You may have noticed a prevalence of square-shaped barcode like images popping up all over the place. They're in shop windows, on our TV screens, on packaging and increasingly appearing in advertising.Quick Response (or QR for short) codes are readable two-dimensional barcodes arranged in a square pattern on a white background. They can be used to encode text, URLs or other data.Hugely popular in Japan, where they've been used for years, they allow product or company related data to be decoded at high-speed. Ireland is only recently adopting this technology and with the advent of free QR Code readers available for all Smart Phones, it seems they're here to stay.Once you have downloaded a QR reader to your smart phone, you can then quickly scan any QR code and capture the encoded data and view or save to your device. This may be your vCard contact information, a link to your site or an email.More recently custom QR codes have begun to appear where brands have added logos and designs within the coded box. It is possible to alter the image to include your specific design, up to 30% in some cases, and for the code to still be readable.You can do this by going to any paid or free QR generator (just search on your preferred engine). Two well known options are KAYWA and ZXing. Most ask what data you want to encode, which you then enter. Once this is complete you simply download the image or embed with the provided URL.To manipulate the image simply open the image in PhotoShop (or other graphics application) and make the required amends. It will take a little trial and error to ensure that your code is still readable, but you should be able to make some interesting versions for inclusion on your site, your business cards or even for POS material or signage. You can even manipulate the shapes by changing colour, embossing or rounding the edges. Just have fun with it.If you'd like us to develop a personalised QR code on your behalf, just contact us here

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