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QR Code Design

We have all probably seen at least one QR code before at the mall or at the grocery store. And we have probably heard about generating, scanning, and decoding, but how are they actually constructed and what makes them so different from standard barcodes?

The QR’s design is what makes them so unique and is what make different codes stand out from one another. The 2d barcodes can simply be broken down into 4 parts: Version Information, Format Information, Data and Error Correction, and Required Patterns. Patterns consist of position, alignment, and timing, which make it so the codes can virtually be scanned from any direction and angle.

The maximum storage capacity for QR codes is 7,089 characters. The storage space all depends on which version and format you choose. Version information refers to the amount of black and white dots or the “module” that make up the code. Versions available for QR codes range from 1 to 40. Format information consists of finder pattern and timing pattern. Finder pattern detects QR code position and the timing pattern detects the symbols position, both are what create the unique positioning of the dots in QR codes.

Error Correction and Masking- the codes can be scanned even if they are damaged or are dirty. There are a total of 4 error correction levels that can be chosen when creating your QR Code. Error correction makes it capable for the codes to be scanned even if they are damaged or are dirty. The higher the level of correction, the more resilient your code with be to environmental errors. Higher error correction levels also create more storage space on your QR code. Error correction levels can be broken down like so:

  • L = 7% error correction
  • M = 15% error correction
  • Q = 25% error correction
  • H = 30% error correction

One important factor to keep in mind when you are creating your code is uniqueness. Adding embedded Logos, pictures, words into your code are a couple different ways to customize your code. While standard QR codes can be made free on the Internet, customizing the codes may cost you, unless you are a Photoshop master.

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