QR Codes

I saw this QR Code posted in an advertisement appearing in the Sunday Times yesterday. QR Codes are not unfamiliar to me. I’ve known about a few types of 2-D codes for a long time. QR Codes are not entirely new in our mass media either. With so many people carrying smartphones capable of scanning QR Codes, marketing companies have been getting on the bandwagon to reach out to tech-savvy consumers. What’s interesting about this particular QR Code is that it has been creatively mutilated to make it look more interesting.

People who are familiar with the conventional barcodes know that the print needs to be very precise, and damage to the printed bars will easily render the code unreadable to scanners. Many people probably think, in a similar way, QR Codes need to be quite precisely printed. They almost always appears as black print on a white background, with reasonable amount of surrounding white space.

The truth is that QR Codes are designed to be quite robust. Parts of the code could be missing, smudged, or there could be extra markings, but can still remain perfectly readable. (You can read QR Codes from varying angles too, and even from a reversed image.)

But so far, no one purposely prints a deteriorated QR Code. At least, I’ve not come across one until now.

This QR Code, pictured above, is printed with black, green and purple on a white background. Edges that are supposed to be straight and right-angled are now curved. Best yet, there are several cute little horses printed on the code.

This modified QR Code, however, remains perfectly readable by QR Code scanners. Nice.