If you have an iPhone or an Android I suggest getting the Red Laser app. It’s awesome. You can use it to scan QR codes as well as bar codes. Scanning bar codes is fun because you can price check items and see what other stores in your area carry the same product and how much their selling it for.
Those square black and white pixelated images you’ve been seeing popping up everywhere are called QR Codes. If you have a smart phone you should be able to scan the code and it will take you to a website. They’re pretty cool and you’re going to start them more and more. As an artist the first thing that came to my mind was getting a QR code for myself and printing some stickers made with a code on them with “FOLLOW ME” just below the code. When scanned the code would take you to my twitter page. I know, I know, it’s not that original of an idea, but usually the first idea that comes to mind never is. People are already doing similar things and printing QR codes as shirt graphics. I think it’s great though because scanning a random code is always a surprise.
Naturally, I wanted a more unique code, something custom, so I used this painting:
and came up with this code:
If you’re familiar with photoshop you should be able to figure out how to do this pretty easily. Unfortunately, this isn’t a tutorial on how to customize your QR code. It’s just a post to show you that it can be done and also to talk a little about QR codes.
My buddy, STENZSKULL, put my design to shame with his custom QR.
So, where to get your own QR code? That’s easy. You can get a QR for any URL using the google URL shortener, www.goo.gl.
After messing around with the google URL shortener I learned that the Red Laser app can generate QR codes too and it’s super simple. I’ll make a tutorial on how to do that in a future post. Anyway…
The thing with using www.goo.gl is that the code it generates will always be for that one particular URL. This is ok for the “FOLLOW ME” sticker idea, but for other applications you might want to change the URL the code takes somebody too. It would be pretty boring to have a QR code as a shirt graphic that only takes people to the site of the shirt company. It would be much more fun if the URL was changed from time to time so that people scanning it would be taken to different places every time they decide to scan it. For this you need a QR Code that allows you to redirect your URL. That way you can use the same code and switch up the URL destination from time to time.
To do this check out www.qrjumps.com. I haven’t looked too into the site myself and at the moment I don’t feel like googling any more today, so you can research it on your own by googling “redirect QR code URL“.
You can also get creative with what to do with the code. One thing I came across that I thought was brilliant was in the flower section at Home Depot. I noticed QR codes on the labels for plants and flowers. Being an iPhone nerd I figured I better scan it. The code took me to a page about that particular plant, gave me the scientific name for it and instructions on how to care for it, what to plant near it and all kinds of stuff. It was extremely informative.