R U QR Compatible? Branding With Techie Style!

From the subway ads flashing by on your way to work to the Metro clutched in your hand, QR or “Quick Response” codes are everywhere these days. Whether they’re enabling viewers to buy tickets to the latest Broadway musical from their smartphones or simply driving traffic to a show’s website, these black and white squares are the most accessible gateway linking online content to traditional print media. But despite their technological barrier-breaking abilities, there’s no denying that clunky, color-specific 1”x1” QR codes can range from disrupting a design to being downright ugly. Unless, of course, they don’t have to be 1”x1”, color-specific or clunky.

A recent JetBlue campaign took everything we take for granted about QR codes and threw it out the window by turning the entire ad into one. And thanks to the rather generous error correction built into code readers, some smartphones could scan it even without the more traditional backup code JetBlue incorporated. Indeed, some sources suggest that up to 30% of a code can be distorted and still be readable, which gives us quite a bit of flexibility when it comes to modifying and even branding these 1”x1” squares that are otherwise indistinguishable to human eyes. Of course every reader is different, so any alteration requires testing, but the right adjustments can create fully-functioning barcodes that can be instantly recognized, whether they’re for world-renowned broadcast companies or a certain Times Square attraction that’s certified extraordinary.