143 thoughts on “How To Put Your Logo In A QR Code

    1. Paint.net downloads/uses too much crap put out by microsoft, I used to use it but it just became too insane.
      Now I myself use the good old GIMP (also available in a portable version as well as being available on other OS’s than windows)

      But to each his own of course, paint.net does have a lot of functionality.

      The familiar MS paint in w7 is also much extended over their old paint btw.

    1. Sadly the youth of today seem to think Photoshop is the cure-all to all things graphic design. This is why you have lots of online sites that have sub-par graphics. You may have great talent, but its wasted if you’re not using the right tool for the job. Try Fireworks, it’s way better at handling pixel based art. But like Brian said, paint so far has the best UI that I’ve ever run across.

      1. I have it but really dont like working in it. Haven’t given it enough time perhaps. I’ve gotten pretty good with ps for per pixel. Then again, I’ve used it since v2.5 so I’ve had a lot of time to get used to it.

        All of it’s come a long way since hand anti-aliasing graphics in dpaint.

      2. Professional pixel artists typically use Graphics Gale or similar specialized software (good news: it’s only $20 last I checked). MS Paint is crap comparatively, and Photoshop and Fireworks aren’t even in the right ballpark. There’s a couple of Linux FOSS pixel art suites but Gale is far superior to all of them.

      3. I’m certainly not a ‘youth’ but I would always take Photoshop over GIMP, Paint.NET, or any other graphic drawing tool.

        Having used it for nearly 8 years, I can solidly say I can do more in Photoshop than other programs, including pixel editing.

        There is a fully color-selectable pencil tool. If CTRL-+ to zoom in is so difficult, perhaps Paint is the right way to go…

      1. Am I missing something? I just created a 60×60 px image in MS Paint for W7 and saved it as a 542b monochrome bitmap. Opening it in GVim and Notepad2 it just looks like a load of control characters, Icelandic letter thorns, ys with umlauts etc. How exactly does one go about editing a bitmap with a text editor?

      2. If one can use a text editor to edit these image files, this conjures up ideas of using Perl or some other language to write a logo-insert script. Perhaps even add in support to use a symbols font and select which symbol to insert. This would certainly be easier and faster than programming a pixel-based modification script or doing it by hand.

  1. Icon editors work pretty good, they snap to each pixel allowing easy black/white out of each space. Perhaps this will become a new phase for QR codes, re-write the software so the middle is simply ignored and allow for a logo space.

  2. Mm.. This is really neat but won’t it make the QR code less resilient to errors (i.e. waste of data redundancy)?
    Unless I’m wrong, this is the kind of stuff that usually comes out from a designer’s head – more eye candyness, less functionality.

    1. yeah, thats what i was thinking
      if you trash half the error recovery data, it will be less likely to recover from errors
      so it will be harder to read the code, meaning you need a better (or more) pictures until it works

      1. most people leave out the error correction anyway, as many applications don’t require it (labeling things indoors, business cards, or laminated signs), so if you weren’t going to use EC anyway, might as well use it for your logo.

      1. Just an incorrect observation. Apple have nowhere near the market share of Microsoft, nor the overall profit and operating capital.

        Apple may have grown their profits by twenty-some percent, but Microsoft was already several hundred percent ahead.

    1. I tried using that, but they charge you for it. MSPaint works great (at least, the WinXP version does). It loads instantly (try doing that, PhotoShop!), saves quickly without hassles, and can do really great color erasing (right-clicking with the eraser–still haven’t figured out how to do that with PS). I like PS for its cloning/copying/aliasing capabilities, as well as a lot of plugins, but Paint is great for Pixel art. Sometimes (like when I make OS GUIs) I start with the shapes and color palettes in MSPaint and then work them up in PS. :)

  3. @Brian Benchoff

    “and Microsoft Paint (I’ve never seen a program to edit individual pixels that has a better UI, so don’t laugh).”

    MS Paint for per pixel editing FTW!! I wouldn’t laugh, I don’t and can’t photoshop so that’s really all the editing I can do xD

  4. Honestly, I’ve used Fireworks and Paint, and others, and I don’t see how anyone can say those alternates are an improvement on Photoshop for pixel work.

    Yes, working with the correct tool is important, but so is knowing how to use a tool correctly. It is very simple to use PS for a pixel editor, you just have to know what you’re doing. For some tasks, though, I prefer Paint Shop Pro 7, but I don’t use it much any more.

