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

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What mobile marketers use to get their message to mobile markets.

A comparison between 2010 and 2011 deployed mobile marketing tactics. I'm sure that 2012 will again see an increase in the use of QR codes.

Scannable Codes
tags, QR
SMS/Text Messages
Smartphone Apps
Mobile Display Ads
Mobile Video
Mobile Coupons
Mobile Games - Branded
Augmented Reality
no information available

Source: Chief Marketer Mobile Marketing Survey

   2011    2010

In 2010 no one bothered to check the use of augmented reality, so data is missing for this year.

Interesting to note is that barcode scanning is up 15% (this includes QR codes, MS tag and other proprietary barcoding technology) and outperforms any other technology used between 2010 and 2011 and I expect it to increase even more in 2012. Mobile apps are also still a popular instrument for branding and marketing.

SMS marketing that was always seen as an urgent and immediate communication channel has declined the most. Even though it is the fastest and simplest way to set up, use and to communicate to mobile devices, I can only imagine that the costs per message in combination with limited interaction and presentation options are the reason it is being abandoned by marketers.


QR codes can help those in times of need and when people cannot speak for themselves.


Medical Response

Many people are aware of the International *'Medic Alert'® necklaces and bracelets that should signal people and draw attention to the fact that the bearer of this amulet has potential special medical needs. The purpose of this is to speak for the bearer when the bearer is unable to. The instructions/allergies/medication/and possibly contact information for doctor and next of kin are engraved on the inside of the amulet.

* Have been approached by this organization and forbidden to use their name amoungst other damands. Sad to see how corporations protect their interests.

Purpose Medic-Response:

  • Enhance the existing service by providing more comprehensive information via digital resources using QR codes. This in not a replacement, but an enhancement. There is a limited amount of information you can engrave on an amulet. A qr code can open doors to unlimited information via digital networks.
  • Be of service when the bearer is not in needs of direct and immediate external assistance to help them undertake what is needed to avoid the need of external assistance and to improve the quality of their life.

Why Medic-Response:

Most users using medical alert amulets rely and trust that this will convey the right information for them when they are not able to do so themselves. Imaging such a service to be more dynamic and able to assist and help the bearer to avoid a situation where they are no longer able to speak for themselves and at the same time provide more than just the basics to hopefully bring what ever caused this unfortunate situation to a healthy and happy end.

Medical Response an example:

John Doe is nearly completely deaf, suffers from diabetes, has hay fever (mild) and is allergic to bee stings. His doctor knows him well and advises accordingly. However John loves life and does and goes where it leads him, knowing that it is not always a good idea, he has gotten away with it pretty well over the past 45 years. The amulets QR code will lead you to John's public exposed information that anyone, including John can use at any time.

Medical Alert Mobile Response App
Medical Alert Hospitals Response App

Medical Alert Pollen Response App

QR Code Service

John and anyone scanning the QR code can:

  • Using GPS location find the closest hospital and either take John there or contact them via phone.
  • Using GPS locate the closest pharmacy to get needed medication.
  • Using GPS get real-time updates on any local situation that may have adverse effects on health (Hay fever as example)
  • Using a medical password get access to John's medical folder if he chose to make this available to registered medical staff in his absence via his profile settings.

A service that John can use to get updates on things that may affect his health and possibly explain why he is feeling the way he is. Find the closest hospital to his location. Find a pharmacy in the vicinity to get medication. Real-time check on pollen counts in the area where he is located. Effective locally (where John lives) and also when John goes on holiday too, as example South Africa, United States, Europe. And a service that provides more information for and about John when he can and cannot speak for himself.

QR codes are not just for 'marketing' they can help save lives and improve quality of life.

This implementation of QR codes enhances existing medical information systems by providing more information than can be engraved on an amulet or necklace and is at the same time a service to the user in good times and also when the user is unable to speak for themselves.


Find out what's inside those QR codes online.

You probably know about the Online QR Code Decoder that decodes QR code images you upload to it. The decoder API is similar, here you tell it the URL of the image on the Internet and it will return the contents as text string. It uses a simple HTTP web request method and returns a string.

Making use of a simple web request this QR code reader API can decode the contents of a QR code image anywhere on the web. It uses two parameters:

  • KEY - a required activation key to enable the API to perform the job. This key can be be requested for free here.
  • Image URL - the HTTP address of the location of the QR code image.

The API will return (as plain text) either an error message that starts with the text "ERROR:" or the contents that it has decoded from the QR code image.


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

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