QR Codes Explained

QR Codes Explained

Short for “Quick Response Code,” QR codes are the strange black and white boxes you have seen appearing plastered on advertisements, billboards, business windows, and products over the last few years.

These barcodes can be captured with the camera from a smartphone or tablet and used to deliver additional content — for example, a typical QR code may contain a URL (website link). Scan the QR code with a mobile phone and you’ll be taken to the website the QR code specifies.

Unlike traditional UPC barcodes (the kind which you see on most packaging), which are made up of a number of horizontal lines, a QR code can be captured more quickly and can contain more information.

However, QR codes aren’t just a stuffy technology used to track items in warehouses and scan products at the checkout counter. They’ve moved into the consumer realm, where they’re found all over the place on advertisements, business windows, product packaging, billboards on the side of the road, and even on some websites.

What’s the Point?

For business owners, QR codes can provide a way to link your printed media with your online resources such as your website or social media accounts, and they are a must if you are a business that relies on printed media to market online products.

For consumers (not people working in warehouses), QR codes are intended to be a quick way to perform an action with your phone. QR codes don’t contain any fancy electronics or require special technology — they’re just a grid of white and black printed on a piece of paper that can be captured with any camera.

Typically, QR codes are captured with a scanner app on a smartphone. The app allows you to take a photo containing the barcode, then it locates the barcode, analyses the machine-readable data, and converts it to information meaningful to you.

For example, you may see a barcode on a billboard, business window, or a product’s packaging. After being scanned in this way, a typical QR code would probably take you directly to the businesses’ website. In this case, the QR code contains a website address (URL.) The point of the QR code is to allow you to easily access their website without typing any web addresses into your phone — just by scanning a picture.

How Can I Use QR Codes?

To generate a QR code for you URL or other resource all you need to do is pop over to a QR code generator such as the one at qr-code-generator.com and generate one for free.

If you want to read QR codes, all you’ll need is a barcode reader app on your smartphone.

  • Android: Android has an included barcode reader that you can access by performing the “scan a barcode” voice action. You can also use an app like Google’s own Google Goggles or the popular Barcode Scanner.
  • iPhone: iOS has many QR code scanner apps, including the popular RedLaser.

Just open your app, start a scan, point it at a QR code, and the app should recognize and take action based on the QR code — generally opening its website in your browser.

Want To Know More?

If you are still not sure how or when to use QR codes our design team can offer you some great advice. You can get in touch here or by calling 01695 578811

5 Reasons Your Business Card Still Matters

5 Reasons Why Your Business Card Still Matters

In the modern digital world of email, websites and e-marketing it can become all to easy to overlook the simple business card. After all you can now send your contact details straight to a clients phone, tablet or desktop at the push of a button.

So why then is the business card still so important and why should you even bother to carry them any more

1. Sending contact information in a digital format is impersonal

At it’s most simple level networking is about making human connections and whilst sending contact information via text or email may be convenient it is also extremely impersonal. Engaging someone in conversation and making eye contact is how lasting relationships begin, whether in life or in business.

Put simply two individuals with their heads buried in digital devices won’t make any lasting memories of the encounter. It is easy enough to translate that all important contact information into your device at a later stage.

2. They act as your most effective direct marketing tool

E-marketing, SEO and Google Ads all serve a purpose, and indeed they do a great job of bringing in leads, but they are still not as effective as a face-to-face meeting that culminates with a handshake and an exchange of business cards.

You can encounter a potential lead or contact at any time — tradeshows, industry conferences, in a bar, airport lounges — and arming yourself with business cards at all times will ensure that you never miss an opportunity to make a valuable business connection. Keep some in your pockets, wallet, money clip or laptop bag so the next time you encounter a prospect you are prepared.

3. Business cards are the first impression of your brand

When you are introduced to someone who could become a great customer or connection, you want them to walk away with a great first impression of your business. A memorable business card does more to pass on your email address and contact number.

When you make a connection via your business card, I don’t want my brand associated with the word cheap! A shop looking to make a great first impression wouldn’t make their sign from a piece of cardboard written on in marker pen. You should have that mentality when it comes to your business card.

With a range of product options and our extensive design experience, Printworks are in an excellent position to provide you with a unique business card that can help you to make a great first impression. For a design consultation or to discuss your requirements you can contact us on 01695 578811.

4. Creative business cards get shared – continuing marketing your business

As a physical object your business card stays with your potential contact long after your meeting. If your card doesn’t stand out then that is as far as it will go, but with a creative card that makes a lasting impression this person is likely to show it to others, continuing the marketing process for you.

5. Business cards show you are prepared

Have you ever had someone write their contact details on a scrap of paper and hand it over to you? What about someone with a dead mobile phone battery? It isn’t the most professional approach.

If you meet two individuals and one is scrambling round for a pen whilst the other hands you a business card it’s an obvious choice as to who you should do business with. Showing that you are prepared at all times is a great indicator that you are professional.

So if you are running low on business cards why not give our design team a call on 01695 578811 to discuss your requirements today.