All About QR Codes

All About QR Codes

Written by Blue Cloud Studio on . Posted in Blog

You see them everywhere…on business cards, cereal boxes, and magazine ads. Let’s learn all about QR codes and why they are so cool.

What is a QR Code?

QR code stands for Quick Response code. It is simply a 2-D barcode that can be read by smart phones. The code (unlike normal bar codes) is made up of black blocks arranged in a square pattern usually with a white background. QR codes were originally created in Japan by a subsidiary of Toyota called Denso-Wave in 1994. Below is an example of a QR Code.

QR Code Example

How Do I Scan a QR Code?

Before we learn anything about QR codes, we need to know how to use them.

First, you will need to download a QR code reader for your mobile device. If you have an Android phone, visit the Android Market and search for “Barcode Scanner” or “QR Code Scanner.” You will get a ton of results. I personally prefer an Android app called “Barcode Scanner” that is very versatile and easy to use. It will also scan normal product bar codes. If you have an iPhone or Apple Device, visit the Apple Store and search for the same phases above. Choose the app you prefer and install it.

Once the app is installed, simply launch the program and line up the QR code in the scanning area using the device’s camera. The brief video below is an example of how to scan a QR code.

What Types of QR Codes Are There?

QR codes have gained popularity with the rise of smart phones. They have become a quick, convenient way to bypass entering information manually into your phone. Granted, they still have a novelty factor because they are just becoming popular. Even after the novelty wears off, they will continue to be a convenient tool to convey information. Let’s review a few different kinds of QR codes below.

Website URL QR Code

The most common type of QR code is a Website URL code. When the QR Code is scanned, it will take you directly to a particular website or webpage. Most QR codes on product packaging will send you to a webpage where you can learn more about that product. If you do your garden shopping at Lowes, you will notice each plant you buy is equipped with its own QR code. When you scan the code, it will take you to a page on the Lowes website where you can learn how to care for that plant.

Website URL QR Code
This code links to www.bluecloudstudio.com

Business Card QR Code

A Business Card QR code, also known as Address or VCARD code, is designed to contain all of your contact information. When it is scanned, all of the contact information is automatically displayed on the person’s cell phone. It eliminates the need to manually enter all the information usually contained on a business card into your address book.

It is designed to contain your Name, Company Name, Telephone Number, Address, City, State & Zip Code, Email Address, Website and one Memo field for your tagline or other information. Because these codes contain more information, they tend to look different from the above URL code. Notice how the elements making up the QR code are smaller. You can usually spot these codes very quickly.

Business Card QR Code
This code contains my contact information or VCard

Text QR Code

When a text QR code is scanned, it simply displays the text embedded in the barcode. A slight variation to this code is the Text Message QR code which will send a text message to a specific phone number.

Text QR Code
This code contains a text message

Additional Types of QR Codes

Geo Location QR codes contain GPS coordinates. Calendar QR codes contain details about an event that will prompt the user to add the event to their device’s calendar. Some QR codes can contain WiFi network login information so users can quickly connect to the internet. Phone number QR codes will prompt the user to dial a telephone number.

Most QR code scanners include an initial prompt screen that requires the user to agree to the action. You don’t need to be concerned about things being programmed into your phone automatically without your permission.

Getting Fancy with QR Codes

QR codes do offer a little room for customization. It is possible to “hack” or edit the original barcode to include your own logo or brand. Once you have generated your QR code, open it in an image editing program like Adobe Photoshop and overlay your logo. You can also experiment with using different colors in your QR code.

When editing QR codes, it is important to use colors that have a strong contrast with each other. Always be sure to test your QR code before using it, editing the barcode in any way can result in a slow scan or none at all. Check out the example below where we introduced our logo into our QR code.

Hacked QR Code

Get Your Own Free QR Code

QR Codes are free to create. Feel free to use your new QR code on your business card, website or advertisements.

Create Your Own QR Code

Don’t forget to share this article (using the Social Media shortcuts below) with your friends so they can start using QR codes too!


Get Started

CLIENT REVIEWS

  • "Blue Cloud Studio is great to work with! It's really cool to have updates and reminders about content needed while building my site. The help with how to market my business on the internet was invaluable. I definitely recommend that you ask for their expertise!!"

  • "I enjoyed working with Blue Cloud Studio to develop my website. During the process, they quickly made revisions based on my feedback and took the time to respond to my questions. The “feel” of the site was very important to me. I’m pleased with the final design; beyond the text, the site uses colors and layout for a highly professional overall design."

