143 thoughts on “How to put your logo in a QR code

  1. thanks for the explanation…best I’ve seen.

    @dean_collins: good point about overlays, as you call them, adding the QR to a graphic, rather than adding a graphic to a QR. the coolest one i’ve found is the “set japan coke qr” here: http://nazgulk.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/coke-qr-code.jpg?w=500&h=266

    …and this is a shameless self-promo, but I’ve got an article on iMedia that points out how to avoid some common mistakes in delivering QR to your audience: http://t.co/2HSzIcT

  2. Now, here’s what would REALLY be cool: Someone develop an algorithm that actually creates the bits & pixels of a proper QR code that includes your logo and text, where the logo *IS PART OF* the valid code! Yeah, it would take some serious number crunching and bit-diddling, but it’s gotta be possible!

  3. Willie…

    You have a good point… and you could potentially do it.

    Take any image.. convert color to HSI (hue, saturation,intensity).

    Take the QR code and replace I (intensity) with what the QR code value is with a certain contrast. Say .25 for black and .75 for white.

    Is it time for Hackaday to take another stab at this?

    1. 1. Microsoft Tags aren’t open. You have to go to Microsoft to make them or read them. Anyone can implement QR code generators/readers.

      2. When you scan a Microsoft Tag, the mobile app sends the data to Microsoft, and you get a URL back (like using a URL shortener). They don’t appear to be useful when you’re offline. QR codes can be fully decoded by the client application.

      3. (Opinion) Microsoft Tags are fugly.


      It irks me every time I see a company using Microsoft Tags where they could’ve used QR codes. We’ve got a standard, it works well, it’s versatile, it’s instantly recognizable, and it doesn’t live or die according to any one organization’s direction. You may as well be using Xerox Dataglyphs (which are pretty awesome).

  4. So, I just used this trick to generate interesting return-address labels for while I’m deployed to Afghanistan. While I’m gone, the plan is to send lots of these to friends and family so they can more easily send letters and goodies (Trader Joe’s “Just Mango Slices” for the win!) and in the interim I can have interesting return address labels. Everybody wins!

    Heh. I now wonder if a QR Code in coyote brown and desert tan could be worked into a MarPat-style camouflage…

  5. Ive been doing this for a while now as part of my SoundCloud/iTunes project. On my MacBook, all I have to do is us an online generator, screenshot the code, bring it into Pages in a blank page layout document and bring in your logo. You can utilize instant alpha and other effects to give it character. Paintbrush apps or Apeture can add a color monochrome effect to the code to help it stand out.

    Always test scan with your phone to ensure compatibility.

    Check out my samples online: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dark-Jester/220285348016135

  6. This can be done easier than is shown. Just open up an area in the middle, make sure it works, and place in your logo graphic. A little artistic work to fill it in and you are done. Anyone with a copy of MSPAINT should be able to achieve a working custom QR code in twenty minutes. Cool.

  7. Use Zint.
    Found at http://sourceforge.net/projects/zint/
    It is a offline Freeware open source program.

    I’ve used it at work for QR, PDF417, DataMatrix and Code 39.
    I’ve used it in public at bus stops to have a QR code link to the transit agency’s Live transit tracking website.
    Zint allows access to all of QR code’s variables including increased error correction levels up to 65%. This allows the codes to be deface a great deal and still be scanned with ease.

    Zint allows external file and internal batch generation and has never failed.

  8. (I’ve never seen a program to edit individual pixels that has a better UI, so don’t laugh).

    I have, and have been using it for 12 years. It’s called Paint Shop Pro 5.0 (yes, the very very old version)

  9. Ok .. stop dissing PS and learn how to use it ..

    File > Mode > Bitmap

    Then if you have the brains to divide the number of squares across the QR code by the number of pixel wide it is, you will get the factor you need to reduce the image size by to make it pixel for pixel.

    After that, use the pencil tool.

    If you want to enlarge the final file size you can do without the file being resampled.

  10. Fun fact, you can use gifs as well. Just went and tested dropping an animated “Nyan cat” loop into a QR code, works flawlessly like any other logo embedded QR code. Just thought that was worth sharing!

  11. One more suggestion regarding designing these… you can rotate the QR code 90, 180, or 270 degrees and it will still work. So, this gives you more layout possibilities to work with and achieve the desired result while avoiding the protected areas.

  12. I followed the QR Code building with a logo up to the point where you counted the 8 bit cells to insure they were sufficient. I then went to your QR Code generator site and understood how to generate the code. How is it generated so that it fits around the logo? I found no way to place the logo on the site for the code generator to build around.

  13. Thanks for the guide, I’d been wondering about this.
    Made a few for my union, check them out!
    I love this one, because it perfectly integrates the dotted line :)

    This one is neat, too.

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