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Tips and advise for alternative ways to generate QR codes from 'down under'.

I received and email stating that what I was claiming with regards to QR code quality and printed matter was not true, and wrong. It was bold and held merrit so I asked to publish it here as alternative to making and using quality QR codes.

My thanks to Tremain Jennings for the input and allowing me to share these solutions with you.

Your article on QR code file formats is wrong.

You say you need 300 to 2400DPI, this is true for 1 Bit images with curves or angled lines (like a circle or triangle) however a QR code doesn't have curves, it’s made of only horizontal and vertical black lines and because of this you do not need 300+dpi resolution. A circle or triangle at 72dpi would have jagged edges, however a circle or triangle at 600+DPI will have smooth edges.

Many QRcode tools output at 96dpi RGB PNG file, this resolution is fine for PRESS, however you will need to convert to CMYK, delete the CMY channel (make them white) and bump up the K channel (via curves) so it's 100%. You don't need a 300DPI QRcode.

To confirm my point, please feel free to import what you call a 'low res' QR code image into InDesign, then increase the size to 500% to amplify any issues, print your separations and you will see that it reproduces perfectly! (if it looks blurry on screen, change your display to high resolution)

Here is an example of a QR code at 96DPI and the same 96DPI image scaled and rotated.
The image is a CMYK TIFF with the CMY channels deleted and the K channel at 100% black. You will see that it reproduces perfectly!

Not satisfied? Here are the steps to change a 96DPI (RGB) QR code to a 1200DPI, 1 Bit TIF.
1) Open in QRcode in Photoshop
2) Change Image Size to: 1200 pixels/inch (up to 2400DPI if you like) - ensure the document size is what you require - make sure you resample the image using 'Nearest Neighbor' (NOT bicubic).
3) Change color mode to grayscale
4) Change color mode to Bitmap and use method 50% Threshold (just to be sure).
5) SaveAs TIFF

What is important to consider with QR codes?
1) If it's RGB, convert it to CMYK and delete the CMY channels and ensure the black is 100% and nothing less.
convert it to a bitmap as stated earlier.
2) There must be ample white space around the outside of the QR code if the background colour is not contrasting enough.
3) Scan the QR code with as many devices you can get your hands on.
4) Don't make the QR code too small because it works fine on your new iPhone, older devices might not be able to scan it.
4) Make sure the QR code contains the correct URL
5) Use or similar URL shortener to make the QR code smaller.  The longer the URL, the larger the QR code.

How to create a QR code
If you need to create a QR code, try using
If you use the site will create the QR code for you.
If you need to create QR codes automatically on your website as a back-end process try to create the code and then use to convert the image to a 1Bit TIF.


Tremain Jennings

An example file (PDF) as provided by Tremain


Posted by: Jeroen Steeman
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Categories: QR Code Information | QR Codes
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QR code generator software

qr code generator software for websites qr code generator software for servers qr code generator software for desktops

Navigation QR code<

Active Navigation via QR codes

Mobile devices with GPS (Global Positioning System) capabilities and that have one or other navigation application onboard can make use of QR codes to activate as example, a route planner, for realtime navigation activation.

Like the sextant (six piece od a circle measurement) a nautical and astronimical device to determine the longitude using Greenwich time, our modern electronic devices need three components to make it work.

  • GPS receiver and processor
  • Navigation and mapping application
  • QR Code reader capable of understanding geo-encoded data

Creating navigation QR codes

QR4 provides a free QR Code Navigation Generator

Navigation QR Code Generator

There are other geolocation and routing options

For devices that do not have GPS, nor mapping capabilities, but do have a QR code reader the use of an Internet service is the best choice to show where the co-ordinates you have encoded are on the globe. It stands to reason that navigation will need to be done externally by entering your current location in the online service.

The requirements for this type of service are:

  • Available Internet connection (via any type of connection, teathered or wireless)
  • QR code reader capable of understanding a request to go to a resource on the Internet

Passive geolocation and routing

QR4 provides a free QR code Geographic Generator

Geographic QR code Generator

So now you can implement active and passive (via an external service) geo-location using QR codes.

Which type of QR geo-coding is best to use when and where?

