image - YouTube Video Sample QR Code

Ten Creative QR Codes For Inspiration (PICS)

And How To Use QR Codes

image - YouTube Video Sample QR CodeI love top image blog posts but this is a blogging tips website so I have to merge it with a little blogging education.

Are QR codes dead?

QR Codes, short for “Quick Response codes“, are simply 2D barcodes that can store a lot of information. The problem was the technology required to access this information, such as the smartphone, and the public education about them were slowly lagging behind the concept.

Well, technology is here to the tune of 6.8 million smartphone activations on Christmas day (2011) alone. Another 242 million apps were downloaded as well. Santa is no longer technologically impaired. So are QR Codes dead? I don’t think so, but who knows? Jeff Korhan predicts that 2012 will be a breakout year for QR Codes. Search Engine Watch says, “Mobile Barcode Scanning is on the Rise“.

How to generate QR Code

Barcode Maker - Online Barcode GeneratorThere are a ton of free online resources and I’m fond of the Free QR Code Generator by Wasp Barcode. A QR Code Generator is setup to create your unique and scannable QR Code for text, website, telephone, email address, Facebook profile, Twitter profile, LinkedIn profile or a YouTube video.

How to use Creative QR Codes

QR Codes are somewhat limited but the ways to use them are limited only to your imagination. You can add your URL to your business card, link to your Facebook or Twitter account from an ad or even setup a quick QR Code to send mobile users directly to a YouTube video.

Even though mobile is getting more popular all the time, mobile being what it is, I believe printed codes are the most useful. For example, what if a local car pool directory brochure using a code was hanging near a bus stop. Can you think of an excellent location to introduce an upcoming sale, event, video or even a cool Facebook page. Not too many people need to scan a QR code on their computer screens unless it’s to dial a phone number or add a contact.

On To Creative QR Codes:

QR Code Cupcakes

image - QR Code Cupcakes

QR Belt Buckle

image - QR Belt Buckle

QR Code On A For Sale Sign

image - QR Code On A For Sale Sign

On-screen QR Code In BBC One’s The Good Cook

image - On-screen QR Code In BBC One's The Good Cook

Robert Scoble’s Business Card

image -  Robert Scoble's Business Card

Digital Intervention – Project Sticker Map

image - Digital Intervention - Project Sticker Map

Political Message – Occupy Protests

image - Political Message - Occupy Protests

Park Bench – Student Exhibition

image - Park Bench - Student Exhibition

QR Coded – Low Budget

image - QR Coded - Low Budget

Commercial Real Estate Ad

image - Commercial Real Estate Ad

Featured photos are used under Creative Commons 2.0.

About Brian D. Hawkins

Blogging superhero by day and internet super villain by night. Blogger, future online millionaire and an all around great guy.


  1. These QR Codes are really neat! I didn’t know Scoble had a customized one. I don’t have an iPhone or smart phone yet, so I can’t take advantage of them but I’m looking forward to it one day.

  2. Hi Ileane, I actually ran across his business card on Flickr just by chance, that’s the first time I visited his profile there. The QR Codes are pretty cool to scan.

    They’re all over the grocery store now. You can even scan regular bar codes while shopping and search other stores to see if you’re getting the best deal. It’s pretty cool access.

    Thanks for the Digg too, I just noticed that. πŸ˜‰

  3. these QR codes and mobile are going to be the future…at least that is all I am reading now these days. We will see. I need to learn how to incorporate QR codes into my marketing.

  4. I love all these QR Codes popping up everywhere and it’s so easy to use them, I’ve used them in the past to promote some of the albums that I’ve produced with my Remergence project and they do work πŸ˜‰

  5. Hi Mike, I’m going to give you the type of advice that I charge local business for. Your payment? Nothing more than subscribing. πŸ™‚

    Imagine people walking into a coffee shop and grabbing your flyer at the entrance or by the counter while they order their coffee (get permission to leave them). The flyer has a few attention grabbing lines on it offering free @home business training. You have included your website URL (Which is down right now BTW) but they don’t have a tablet or laptop with them. You were prepared enough to include a QR Code leading directly to your best YouTube training/sales video. Now they can move to the next step, and are more likely to do so, because you gave them something of interest to do with their smart phone.

    Think of where people might go that have a few extra minutes of time or are likely to be open to what you offer e.g. hair salon/barber shop, bus stop, pawn shop, tax preparer office or any number of waiting rooms all over the city. I bet with a little thought you could think of hundreds of locations for fliers with a QR Code.

    TIP: Use an editable short URL/ link tracking code so when you decide to use a different page/video your marketing material doesn’t become outdated. This will also give you an idea how well your campaign is working. I happen to own if you want to check it out. I hear the admin that runs it is a great guy. lol

  6. I do too Karen, I scan them all of the time. I’m amazed at how creative people are with them. I found one at a party store on scratch paper laying in an open container for people to use for their lottery numbers. I noticed the QR code while I was in line and scanned it. The QR Code was printed both on the paper and the holder. The code went to their lottery website. Seems like pretty inexpensive marketing to me. I love stuff like that.

