Boost up your QR Code knowledge with the latest tips and news.


How QR codes work and their history

Updated: Apr 25

how do qr codes work

Even if you've never heard of a QR code, it's likely that you're already familiar with them. QR codes are being used in a wide range of marketing materials, and they've become more popular than ever in recent years.

Many of our clients have been using QR codes in their marketing materials for some years. Because we know how powerful they can be when used correctly, we often use them in our clients' business cards, posters, brochures, and banners.

Despite this, many of our consumers are still unfamiliar with the concept of a QR code. We're often asked what a QR code is, what it accomplishes, and how it works.

We decided to create this simple lesson to explain what a QR code is and how it works in plain English since explaining it to each client would be time-consuming.

What Are QR Codes And How Do They Work?

On the left-hand side of the business card, you'll notice a strange design consisting of black squares and dots, as seen in the image above. This is the fundamental appearance of a QR code.

A QR code's goal is to create an image that can be scanned and changed into something more useful by any modern Smartphone (with a QR code reader application). QR codes are often used to contain site addresses and link information, but they may also be used to connect Smartphone users to a range of other media (e.g. videos, images, etc).

That's all well and good, but what exactly is the purpose of a QR code? Isn't it true that you can just type a website URL into your phone and get right to it? While this is correct, the aim of a QR code is to simplify the process. Most individuals are too lethargic to type in website URLs on their phones since smartphone (or tablet PC) keyboards are more difficult to use than desktop/laptop keyboards.

QR codes are used by marketers to make the procedure simpler and thereby entice more people to visit a website or piece of information. QR codes are often used on banners, business cards, pamphlets, booklets, posters, and other marketing materials because of this.

What Are QR Codes And How Do They Work?

In principle, a QR code works in the same way as a barcode at the supermarket. It's a machine-readable image that can be read instantly using the camera of a smartphone. A QR code is a set of black squares and dots that represent different types of information. When your Smartphone scans this code, it turns the data into a format that can be understood by others.

A QR code is just a piece of data that has been encoded. Data in a QR code might be alphanumeric, numeric, binary, or Kanji (Kanji is a form of Chinese characters that are used in the modern Japanese writing system) how do qr codes work

Although that is the technical explanation of how a QR code works, the fact that hundreds of millions of people who use a Smartphone on a daily basis can scan QR codes at the touch of a button is much more important to consider. As a consequence, marketers will love them.

If you've ever scanned a QR code with your smartphone, you'll know that they can be scanned very quickly (seconds). As a consequence, QR codes provide a fast and straightforward way to access stored data, making them an excellent choice for conversion-focused marketers.

What Is A QR Code, And How Do I Create One?

At this point, you may be sold on the idea of including a QR code in your marketing materials, but you're probably wondering how you're going to do it. Fortunately, you don't need to learn the 'QR code language' since there are several online QR code generators available. As a consequence, the whole QR code generating method is made simpler.

Because it is both effective and easy to use, Live QR Code Generator is one of our favorite QR code generators. To use a QR code generator, just enter the text, URL, phone number, SMS, or vCard information that you want to be scannable. The website will take care of the rest, and you'll have a fully functional QR code in seconds. You may download or insert the QR code with a single click.

Note: There are many other online QR code generators; just type "QR code generator" into Google (or Bing) and you'll likely get millions of hits. Simply choose your preferred option.

Many people aren't aware that you don't have to use a boring black and white QR code image. In fact, after you've created a basic QR, you may vary the colors to make it really distinctive.

The Reed Solomon Error Correction Method: What Is It and How Does It Work?

You were probably perplexed by the range of mathematical calculations given to you when you clicked on the Wikipedia link above. So, in plain English, let's explain how the fixing process works.

Take a look at the QR code in the above picture. Marc Jacobs, a well-known brand, created this, and believe it or not, it's a fully working QR code (despite the girl covering up half of the design). All of this may be attributed to the Reed Solomon Correction Method.

All QR code readers use the Reed Solomon approach, which is a standard algorithm. It allows QR codes to be read even if part of the code is hidden or obliterated.

However, there is a limit to how much of your QR code can be hidden. The Reed Solomon method isn't magical, but it does a remarkable job of filling in the gaps if the key ideas are followed.

Because QR codes come in a range of forms and sizes, the amount of information you can hide or update is determined by a variety of factors. The fastest way to figure out how much of the QR code can be covered up is to use the chart on the website.

To make use of this, check through the table for the kind of QR code you want. To do so, you'll need to know the QR code's version as well as the number of characters in the message within the QR code (for example, 37 letters if your QR code was the URL The table will then produce a letter that corresponds to your QR code.

The following are the letters and their meanings:

Letter H: You can cover up or modify up to 30% of the code if your QR code is allocated the letter 'H' code (i.e., if your QR code contains 120 dots/bytes, you can cover up roughly 36 of them).

Letter Q: You can edit up to 25% of your code (in other words, if your code contains 120 dots/bytes, you can cover up to around 30 of them).

Letter M: You can edit up to 15% of your code (in other words, if your code contains 120 dots/bytes, you can cover up to around 18 of them).

Letter L: You can modify up to 7% of your code (in other words, if you have 120 dots/bytes, you can cover up around 8 - 9 of them).

Keep in mind that this is only a starting point; you'll need to test your QR code often.


We hope this has helped you understand QR codes and how they work, but if you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to contact us; we're always happy to help.

Making QR codes is straightforward if you only want to produce a basic design, but if you want to generate a totally customized QR code, things may become complicated fast. Delegate this work to a professional graphic designer who is conversant with QR codes if at all possible.

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