What Is a QR Code and How Can You Make One?

The increased need and demand for distanced solutions have led to a resurgence in QR code use. The world went from “what is a QR code?” to using them almost daily.

Their popularity came thanks to a call for contactless payments and touch-free menus for safety reasons. Not to mention the fact that people have finally learned how to use them. They’re a good way to get noticed and increase sales.

Anyone on the web can make them today, and you can put just about any type of information in them. Let’s take a look at just what they are and how to use them.

What is a QR Code?

This cool image-based internet shortcut actually came on the scene in 1994 in the auto industry to track manufacturing production. It’s called a quick response code, and it came about as an improvement over barcodes. A QR code can be scanned from any direction and holds a lot more information.

When marketers attempted to start using them in the 2000s, the effort fell a little flat because they were cumbersome for consumers. You needed a third-party app to read them along with a smartphone. Today, iPhone and Android phones come with the ability to read a code built-in, removing that barrier.

You’ll often see them as black-and-white squares, but they can come in different shapes and with colors. The code can hold links, coupons, menus, or event details and find its way onto direct mail, signage, and billboards.

How to Make a QR Code

So, just how to create a QR code. To start, you need to decide how you plan to use it and what information you need it to contain. These codes can hold a lot more data than would normally fit in the small space they occupy.

You’ll need to start by picking a QR code generator, and there are many good free ones out there. In the generator, you’ll enter the information you want in the code. The generator translates that into the coding language and provides you with an image.

QR codes are limited in that they are static, meaning the information in them can’t change once the code is generated. Dynamic codes are made by using a redirected URL where you can put changeable info.

How to Use a QR Code

The uses for QR codes vary by the industry using them. They’re commonly seen in ads or on store shelves to send you to a product website for more information. Newer uses include in restaurants to send you to an online menu or to provide contactless checkout.

You can even do QR code engraving to put a code on a plastic name badge. This would allow someone to scan your code rather than you giving them a paper business card.

You can learn more about how to engrave a QR code in plastic or metal and the cool ways to use that technology.

Get Coding

Now that you know the answer to “what is a QR code”, you can start making your own for personal or business use. Creating one is easy and cheap, so it’s worth experimenting with to see if it helps with traffic and sales. More people are familiar with how to use them now thanks to the desire for contactless interactions.

Check out our other articles on technology that can improve your life.