How to Optimize QR Codes for Display Size and Scanning Distance

qr codes
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QR codes are a quick and error-free way to market your brand or products. You can use them in multiple ways to share content with your target audience. If you are planning to use QR codes for marketing purposes, this article will tell you how you can optimise your codes with respect to scanning distance and display size.

The Connection Between QR Codes and Scanning Distance

When designing a QR code, you must consider the distance between the QR code and the consumer, says Create QR Code. People try to minimise the size of QR codes, so that they do not take a lot of space on a banner, or magazine page. However, it should be done without compromising the scannability of the code.

Often marketers are asked to fit a QR code in a small space. So they end up designing a code that is too small to be scanned, according to SmallBizTrends. If you are planning to design a QR code, you can avoid this issue by considering a few factors, including the colour, placement, and density of the QR code.

If you design a QR code for a magazine, and then display the same code on the TV as well, people will have to leave their couch to scan a small QR code, which makes the code inefficient. A QR code for magazines is scanned from a short distance, so it should be small in size. On the other hand, a QR code that is to be displayed on a TV screen should be large, so that people don’t have to leave their couch to reach the TV and scan the code.

Variables to Consider When Designing a QR Code

QR code density, scanning distance, and display size are the important variables you need to remember when generating a QR code. The scanning distance has a direct relationship with code density and size.

  • Low-density codes are small in size, because their modules do not merge together. If you reduce the QR code density while keeping its area the same, you can increase the functional distance.
  • High-density codes need more area, because they have several modules which can merge together if they are not provided with proper spacing. If you increase the density of a QR code while keeping the display area constant, you can reduce the functional distance.
  • The density of a QR code depends on the length of a URL. The longer the URL, the higher the density of the code will be. It is calculated by multiplying the characters of a URL with the error correction value.

Optimization of a QR Code

Some QR code generating tools automatically optimise the density of the code, while others require manual optimization. As mentioned earlier, your URL’s number of characters determines the code density. The number of URL characters depends on different elements, including tracking parameters, keywords, and domain.

There are total four error correction values: 7%, 15%, 25%, and 30% (source). Only one of these values is used for one QR code. When the percentage of error correction is increased, the value of the density also increases. If you want to decrease the size of a code, reduce the number of URL characters to get better results.