    1. I have to agree with your sentiment. Photoshop is a great tool for many different things including per-pixel editing.

      The only valid argument is that paint loads faster and is simpler to learn. While that is important, I don’t think it’s fair to crap on Photoshop in general.

      On QR Codes:
      This is really cool, I have wondered how they work before. Great information to have. Thanks!

      1. Don’t you miss one difference between paint, gimp and photoshop? Is not photoshop a little bit more expensive than the others (I don’t use, I’m not sure)? :) And of course for Linux user the gimp will be the best choice from that trio, that is another difference :)

      2. Saying photoshop is not ideal for pixel editing and loads slow is hardly crapping on the software lol.

        Thats like trashing a Ferrari for not having a roof rack and brush guard.

    1. Yeah. I also noticed that this pixel line seems not to harm the functionality. Does anybody know if this is intended (in fact this part of the QR code can also be damaged) or an error of the programmers which makes our work easier?

    2. Far more impressive would be a python script wielding ImageMagick working in 24bit PNG. Lossy formats are rarely prudent. Allow the agent to destroy integrity themselves; provide only quality yourself.

  5. Lol you guys are doing this the hard way… I been adding logos to qr codes for a while and the way I do it is I cut a logo in photoshop then add a 3 pixel stroke to the outside of the logo in white.. Then layer it over the qr code then keep adjusting the size of the logo til the qr code works well..test the code while adjusting the logo size then save it when it works. Simple as that no need to make it hard talking about counting pixels.. My method takes 2 mins after u get the hang of it.

  6. The article is only somewhat accurate when it says that you can trash 51 of the byte codewords. After reading the spec: Version 6 codes are broken into 4 main blocks. Each block has 15 data codewords and 28 error correction codewords. Error correction is handled on a per-block basis, and each block can tolerate 14 bad bytes. This allows us to kill up to 52 codewords, but as soon as we kill 15 in any given block the code will be unreadable.

    The good news is that the way the blocks are interleaved, wiping out any contiguous section of the code is likely to destroy all blocks reasonably equally.

  7. You obviously need to use my dpaint-style paint program for pixel-wrangling: Evilpixie. It’s Free Software (GPL), and as it’s creator, I’m well placed to offer a perfectly neutral, unbiased opinion: it’s fantastic, and laboratory tests have shown that using it will automatically make you at least 37% hipper and 85.14% more attractive.

    1. 1. Yes embedding QR codes is often better.

      2. Especially easy logos are _really nice_ inside a QR Code, like HackADay pixeled or the IBM example.

      there is a reason for both, also fuck error correction, if you don’t need it because your QR is digital, than use it for something else.

  8. One other problem – you really don’t want to change the locators (those square target like areas) too much. If you can directly download an image where the pixels are perfect there won’t be a problem but if you photographs, they need the finders and alignment patterns to figure out where the square boundaries are.

    You can also do things with colors. as long as in monochrome light and dark are distinguishable.

    1. hmm. I can’t tell if you’re an atheist or if you just thought it’d be ironic.

      I think it is pretty awesome thing to be able to do and I don’t understand why some people think it is stupid. In areas where error correction are unnecessary its pretty cool!

      I’m going to college so I put my face in the middle and added “Call me!” to the top. Geekiest way to give a girl your number, guaranteed.*

      *Not actually guaranteed.

  9. Fuck yeah Paint Shop Pro! I still use v5 all the time (7 has some more features, though seems to crash for me more often so I don’t use it much). I grabbed a copy of 9 once since it’s the latest version that still runs on win98, but they ballsed up the interface on it so much, I hate it. But oh well, 5 still gets the job done.

  10. I’ve made a .NET library (implemented in C#, .NET 4.0) that can generate these things automatically.
    You just put in the text to encode in the QRCode and a picture you want to embed, and the rest is done by the library.

    Here’s a link to the source code:

    and here’s a couple of examples:

    Ah, almost forgot, this uses code from the Messaging Toolkit project. check it out: http://twit88.com/platform/

  11. The only trouble is the more you modify the less parity you have in your QR code, meaning it’s more prone to errors. It has really high parity because phone cameras and lighting situations can combine to a really shitty photo; if you wipe out parity with a graphical overlay, people have to take *perfect* snaps of QR codes or it’ll end up corrupted. Not to discourage anyone from having a good time hacking them, just a thing to be aware of that you didn’t really bring up in the article.

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