    - Vicki Jones
    Jones & Company CPA
  • "Blue Cloud Studio has made maintenance/upgrades super easy for us novice computer users by supplying us with our own manual/guide to our website. I strongly recommend Blue Cloud Studio for all of your web design/maintenance needs."

  • "I appreciated so many aspects about your work. You listened to me, to what I wanted in a website. Inquired about my preferences (largely vague) and encouraged me to look at sites I liked, both Blue Cloud-created and others. You zeroed in on what would work for mine: light and simplicity. You were easy to work with...The more I use the site, the more I admire your work!"

  • "Working with Blue Cloud Studio on our website redesign has truly been a pleasure. Our transition to our new website went extremely well due in part to the training they provided as well as the communication throughout the process. Thanks again for a job well done!"

    - Greg & Beth Bassett,
    Bassett Home Services
  • "The task of getting my website updated was overwhelming at first, but Blue Cloud Studio guided me very gently and kindly through the steps that I needed to take. The turn around time was very quick with a modern, professional, easy to navigate end result."

  • "They understand how websites work. They know what needs to be done and they aren't afraid to tell you what you don't need."

  • "Blue Cloud Studio did an amazing job setting up my website! They were prompt and listened to every detail of how I wanted the website to look. They helped me set up a website that would be easier for me to manage and edit as well. I am very happy with the service and the work! Thank You, Blue Cloud Studio."

  • "Blue Cloud Studio's recommendations and attention to detail are unmatched. They are attentive and help me understand how and what to do in laymens terms. I recommend you take advantage of what Blue Cloud Studio has to offer for your business."

  • "The numbers don't lie. Business has virtually doubled since Blue Cloud Studio redesigned our website. The website remains at or near the top of Google searches for Taos Bed & Breakfasts. We couldn't have realized the business success we've had without their active involvement."

    - Brad Malone,
    La Posada de Taos
  • "I have been trying to build a site for years and every web design firm I spoke with was either overpriced or unprofessional. Blue Cloud helped design a solution for me that fit my budget perfectly! I have no problem recommending them to anyone for their services! Thanks again, Blue Cloud Studio!"

  • I am so very impressed with your integrity, work ethic, professionalism and you all are down right a pleasure to work with. Thank you for making the process of our web design simple and easy."

    - Marianne Bechtle,
    Sugar Hill Paper
  • "After having an unsatisfactory web site for way too long, I started working with Blue Cloud Studio to create a new one. I could not be happier with the service or the final product. Thank you Blue Cloud Studio."

    - Kay Cross,
    H. Kay Cross, PC
  • "Great customer service and the owners are very knowledgeable and friendly to work with."

    - Barton Dofflemyer,
    The Dogg House
  • "Our board cannot believe how simple Blue Cloud Studio made the process nor just how wonderful our website could be. Camp Albemarle not only is grateful for the beautiful website but also for the ongoing training you provide. Thank you Blue Cloud Studio!"

    - Elly Tucker,
    Camp Albemarle
  • "Blue Cloud Studio exceeded my expectations in every regard. It is a bonus that Becky and Chris are a pleasure to work with. If you are considering a web development studio, then I wouldn't look any further than Blue Cloud Studio."

    - Stephen Mosberg,
    Oil, Gas, & Mining
  • "I cannot begin to express how wonderful it was to work with Blue Cloud Studio! Admittedly, I am one of the most technology-unsavvy people on the face of the planet and they presented everything in the most absolutely understandable, accessible and logical format possible."

    - Sarah Franzen,
    Franzen Music
  • "Blue Cloud Studio has been more helpful than any firm we have used to date. They made sure to really know our needs before advising us on our site. We have been enormously pleased with the education about our site and our options. We couldn't have had a better experience."

  • "I was very impressed at the personal attention I received. I would be more than happy to recommend Blue Cloud Studio to anyone who would like a website designed by a professional and courteous staff who are willing to accommodate their clients to meet their needs."

    - Linda Cohernour,
    Union High School
  • "Working with Blue Cloud Studio, it has been a pleasure. You guys were very attentive and quick to make things happen."

    - Rob Jones,
    Rob Jones' Journey

CONTACT US

434-973-7375
hello@bluecloudstudio.com

Blue Cloud Studio
59 Lake Saponi Drive, Suite 3
Barboursville, VA 22923

Get Directions to Office