What not to do with QR codes? Avoid these common mistakes!

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Are you using QR codes to share information with your customers or clients? If so, it’s important to know the dos and don’ts to make sure they are effective. Here are some key things to avoid when working with QR codes:

  • Avoid using small or cluttered codes: Make sure your QR code is easy to read and scan, by keeping it simple and clear.
  • Avoid poor lighting or glare: To ensure your QR code is easily scanned, make sure you place it in an area with good lighting.
  • Avoid linking directly to download pages: Many users may be hesitant to download files from unknown sources, so use URLs instead.
  • Test before distributing: Always double-check that your QR code links to the correct information, and that it is easily scannable.
  • QR codes are a powerful and innovative tool, but they need to be used carefully to avoid any risks or difficulties. By following these tips, you can create effective QR codes that will be a hit with your clients!

    What Not to Do with QR Codes: Avoid These Mistakes

    Quick Response or QR codes have grown in popularity in recent years. Invented in Japan in 1994, QR codes offer a quick way for consumers to access web-based content. With just a scan, QR codes can redirect users to a web page, social media account, email address, or other online content. However, as convenient as they may seem, there are a few things you should keep in mind when using QR codes. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when creating and placing QR codes.

    Avoid placing QR codes in hard-to-reach areas

    You should avoid placing QR codes in areas that require people to stand on tiptoes, reach high or crouch low to scan them. When you place a QR code in a location that’s difficult or risky to scan, users may not be motivated to access the content the code offers. Besides, it could be unsafe for people to try to scan a code in precarious positions, especially in public spaces. If your QR code is in an area that can be challenging to access, it might be best to reconsider the location.

    List of Hard-to-Reach areas to avoid:

    • On tall building exteriors
    • At the bottom of billboards
    • On cell phone towers

    Do not place QR codes on reflective surfaces

    QR codes must have high contrast to be readable, and reflective surfaces can interfere with their functionality. When codes are placed on shiny or mirrored surfaces, such as metallic signs or glazed walls, the reflection can distort the scanning process. Reflections can cause interference and scatter light in different directions, reducing the contrast of the QR code pattern. In turn, this can make it difficult for scanning apps to recognise the code.

    List of Reflective Surfaces to avoid:

    • Glossy paper
    • Polished metal
    • Sleek glass

    Don’t use distorted QR codes

    Distortions in QR codes can occur when there are errors in their printing, design or placement. Squashing, stretching, or tilting the code can damage the pattern, making it hard for scanners to read. When creating a QR code, you must ensure you’re making one that’s highly readable. Avoid manipulating the code’s shape to fit in spaces that are too small or come up with creative designs that might obscure the pattern. A minimalistic approach is always best when creating QR codes.

    List of Design aspects to avoid:

    • Distorted perspectives
    • Blurry patterns
    • Pixelated graphics

    Avoid using small or low-resolution QR codes

    The size and quality of QR codes are crucial. Small codes are more susceptible to interference from background images, and low-resolution codes can be too blurry to scan. When you create a QR code, ensure that you use a high-quality image, and make it at least 2cm x 2cm in size.

    List of Low-Resolution Factors to keep in mind:

    • Pixelated graphics
    • Small codes
    • Blurred images

    Do not place QR codes in areas with poor lighting

    Poor lighting conditions can severely impact QR code readability. Images if too bright or too dark will make the QR code less visible. In some cases, poor lighting conditions can result in digital noise, which makes it even harder to interpret the code. If you need to place QR codes in areas with poor lighting, consider adding additional lighting sources or placing lights directly onto the QR code.

    List of poor lighting areas to avoid:

    • Dimly lit rooms
    • Dark alleys or passageways
    • Underground parking areas

    Avoid placing QR codes near other visual distractions

    Cluttered backgrounds, loud colour combinations, or competing graphics may distract the QR scanner from the code. When placing your code or selecting a printing spot, be sure to keep the background clean and simple. A good rule of thumb is to design your QR codes with high contrast between the colours used to create them and the background where they’ll be placed.

    List of Visual distractions to avoid:

    • Busy backdrops
    • Jumbled patterns
    • Conflicting graphics

    Don’t place QR codes in areas with limited internet connectivity

    QR codes are a direct pathway to online content. Scanning the code requires an active internet connection, which can be a problem in areas with limited cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity. If your customer scans your code in an area where internet connectivity is limited, they may never find what they came for.

    List of Limited Internet Connectivity areas to avoid:

    • Rural or remote areas
    • Underground transits
    • Inside buildings with poor signal


    QR codes can enhance your marketing potential, but they need to be thoughtfully designed and placed. To ensure maximum impact, make sure to avoid placing QR codes on hard-to-reach areas or reflective surfaces, using distorted codes or placing them on low-resolution areas, poor lighting conditions, near other visual distractions, or areas with limited internet connectivity. Doing so will make it easier for scanners to read your QR codes and increase your chances of achieving the marketing goal you have.


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