Printing a QR code on products offers several advantages for you as a company. The letters QR stand for ‘Quick Response’. The purpose of such a code is to convey information quickly and easily. From product details and specifications to instructions and reviews. In other words, it can be used for your business as an effective marketing tool for sharing promotional videos, discount vouchers and exclusive offers.
Furthermore, it easily connects the physical world with the digital world, because you direct customers to your website or social media. You offer a helping hand to the customer experience and remove unnecessary steps in the purchasing process of your products or services. An additional benefit is the ease of interaction with mobile devices. As a recipient, you simply scan this code with your phone. For example, manufacturers can use QR codes for product registration and warranty purposes, giving customers of your products or services quick access to support and services.
However, if you want to harness the power of QR codes on your products, there are some important considerations to keep in mind. Unfortunately QR codes on other surfaces than plain paper and similar surfaces can always lead to imprint issues that we can never guarantee that it works in the end.
Therefore we and our printing specialists advice everyone that wants a QR code on their ordered promotional items to let us make a printed sample, so a physical sample of the article with the imprint, before we go to production. Of course this leads to additional costs for you and a longer production time for the full order, but better swallow this pill and not having a full production that does not provide the code accordingly.
To get the best possible result there are several things to keep in mind:
1. Use a vector file for optimal quality
Start with the basics: make sure you provide your QR code as a vector file. This guarantees optimal quality, especially when scaling to different sizes. Whether on a small product label or larger packaging, a vector file maintains sharpness. Be aware that when you create the file, there is an option given to download a “printable file” (usually eps or svg). This way you are ensuring it is a decent file. We explained at some point in a blog about how to create a vector file! For this purpose we cannot recommend that tho. The risk of corrupting the code is relatively high.
2. Minimum size of 20 x 20 mm
Consider the size of your QR code. A minimum of 20 x 20 mm is recommended to ensure that the code remains easy to read. Codes that are too small can be difficult to scan, which compromises the user experience.
3. Contrast colour against the background
Ever wondered why most of the QR codes provided are black on white? Easy to answer: Ensure sufficient contrast between the QR code and the surface on which it is placed. This improves the ability to scan and ensures that the code stands out, even from a distance.
4. Avoid coarser materials and laser engravings on wood
Avoid using QR codes on coarser materials such as jute bags or most natural surfaces, as pieces of the code may be lost. Likewise, avoid use on wooden items with laser engravings as laser technology may vary from item to item and may effect the ability to scan.
5. Special considerations for round and conical items
For round items, such as bottles, limit the QR code to a maximum of 20 x 20 mm to avoid distortion. The distortion can occur during printing, which once again can affect the ability to scan the QR-code.
6. Not on transparent items
QR codes should not be used on transparent items such as bottles. The transparency can interfere with the readability of the code, which can destroy its functionality.
By following these guidelines, you are on the right way to ensure that your QR codes are not only visually appealing, but also functioning optimally on different materials. But if you order a printed sample first, this for sure gives your customers effortless access to valuable information and interaction with your products or services.