QR Codes + Art = QR Arts

May 5, 2010

12:23 pm

Here’s a quick “QR Code” story:

I was standing outside of a panel at SXSWi this past March talking to a woman when she took a picture of my badge with her iPhone. My blank stare was answered with an explanation about the QR code on my badge and how the right app on your iPhone would allow you to take a picture of it, which would then bring up my profile from the conference website allowing her to have all of my contact information without collecting my business card. Unfortunately, the app didn’t work and she took my card anyway.

For QR code novices, hopefully that short anecdote provides a little insight to the power of QR codes, potential uses and issues with them. As they become more popular, the need for compelling and useful QR code integration into badges, posters and other marketing materials grows. Enter QR Arts by Patrick Donnelly, a local DC QR expert and artist who creates custom 2D barcodes to be used in mobile marketing solutions. From custom vector illustration to strategic planning on using QR codes with a current marketing strategy, QR Arts helps connect print campaign materials to websites, twitter feeds or any personalized call-to-action.

What’s interesting about the work at QR Arts is how Patrick is pushing the boundaries to see what is possible. Here some notes from a recent challenge:

My research question for this morning.  “Can you animate QR codes, and still have them scan”?  Yes.

Although QR codes have been mainly looking at 2dbarcodes for print media, QR arts is looking at how they can be used on screen.  I am not saying that QR codes should be the same as “flashing” banner ads, but there is room for subtle graphic hints that may draw a customer in.  This screen test was to further investigate the possibilities of using QR codes for video and web. Content is not 1 dimensional, why should we limit QR codes to the physics of paper.

Because QR code products and integrations are new and potentially confusing for many folks, we asked Patrick to write a post about the technology. Patrick will also be demoing his QR Arts work at DC MOBILE TECH cocktail presented by Windows Phone 7 on Wednesday, May 5th. Come by, check out his work and learn more about the potential of QR codes.

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Jen Consalvo is the Cofounder and COO of Tech.Co. She previously worked in product development for almost 13 years at AOL for audiences of millions. Follow her on Twitter at: @noreaster.

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