Tuesday, November 8, 2011

QR Codes - for non technical folk

By the end of this post, I hope to pass on a little bit of information about QR codes - just some things I've picked up over time in dealing with them.
This post is aimed at non-technical folk, keeping all the gory details to a minimum. For a tech-centric post, go here

What are they?
QR codes are hyperlinks that bridge the real and digital worlds. They allow a piece of print media to take the user to a website, usually on their mobile. The codes themselves are 2D barcodes, and can actually contain text or v-cards to name a few, but mostly they contain hyperlinks.

Where are they from, aren't they just a fad?
They originated in Japan - a subsidiary of Toyota invented them to keep track of car parts. From there, they spread into marketing. Because of their plain, utilitarian nature, I think they will fade as a cutesy novelty, to become ubiquitous, in the same way that hyperlinks are on the web.

Where can one get them?
http://www.qrstuff.com/ is a good place to start, but if you google "QR Code generator", you'll find plenty of tools.

Creative executions?

http://designerqrcodes.wordpress.com/designer-qr-code-art-gallery/ shows many good examples.

What are the legal requirements?
The term "QR Code" is owned by Denso Wave (a subsidiary of Toyota), and their only requirements are listed here:
Basically, you can get away with using the actual code in any way you want, but if you use the term "QR Code", you should note that QR Code is a registered trademark of Denso Wave.

More info?
For more info and links, go to the techie version

QR Codes, explained by commoncraft

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