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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

The thin line between quality QR codes

Most generators found on-line and offline create 'bitmap' QR codes, these images or pictures are made from a series of dots called 'pixels' and generally intended for display on a computer screen or monitor. Each image has just so many dots as is required to display the image at a set size. But what happens when you need a QR code to display perfectly no matter what size you want it.

The difference between a bitmap QR codes and vector QR codes

Below are two identical QR codes, one is bitmap and the other is a vector representation, both generated at the same original size.

Bitmap QR Code
Bitmap QR Code
Vector QR Code
Vector QR Code

Bitmap QR Zoom

Vector QR Zoom
QR Code Vector Zoom

Bitmap QR block
QR Code Bitmap Single Block

Vector QR block
QR Code Vector Single Block

Comparing the two different types of QR code files by zooming in clearly shows that the bitmap looses clarity and becomes fuzzy. This may explain why Blackberry QR Code readers have so much trouble reading these codes ;)

Bitmap QR codes are great for displaying on a screen, but often fall short when it comes to being used with most types of printed collateral.

Why do the vector QR codes retain their clarity under any magnification

The reason is simple. Vector QR codes are made of lines and then filled in with ink. so it does not matter whether a QR code bock is 1 mm by 1 mm or 1 m by 1 m. In each case a box is drawn to the required dimensions and then filled with a colour, leaving a perfect clear square no matter how large or how small you make the QR code.

Postscript Vector QR Code Outline Postscript Vector QR Code Filled
Postscript-Vector-QR-Code-Outline Postscript-Vector-QR-Code-Outline-Filled

Interesting to note is that this generator takes the 'Quiet Zone', the required border around the QR Code into account
Click on the image below to download the EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) file that generated this QR code.

PostScript Vector QR CodeThe QR code about were created by the generic matrix to vector processor developed by QR4 which is an industrial QR code generator capable of generating variable and dynamic QR codes faster than the print speed of any digital printer, and is also available on-line for 24/7 use for all our clients.

Next time your need to print QR codes, require quality results, a happy printer, and QR codes that just work better, use vector or Postscript QR codes, you will be surprised at the quality and efficiency.

For more information on the high speed EPS QR Code Generator please contact one of our members closest to you.


Posted by: jeroen Steeman
Tags: , ,
Categories: QR Code Generator | QR Code Vector | 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

QR4 is maintained by Jeroen Steeman - Geleenhof 42, 5655 AH Eindhoven - Tel: +31 (0)6 130 33 743