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What Size Should My QR Code Be?

December 12, 2022
Kayla Uytengsu


In your day to day life, you probably see QR codes just about everywhere. QR codes have become prolific, and are used for convenience by sellers, government officials, hospitals, and more! However, a lot goes into making a great QR code – functionality is a huge part of this. Depending on your use case, there are several questions to ask yourself.

So, a big question that comes to mind is – how big should a QR code be? It depends. We’ll explore that further in this article.

If you’re considering starting your QR code journey, read on to understand how QR codes work, how to accurately size your code, and how Flowcode can help you along the way!

How do QR codes work?

QR codes are two-dimensional barcodes that are scannable from any orientation. QR codes contain lots of information in a condensed area, which allow smartphones to process information and prompt your phone to direct you to a URL (webpage).

QR codes are arranged with two important design elements: eyes and data points.

  • Eyes are the three bigger boxes that exist on every code that help your phone camera recognize that it’s looking at a QR code.
  • Data points are the smaller dots that create a pattern within the code – you can think of these as the unique composition of information that makes each code distinct from another, kind of like a fingerprint.

Due to the complex nature of QR codes, finding a sweet spot between size and ratio is key to making sure that your complex and data-rich QR code is readable by a phone, no matter where you put it.

Does the size of my code matter?

Yes. The size of the QR code is an important consideration because it affects how well users can scan it. If it's too small, the code may not be legible; if it's too large, it will take up unnecessary space on the page. That's why it's helpful to size your QR code correctly so that it's easy to scan and looks good on the page.

Which QR code elements matter for sizing?

1. Shape

The other thing to consider is the shape of your code. Square or circular codes are more scannable, meaning that you probably  won’t need to zoom in on your code to make it scanable. However, if you opt to customize the overall shape of your code, or the  datapoints of your code, this could affect needing to size up to ensure the same accuracy of scanning.

2. Placement

Where you decide to put your code is also an important consideration. A key question to ask is: how accessible is my code? Does someone have to bend down to scan if you've placed the code at the bottom of an a-frame? Is the code behind a reflective glass window or packaging that makes it especially tough for your phone to read it? Is it on a moving truck? Considering the surface or location on that surface you are using will influence sizing. Generally, hard to reach or hard to see places should be treated with a boost in size for your code.

3. Resolution

The scannability of a QR code is affected by its resolution. If you cannot print at a high resolution, raise the size by 0.2" per five columns and rows. If you need to print a smaller QR code, use a high-resolution printer.

recommended qr code size for print

Best practices for QR code signs

There isn’t anywhere you can’t put a QR code – as long as you’re diligent about sizing aspects that ensure your code stays easily scannable by any phone and for any user. Here are some other quick tips.

1. The bigger the better

Our internal studies estimate a 300% increased scan count with a Flowcode larger than the 1” minimum size.

2. Easy to access

Ensure your code is in an easy to view and accessible location to ensure that users can accurately grab the code. If your code is from a distance (such as a billboard), size up correspondingly to ensure the same scannability.

3. Use a Call-to-Action (CTA)

Applying a CTA on or around the code greatly increases the chances that users will be excited to engage with it. You can use these messages to create scarcity, exclusivity, and intrigue in order to drive traffic to limited edition sales and releases. Our testing has proved that a code with a specific CTA is 14% more likely to get scanned.

4. Quality printing

Ensure that you work with a high-quality printer for optimized results. Not sure where to find one? Flowcode has it’s very own Print Shop with our trusted printing teams that can be delivered to your doorstep. Better yet, we offer several pre-templated designs for any physical marketing collateral you may want, from window clings to direct mailers.

Do QR codes need to be a certain size?

As a rule of thumb, it’s best not to create a code smaller than 1” (1 inch x 1 inch). However, keep in mind the considerations we explain above. A 1” code on a jumbotron isn’t going to cut it – but thinking of these tips will make scaling your code more of a common sense issue. There isn’t an upper limit on code size, but large sizes are recommended for displays like jumbotrons, billboards, and more where there is a big distance between your code and the phone scanning it.

For digital media such as tv, deploying a QR code with a clear and simple call-to-action for users to follow, like “Scan the code for an extra 10% discount” or “Scan to shop,” will nudge the viewer to act.

billboard QR code

Why should you work with Flowcode?

If you’re looking for a scalable, reliable QR code made with quality tools, look no further than Flowcode.

Not only does Flowcode offer best in class customizability, but we ensure helpful educational tips are there along your creation journey. This is available with our free product, but with paid plans, you can consult with our in-house design and customer success teams in order to create a striking campaign and the highest quality. We help you through this process from end-to-end with our all-in-one platform – from code creation to printing.

Visit Flowcode today and see what they offer regarding size restrictions and customizability to ensure you’re creating the best codes possible!

Ready to get started? Use our generator today!

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