How big should your QR code should be printed

Health and Safety QR Codes Restaurant Menus

A common question when creating signage or other materials to display your QR code is how big the code itself should be printed.

In general, the best answer to this question is as large as it can be displayed given your circumstances.

The ability for a particular mobile device to be able to scan a QR code can vary greatly based on several factors:

  • Lighting
  • Age and quality of the device
  • Quality of the camera in the device
  • How still the customer is able to hold the camera
  • Device manufacturer considerations

In general, however, a good rule of thumb is to make sure the QR code is printed large enough so that it’s fairly easy to make out the differences between dark and light areas.

If these “zones” look blurred or fuzzy, it is likely too small.

QR codes with URLs also tend to be more complex than ones that only contain, for example, a phone number, so they often need to be printed larger than some others to function properly.

A broad, general guideline with QR codes that link to menus or price lists is to print them at least two to three inches square, but this could vary and testing is always recommended.

For larger signage, such as banners, a 1:10 ratio is typically recommended. For example, if customers will be standing 10 feet from your banner in most cases, the QR code should be at least 1 foot square.

Also keep in mind the “margin” or space around the QR code.

Before you order or print any QR code signage or displays, it’s always a good idea to print a sample and test it using a variety of devices under the real life lighting conditions your customers will be in.

It’s also important to consider how your QR code will be printed — professional printing companies tend to be able to produce clearer, crisper lines, while home or office printers typically lack that level of quality.

Also keep in mind that vinyl lettering or shapes that are sometimes used in professional banner or sign production cannot may not be able to have elements under a certain size (check with your sign company for their requirement). Even if accurately reproduced, vinyl QR codes also run the risk of some peeling or falling off over time which, in extreme cases, could render the code unreadable.

Because of these reasons, QR codes produced with vinyl will typically have better results if they are very large — say over 12 inches square or even larger.

Another factor to consider is the effect lamination or coating has on the scanability of the code — often glossy coatings can have sharp reflections if there is bright lighting nearby.

A general rule of thumb with menu QR codes is to print them at least 1.5 inches square.

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