Friday, August 17, 2012

QR Codes - Words in Pictures

So lately, I've been wondering what was up with those black and white grid patterns that seem to be slapped onto many products these days, similar to the one on the right.

I've done a bit of reading, and it turns out that they are basically two-dimensional barcodes called QR Codes (which stands for Quick Response code).

These codes are pretty nifty for several reasons. You can store pretty much any kind of text within them such as website links, quotes, calling cards or GPS positions. As long as it's text and it's not excessively long, one can convert it into a functional QR code.

QR codes are defined as an ISO standard, which means they're free of any license. Most smartphones have applications that can read them by simply pointing the built-in camera to allow it to scan the code.

Lastly, and most importantly, QR codes have different levels of error tolerance, which means those with the patience and time could make customized hand-drawn QR codes.

I've tried my hand at converting the code above (which is this blog's address) into something hand-drawn, and it works! I've used a graphing notebook for this one and the design is still pretty inorganic, but I think it would be fairly easy to create the design onto tracing paper for a better look.

The one on the right has a couple of Slenderman references, but I was not confident about placing more drawings because I wasn't sure if it would work. I think it's a good idea to draw these with both pencils and pens, in order to add some degree of shading.

I'll probably do that one of these days.


  1. I've been seeing this codes and trying to scan it with my xperia for the longest time (whenever I'm in the grocery), but it doesn't work. HAHAHA This QR codes are really interesting because the concept is a little novel (at least for me). Maybe, I'll read about it next time.

    Nice work btw

  2. Thanks.

    Yep, they're a pain to scan. I found it easier to scan them successfully when I hold the phone a bit further back. It's more of a hit and miss, though.