What are QR Codes?

QR Codes (Quick Response) were developed in the early ’90s by Denso Wave, a subsidiary of Toyota. Although they were initially designed for auto parts tracking, these codes have become very popular in print media. The reason they have become so popular is because they can store large amounts of data, and the technology to read these codes is readily available on today’s smart phones with built-in cameras.

What can I do with a QR Code?

As we said, a QR Code can store a lot of data, so you could put one on your business card. When you hand someone your business card, they will notice the barcode and probably be curious. If they have a reader installed on their smart phone, they simply scan the code and the data uploads into their contacts. This is just one simple QR Code application, but very effective. You can also send SMS text messages, dial phone numbers, link to websites, link to maps for immediate directions, and can even track your direct mail pieces. Although QR Codes have been around a while, it’s important to know the web application of the technology is relatively new, so the possibilities are emerging. Think of QR Codes as a real world hyperlink to the virtual world.

How much do they cost?

QR Codes are completely free! We’ve even included a free QR Code generator on our site, so you can start generating your own codes and applying it to your own printed material right now.

Where can I get a reader for my smart phone?

Most smart phones come with a reader app already, so you just have to figure out where it is. If not, go to your smart phone app store and search for QR Code or Barcode readers. The one we prefer is the ZXing reader, which is an open source smart phone application not associated with any company. Once you install the app, just start it up and it will usually be waiting to scan something and then automatically do what it needs to do when it sees one.

Here’s a QR Code you can test on your own smart phone right now!

QR Code for Professional Printing Center