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QR Codes on Custom Labels

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What are QR codes?

QR codes seem to be everywhere these days: posters, billboards, magazines, products, the internet… Airlines are even using them, texting E-tickets to travelers instead of the printed boarding pass, allowing users to scan a QR code on their smart phones at security and the gate at boarding. QR, or quick response, codes are used to provide customers with a quick method of accessing information about your company or product.

If you are considering utilizing QR codes as a part of your marketing strategy, one of the most important aspects of the code you should take into consideration is size.

What size should a printed QR code be?

In order to be effective as a marketing tool, a QR code has to be readable by the consumer’s smart phone. However, it is not the size of the code image that determines that minimum size at which the code can be scanned; it’s the size of the modules, the little black squares, which make up the image. In order for the code to be read, it cannot fall below the resolution limit for the camera on the phone.

Another important factor to consider when determining the size of your QR code is scanning distance. The farther the camera is from the QR code, the smaller the code will appear in the camera’s viewport, which in turn will cause the modules to appear smaller. If the camera is too far away and the modules become too small, the image will not be readable.

Use the following table to establish the minimum width for a printed QR code, assuming the camera being used to scan the image has a 3-4 megapixel camera and that a black QR code on a white background is being used.

The data shown is:

  • Modules: Number of rows and columns of black squares
  • Characters: Approximate number of characters that would fit into a QR code
  • Scan Distance: The distance the camera is being held from the code.

QR Code Minimum Size

Modules Characters Scan Distance
 150mm (6")  300mm (12")  450mm (18")
25  26  0.6" (15mm)  1.2" (30mm)  1.8" (46mm)
30  49  0.7" (18mm)  1.4" (36mm)  2.1" (55mm)
35  72  0.8" (21mm)  1.7" (42mm)  2.5" (64mm)
40  98  0.9" (24mm)  1.9" (48mm)  2.9" (73mm)
45  125  1.1" (27mm)  2.1" (54mm)  3.2" (82mm)
50  163  1.2" (30mm)  2.4" (60mm)  3.6" (91mm)
55  203  1.3" (33mm)  2.6" (66mm)  3.9" (100mm)
60  249  1.4" (36mm)  2.8" (72mm)  4.3" (109mm)
65  298  1.5" (39mm)  3.1" (78mm)  4.7" (118mm)
70  351  1.7" (42mm)  3.3" (84mm)  5.0" (127mm)
75  407  1.8" (45mm)  3.5" (90mm)  5.4" (137mm)
80  468  1.9" (48mm)  3.8" (96mm)  5.7" (146mm)
85  534  2.0" (51mm)  4.0" (102mm)  6.1" (155mm)
90  601  2.1" (54mm)  4.3" (108mm)  6.4" (164mm)
95  669  2.2" (57mm)  4.5" (114mm)  6.8" (173mm)
100  739  2.4" (60mm)  4.7" (120mm)  7.2" (182mm)


There are many ways to use your QR codes. Let us know your idea and we can put it on a custom label, just for you. Contact us today or go to our Custom Label Quote Engine for a free quote on QR code friendly labels.

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