Best QR Code Printing Guide 2021

Apr 30, 2021
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Creating the perfect QR code is a fun and easy process and after you test your code it is time to print it out. This isn't a complicated process and depending on your need and place, either public printers can help, or you can download them and do it yourself. We'll go over what you need to know here. 

1. How to create QR codes:

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 for what purpose are you using QR codes? Is it for traceability, registration, ticket entry to events, 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.
  • Feedback QR codes with customizable questions and star ratings that help you gain knowledge of improving your business for the best customer experience possible resulting in customer retention.
  • Bulk QR codes that can have information imported from a CSV file for unlimited or one-time-use scans. 

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. They don't need to be reprinted when they are 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 and always use branded colors in your codes so they give your company brand recognition and stand out from the rest. Contrast is important because if you print a QR code on a surface such as a window with moving images in the background, the code is difficult to scan. While QRs give great exposure to shop windows, always make 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.

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

The Hyatt frequently places their logo in the center of their QR codes and has differently designed codes for various locations, restaurants, spa services, and buffet menus.

grand hyatt hong kong steakhouse qr code
Image source: Grand Hyatt HK Steakhouse

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. What materials and sizes are necessary?

3.1 Consider the materials for printing QR codes

It is most beneficial to print QR codes on flat, visible surfaces where they are easily accessible to scanners. Printing 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 on one to test scanning before printing the rest.  

3.2 Be careful about the size 

For smaller codes and shorter ranges: The best minimum size for the QR code is at least 1"x1", 2.5cm x 2.5cm, or 115 x 115 pixels. Older mobile phones may have difficulties scanning anything smaller. This size should be the minimum for short distance scanning such as for contactless payment, product packaging, or clothing tags, just to name a few. 

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 is the perfect size for you.

4. Where to have QR codes printed:

4.1 Print QR codes 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. VIP Color suggests certain printers depending on how many codes you need and how quickly you need them printed.

4.2 Print QR codes at professional printing shops 

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 labelled 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. Where to place QR codes:

5.1 Check out these best use cases for materials

When considering which materials that you will print codes on, think about the need 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 can benefit any industry and any need. They have continuously been incorporated into a diverse number of companies with a lot of success for customer retention, brand recognition, e-commerce, 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. Post 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 post QR codes in places where they are 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 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, like at Pizza Hut. Make sure your use is in accordance with where you print
pizza hut meal with table tent for qr code masterpass
Image source: Facebook
  • 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 them. 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.

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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