What are QR Codes ?

QR (short for 'Quick Response') Codes are two dimensional barcodes. They can be encoded with information which, when scanned by a suitable QR code reader, can be accessed. The QR codes you get with your Kixtag are encoded either with the web address of your Kixtag or a unique code which directs to your Kixtag but can be logged independently within your Kixtag stats. All your Kixtag QR codes are unique to you.

QR Code readers

The most common device for reading QR codes is the mobile phone. A number of mobile phones now come with a QR reader already installed. For those that don't, it's fairly straightforward to download and install a suitable 'app'.

Kixtag QR Code image formats

Our free plan provides simple PNG and SVG QR Code image formats completely free for download within your control panel. We also provide QR code widgets to embed on your web pages - you can also use the 'cut and paste' html embed code we provide from the 'links' menu.

As a general guideline, EPS, SVG or PDF are the best files for offline printing as they are a vector lossless image format and can be scaled/enlarged without problem. We would generally advise against using JPG for offline printing.

On our premium plans, we also provide designer QR Codes which are available in PNG, JPG, SVG and vector PDF QR Code file formats.

QR Code print guidelines

Four basic rules.

Firstly, clarity. QR Codes have error correction technology and can cope suprisingly well with distortion and even damage. However, you want as many people as possible to scan quickly and easily and that means taking care to make sure it's clear and crisp. Use the correct file format, be careful with scaling and for offline work, use good printers and paper/fabric/skin/etc.

Secondly, size. This depends a lot on your target audience and placement. There's little point printing a QR Code 1 inch / 3 cm big on a poster for example. Our advice is do a mockup, get a QR Code reader and test. Generally, avoid going smaller than 2 cm square.

Thirdly, border. QR Codes require a little white space around them. This is called the 'quiet zone' and makes a significant difference to the ability of a reader to scan effectively. Don't get too hung up on exact sizes, but aim to keep a white space certainly no smaller than half the size of the top left QR code outer square. A full 'square's worth' of space would be more than adequate.

Fourthly, contrast. QR Codes don't have to be black and white. In fact, the little squares don't even need to be square. There are some great examples in Japan of some highly modified QR Codes which scan very well. You can even purchase 'designer' QR Codes directly from Kixtag for your Kixtag with just a couple of clicks (Kixtag Premium). However, generally speaking you want the maximum number of people to scan with the minimum of fuss. That means high contrast (strong, dark colours) and avoiding pale yellow squares on a pale orange background !

Testing QR Codes

We strongly recommend that you get hold of a QR Code reader and test the QR Code at every stage of an offline print process. Test that it scans quickly and correctly and links through to your Kixtag correctly. QR Codes (and our systems) are robust, but it's always better to spend a few seconds doing a test scan than have to bin a print run...

QR Code redirect

Kixtag QR codes are encoded to link directly to your Kixtag connections page so that people can choose how they want to connect with you. However, if you want your QR Code to then connect immediately through to a specific connection, then you simply need to enable 'Instant Redirect' under the AutoConnect tab in your account settings. It's very easy to do, you can change or cancel the redirect at any time and there's full instructions on the AutoConnect page on how to set things up.

QR Code costs

Kixtag QR Codes are free to be reproduced anywhere you (legally) like. Put them on business cards, email footers, adverts, websites, t-shirts, mugs, tattoos, dvd/cd covers, promotional bags, letterheads, shop windows, badges/pins, posters, etc, etc.

Who invented the QR Code ?

QR Codes were invented by a clever Japanese company called Denso Wave. The use of QR codes is free of any license but the term 'QR Code' is a registered trademark of Denso Wave Incorporated. Where you use the phrase 'QR Code', you are required to display the phrase 'QR Code is registered trademark of DENSO WAVE INCORPORATED' somewhere near. This is not required if you only use the QR Code image itself.

More information

You can get more information about QR Codes on Wikipedia and Denso Wave's official QR code website.