Decoding QR Codes for Print

Effectively Use QR Codes in Print Marketing

2022-06-30Updated: 2022-07-05Erica Haferkamp, Creative Director

QR Code Marketing for PrintSince 1994, the QR (Quick Response) Code has provided a fast link between a physical barcode and an online landing page. The codes began as a way to track products moving through assembly lines, tracking items through production while keeping dashboards and other databases up to date.

It didn’t take long for the lightbulb moment to happen for marketers. Those same QR Codes seemed like a great way to link print and digital campaign elements—and they were right. 

Increase Engagement with QR Codes

While QR Codes started slowly in the US, their popularity is catching up to global usage. During the last two years, they became even more critical as offices, restaurants, and marketers in every segment adopted QR codes to make customer engagement easier and touchless.

Today you see them in restaurants linking to menus, window clings linking to current operating hours and guidelines for interacting with the business, offices to check-in for appointments, and on signs of all kinds to connect to consumers with marketing experiences.

Charities use them in campaigns to link to donation pages, but they are great for wayfinding signs and coupons, too. Some companies have even begun to use QR Codes to link to payment systems. 

You may already have different uses for QR Codes, but you might not realize how valuable they can be for customer engagement. Juniper Research tells us that consumers will redeem more than 5 billion coupons via QR Codes accessed by smartphones by next year.*

QR Code Design

To make QR Codes as valuable as possible, help your clients understand the best design options for their use. 

Today, monochrome QR Codes are not the only option. With the help of a good QR Code generator, it can be colorful and even include an image or your company logo. It’s a great opportunity to keep your brand visible, and color always attracts attention.

The size of the QR Code does matter. For example,  The ideal QR code side for business cards is roughly 0.8 x 0.8”. If you use 1 square inch, it's not the end of the world.

The ideal scanning distance just increases a touch. So, follow this easy guide to determine the size of the code for most print and large format advertising:

Business Cards
Scanning Distance: 6 inches to 1 foot
QR Code Size:
0.8 - 1 inches

Take Away Menus, Magazines, Catalogs
Scanning Distance: 1.5 - 2.5 feet
QR Code Size: 2.4 - 6.3 inches

Posters and Window Graphics
Scanning Distance: 4 - 12 feet
QR Code Size: 6.3 - 30 inches

Scanning Distance: 12 - 25 feet
QR Code Size: 19 - 61.3 inches

Now to the recommendations for using QR Codes effectively. There are dozens of options. These QR Code ideas can help you get your marketing plans started:

  • Direct customers to a landing page/website
    Make sure the landing page is mobile-friendly so that customers browsing with phones stay and engage.

  • Dial your business number
    This is a great option for customer service or to add the personal touch to taking reservations. 

  • Send a message
    This can be a message to join a mailing list, participate in a loyalty program, or take attendance at an event. 

  • Send an email
    The link can open an email to allow freeform communication directed to the right person for engagement.

  • Download apps
    More businesses have their own apps in addition to their web pages. A QR code makes it easy for customers to download the app for the best customer experience. 

  • View business location
    This can be a link to a map or a virtual tour.

  • Direct customers to social media pages
    For customers with Facebook, Instagram, TikTok pages, LinkedIn, and What’s App pages, this is a fast way to encourage engagement.

  • Shopping and E-commerce
    More companies are making it easy to link to their shopping pages and take payment with one easy click of a QR Code. 

Quality counts with QR Codes. The team at DARE Print & Sign co. can help you design for the best placement and size for your application and make recommendations for even more applications to help you grow your business. We offer QR Code options for all the print products we sell, so you can start scanning for success!

Decoding QR Codes for Print Marketing

Citations: Juniper Research