Companies spend time and money on their logos, mottos and their uniqueness. Differentiation in the eyes of a consumer is important for companies that sell similar products. When they first came to the market, QR codes were similar in style and features. The code consisted of a white background with a black graphics designs. From a consumer standpoint all the QR codes looked similar to each other. Although they stored different forms of information, the codes themselves were indistinguishable. As their popularity grew, companies saw ways to personalize and customize the QR code to relate to their products and services.
The Anatomy of a QR Code
(Custom QR codes) have several key features that differentiate it from other mobile barcodes. There are open squares at the 3 sides of the barcode that determine the position of the graphic information within the barcode. There are alignment features and timing features. There is also format and correction keys within the barcode that make sure the applications and information stored within the barcode is scanned correctly. All these features of the QR code are placed strategically within the barcode to ensure proper transmission of information from the barcode to the mobile device. When companies wish to customize and personalize (custom QR codes) for a product or service, they disrupt the position and alignment of the codes features. This creates a problem as the information that the company wishes to store within the QR code cannot be scanned correctly because of the design or customize disrupts the sequence and pattern of the QR code. Companies counteract the personalization’s’ effects by error correction.
Invented by Irving S. Reed and Gustave Solomon, the Reed-Solomon coding theory is the most error correction algorithm used for QR codes. In binary coding, the Reed-Solomon codes can correct and also detect errors within a code and fix them to make sure that the scanning of the code and how the information is retrieved is not distorted. There are four different levels of correction and the higher the correction level, the more artistic and personalization of the code can be achievable. This does have its drawbacks however. The QR code has limited storage ability and if binary codes for correction are placed within the storage code, they take space and this decreases the space available for what company might want the QR code to store.
Because the Reed-Solomon theory allows for error correction, artistic QR codes can customize the regular and common QR code to whatever the company wishes to place on the barcode. QR code design experts that are skilled in the production and formation of how a QR code works can create artistic designs by tweaking the black graphics and the white background of a QR code while still keeping the code standards in check.
Creating a QR code