What Is A QR Code ?

QR (short for 'Quick Response') Codes are two dimensional barcodes. They can be encoded with information which can be accessed when scanned by a suitable QR code reader such as a mobile phone. The QR codes you can download for 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 example

QR Code readers

The most common device for reading QR codes for Kixtag users will be a 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'.

Android QR Code readers

For Android phones there's a wide selection of free and easy to use Apps. Google are planning to integrate QR Scan directly into the Chrome web browser but unfortunately, this isn't available right now.

iPhone QR Code readers

Prior to iOS 11, Apple users also needed to download an App. However, with iOS 11, Apple have made things a whole lot easier and have added QR Code scanning to the native Camera App. Additionally, QR Codes can be scanned directly from Google Chrome if you have it installed.

Free Kixtag QR Code image formats

You can download QR Codes for your Kixtag in JPG and PNG file format for free. For most general purposes and for all internet use, these will work fine. Additionally, if you want to just embed the QR code into your web pages, you can also use the 'cut and paste' html embed code provided from the 'links' tab within your settings.

Print Kixtag QR Codes

For a one-off charge you can also download EPS, SVG, and PDF QR Code image formats. These are vector images and can be scaled/enlarged to any size without loss of quality making them suitable for use in offline print.

You can also create 'designer' QR Codes in different colours and with rounded corners for a softer look.

QR Code display

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 purchase simple 'designer' QR Codes directly from Kixtag for your Kixtag with just a couple of clicks. 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, in some cases you may want to the redirect the QR Code immediately through to a specific connection. To do this, you simply need to enable 'Instant Redirect' under the AutoConnect tab in your account settings. When your Kixtag QR Code is scanned, it'll redirect straight through to the first connection on your list. You can remove this and return to the connection landing page at any time.

Additionally, for an additional one-off charges you can get statistics and even realtime email scan notifications.

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.