  7. I’d say, right now, QR Codes are definitely dead. But i’ve seen more and more bloggers talking on the subject and spreading the knowledge, which might bring them back in full health this year. The fact that the technology is already here, and it’s a lot, can only help.

  8. Hey Brian, looks like a way to take graffiti to the technological level to me πŸ˜‰

  9. Thanks Stan, I guess time will tell. Personally, I think they’ll eventually be replaced with something that stores even more information, maybe even interactive.

  10. Maybe that’s the appeal Sire, it’s tough not to admire some creative graffiti.

  11. Anonymous (Read Comment Policy) says

    That is certainly several inspiring stuff. Never knew that thoughts could be this different. Many thanks for all of the enthusiasm to offer such information right here.

  12. Great ideas, i liked the cake the most..

  13. I do use QR codes a lot, even I have an extension installed on my chrome so that I can search my android market apps on the laptop and can reach to them on my smartphones. I think last year many application tried them on shopping apps on smartphone but people are not that much educated to use them or they do not take a pain to save some pennies.

    Love to see it getting replaced with something more innovative…I don’t know what it can be…

  14. Anonymous (Read Comment Policy) says

    I haven’t bought a smartphone yet, so I can’t try to guess these codes. But as far as they look so nice, I’m sure that I’ll do it in the nearest future

  15. Hah! I can’t believe it but for the past year (or has it been 2?) i’ve been totally clueless as to what these things were, how they worked, what they did, etc etc.

    I had a vague understanding that the code could be scanned somehow to produce some effect! One of my friends had one of these QR codes as a Facebook profile picture for a bit, I never even bothered to find out what it was all about!

    I’m going to start having fun with these QR codes for sure.

    Question: How do I get my smart phone to read these codes and give me what’s hidden behind them? Do I need some special software?

  16. Thanks Michael, I like the bench a lot. I’m not sure why but I’ve always thought bench advertising is cool. I even looked into buying a few locally a couple years ago.

  17. I’m always scanning them too Sanjeev. I have a couple of apps that scan bar codes and QR codes.

  18. Here’s a post on smart phones that might motivate you to get one. πŸ™‚

  19. Hi Roy, you just need a simple phone. I use Barcode Scanner version 3.6 (free) for Android. I’m not sure about the iPhone but I know they all have a ton of apps to choose from.

  20. Ilka Flood says

    Hi Brian,

    Incredibly creative uses of QR codes! I especially love the cupcakes. I had an idea around Halloween to carve a QR code into a pumpkin. Unfortunately I am not that skilled with carving designs into pumpkins, but it should be doable if the code isn’t very complex. I may just try that this year. Bet it would look cool!

    Thanks for sharing these awesome ideas!


  21. Anonymous (Read Comment Policy) says

    I saw some very smart ideas here. I think that it’s not dead but it’s not mainstream either. Until more people get into the smartphone wave, it won’t be making it big soon. Honestly, I have a smartphone but I don’t know how to work it yet to use the QR.

  22. faissal alhaithami says

    Great post Brian,

    QR codes are everywhere now, and it makes everything easy to access through mobiles! and companies are now using them to enhance their social media presence.

    Thanks for the post.

  23. Anonymous (Read Comment Policy) says

    QR codes aren’t dead, the problem is that not everyone has a smartphone so i guess people w/o smartphones hardly ever use it. That’s all.

  24. That would be pretty cool. I bet it would draw a lot of questions from parents giving you a great opportunity to hand out your business cards, especially if your business card has a QR code too.

  25. Well, I agree but like I wrote in the post, 6.8 million smart phones were activated on Christmas day (2011). That sounds like more people to me.

  26. They really are Faissal and I’m going to be sure to use them on all future printed promotional media like fliers and business cards.

  27. i saw this kind of code on the sidebar of some website recently with the text “scan this”, at that time i dont know what it is and it could be that cool. But Brian, i wonder how this QR code works? which type of smart phone can read it? I’ve never use it before.

  28. It’s kind of funny to see there are people outside Japan who consider the end of QR a possibility! People here wouldn’t want to live without them or use anything else instead.

  29. Abhi Balani says

    I love QR codes. I have read about it some times. And I was willing to make a QR code for my blog. Thanks for sharing that QR code generator.

  30. You and I must be on the same wavelength, I did a similar post recently (but none of our ideas overlap, amazingly). Very creative.

  31. Astro Gremlin says

    Oh, thank goodness. I thought these were crossword puzzles and I was going crazy looking for the clues.

  32. QR code is a great invention people made. I’m making mobile apps currently and find it really cool to implement QR codes into them. I’m amazed at QR code coupons app builder allows to create. They are really helpful for small businesses.

  33. Dom Yeadon says

    Brian, for QR design inspiration look at hundreds of examples of stunning customised QR code designs from around the world at

  34. I have seen people using QR codes last month but now it seems it’s deteriorating. This is good for young people but most of those who are old will not like it.

  35. I don’t think QR will dead. In fact, QR codes are growing, fast.
    And QR codes don’t necessarily be dull and boring black/white shape. QR code has evolved to Creative and eye-catching called Custom QR code. Check out this website of Custom QR Code designer

  36. Thanks Gunawan, I’ll let that ad go since it might help someone. Goog luck πŸ™‚

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