Let me start off with: If it's printed, painted, projected or anything in the analogue world...use QR codes. If it's digital and portable DON'T!

Both types have their merritts. If you want people to know where you are, play safe and use the passive version, knowing that if that service fails or changes it's way of working, your published and printed QR codes could become totally useless. If you need to guide people to your location the navigation QR code is your best option, but will only work with mobile devices meeting the three criteria for direct navigation ability. The choice is yours. As complete measure you could consider providing both geo-location types to service as wide an audience as possible.

Maps and Navigation QR code examples

Google Map QR Code Example Navigation QR Code Example

QR codes helping people stay connected.

Ever been to a symposium, workshop or other gathering where you meet intersting people but afterwards have trouble remembering who they were, nevermind how to contact them.

A method to help people get and stay connected is by using QR codes to exchange contact information. At meetings, symposiums or shows where people with common interests gather, QR codes can be integrated into the name badges to facitiltate digital information exchange betweeen participants that can be used later to contact each other.


Sarasota Bay Watershed Symposium 

Sarasota Bay Watershed symposium QR Codes

The Sarasota Watershed Symposium is an example of a local area gathering of interested parties for a specific topic or objective. In this case the preservation and protection of natural resources.

GODAE COSS-TT workshop 

GODEA COSS-TT workshop

GODAE (Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment) is a global organization providing global and regional ocean analysis and forecasting systems. For an International workshop GODAE used QR codes to make it easy to exchange contact information between the International participants of the workshop.

In both examples above the QR codes can be scanned by a mobile phone and the contact information saved for future reference and use.

How it is made

Once a design for the name badge has been made, provision is made for the placement of a QR code. The list of participants is then read and using graphics automation in combination with a QR code generator the name badges with QR code are generated at the same time. This method ensures there is never a mismatch between QR code content and the information on the badge.

The examples above were made using graphics automation systems from ODOA in combination with QR code technology from QR4

If you have any questions about QR code name tags or how best to implement QR codes on name badges, please contact us.


Posted by: jeroen Steeman
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Categories: QR Code Automation | QR Code Use | QR Codes
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QR code generator software

qr code generator software for websites qr code generator software for servers qr code generator software for desktops

A world of difference between QR codes intended for computer screens, video and TV and those used for printed matter.

Choosing the right QR code colour

And it even applies to black and white QR codes too. There are two basic colour models that are interesting for QR codes. The one for 2D codes displayed on computer screen, used in video or on television. This colour model is called 'RGB' (Red Green Blue). The second is used in the printing industry for printing coloured text, images, graphics and of course QR codes as well. This colour model is called CMYK (Cyan Magenta Yellow Black).

These two colour models are complete opposites of each other. Lets see how this works....


Is used for radiant media like computer screens and television it is made up of three basic colours : red green and blue. If all colours are not used (switched off) you have a black screen. As you add more of each colour it becomes lighter. Adding 100% of each colour will then give as result a white screen. Thus the more colour, the lighter it shows.


Used for reflective media, like white paper. It is made up of four basic colours with one (Black) being an interesting one. Here no colours (or ink) means a white sheet of paper, and the more of a colour you add the darker it becomes. It is thus the exact opposite of radiant media. using Cyan + Magenta + Yellow should give us black, but instead it turns into a very dirty bark brown, and costs a lot of ink from each colour to achieve this. So black is added as fourth colour to ensure a solid black colour and minimize the amount of colour ink(s) needed to achieve this.


RGB Colour Model CMYK Colour Model

From this we can see that printing QR codes created with a RGB colour model may look great on your screen, but your printer does not want them as even if your QR code is black and white, the black will translate to 100% cyan, 100% magenta and 100% yellow which is exactly what you printer does not want.

Sample PDF QR Code using each colour model, see which one your printer prefers. Click on the images below to download the PDF files.


So next time you create a QR code, think first where it is going to be used, for display on a screen or for printing and choose the correct colour model to get the right results. If required for both media it is advisable to generate it twice using both colour models.


Posted by: jeroen Steeman
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Categories: QR Code Bitmap | QR Code Colour | QR Code Vector
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QR code generator software

qr code generator software for websites qr code generator software for servers qr code generator software for desktops

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