, posters in lobbies, or printed materials like brochures that are easily scannable. If you're going to print on thousands of materials, please print a QR code on a sample material to do a test scan before printing the rest.

When considering which materials that you will print codes on, think about the needs of your customer and what is the best way to convey your message. Check out Supercode's solutions to find out more about ideas and examples of some of the best campaigns below:

5.2 Take a look at these best use cases by industries

QR codes have continuously been incorporated into digital marketing strategies with a lot of success for customer retention, brand recognition, e-commerce use, and contactless services. We've compiled some of the best use cases for each industry to implement QR codes into your digital campaigns:

5.3. Printing a QR code in the correct location  

QR codes shouldn't be put in places where the colors can fade in direct UV sunlight making the contrast off and hard to scan. Neither should they be in dark places where the scanner won't pick up the colors. It's also beneficial to print a QR code in a place where it is easily accessible i.e., not too low or high and where there is enough foot traffic but it isn't blocked by crowds.

6. What are the dos and don'ts of printing QR codes?

There are many easy tips and tricks to creating the perfect QR code in just minutes. Knowing what works and what doesn't will work magic for your campaigns and really make the QR codes work for you and your customers. For a free downloadable guide of our detailed suggestions, check out our 50 Dos and Don'ts of Using QR Codes. For some common printing suggestions, we have shared a short list below:

  • Do be environmentally friendly - Reduce paper materials by printing on posters, billboards, lobbies, goods that can use less packaging, instead of on leaflets and flyers that produce litter.
  • Do think about the final product - Is this being printed on a business card or brochure for instance? This will help you design a code that matches your marketing materials and brand.
  • Do print in a convenient location - Feedback QR codes are great printed on receipts and contactless menus are amazing on displays that are easily accessible in the front of restaurants or on table tents. Make sure your use is in accordance with where you print.
  • Don't print without testing - Dynamic QR codes can be edited but static codes cannot. It only takes a few seconds to test any code before printing it on its final location. Not doing so could mean a damaged rapport and customer confusion later on.
  • Don't put QR codes everywhere - This will bombard customers and confuse people. With a clear CTA people will know what the purpose of scanning is and won't be surrounded by a ton of mystery codes.
  • Don't print 1000 materials without a sample - Having one sample material, like a business card, will allow you to test and be sure it scans without it being blurry, glossy, or otherwise.

Final Thoughts

Printing QR codes is a simple process when you know what to consider and how to plan beforehand. Testing a sample print is key. It is also suggested to use a dynamic QR code for easy editing and tracking QR code marketing campaigns. We hope this guide helps and will lead you on a journey to amazing and efficient marketing campaigns with successful QR code scanning.

Signup for Supercode's QR code generator software and print eye-catching and inspiring QR codes that are value-added to your services, products, marketing strategy, and customers.


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