Note: QR Hacker is no longer available.
Do you know that your smartphone can function as a barcode reader? Among the many things it can be used as, it can also be used to scan a QR code, also known as a Quick Response code. A QR Code is one of those alien-looking hyroglypics smudged together in a square. The squiggles it features may contain information about a store promotion, a link to a website, Wi-Fi access at your favourite cafe or even your boarding pass.
The thing is, most QR codes are in black and white. It’s kind of mundane, quiet, hard to notice… easily ignored. Get my drift? At the same time, if you’re hoping to put in your QR code into a 4C promotional leaflet or brochure, wouldn’t you prefer having it in color as well?
Now, you can — it’s possible to customize your QR code to carry colours or even your business logo on top, with the help of QR Hacker, and this tutorial will show you exactly hwo to get your first multi-colored QR code.
Generate QR Code
Before you get to customize your QR Code, you first need to go to QR Hacker’s website and start generating the code. On the left side of the screen, select the input type, insert your content and click on the ‘Generate’ button.
Understanding The Input Type
For the input type, you can use normal text, a URL, a phone number, a VCard (currently in Beta test) or if you are using an Android phone, you can share WiFi Access with QR Codes too.
Text – Select this input type to share any text message in QR code. Selecting this option can be interesting, as you can start exchanging QR codes with friends for a different messaging experience. Note that you are allowed to use a maximum of 250 characters including spaces.
URL – If you are sharing or promoting your websites, you may use this input type and print your QR code anywhere on advertising spaces. Simply type in your URL and make sure to start it with http://
Phone number – If you want to share your phone numbers, or for your company and businesses, select this input type. When typing your phone number, include the international prefix.
VCard – This input type is still in beta testing, but you can already try it out. VCard is a contact detail format which allows you to send your name, phone number, email, website, company and complete address via QR code. meCard is commonly used for this purpose in barcode.
To use this input type, select to use VCard or meCard, and fill up all the boxes especially the ones indicated with
WiFi Access – This input type will allow you to give WiFi access to those who scan your QR code. Instead of typing difficult passwords, your friends can get access to the Internet with one scan. This input type is however only available for Android users.
To start using, simply type in the SSID and password then select the network type between WEP and WPA or you can also choose to share with no encryption.
Customize your QR Code
After pressing the generate button, you will see your own QR code appear on the main column of the screen. This QR Code is generated automatically based on the input you have set.
Now on the right side of the screen next to your QR code, you will have options to customize your code.
1. QR Style
Toggle the button to the left or right, to add roundness to your QR.
To add a background to your QR, select from solid colors or use a photo as the background. When selecting a photo background, you will have the option to upload a photo or to import from web links.
This is where you get to change the major look of your QR Code. Instead of having the normal black and white color, use Foreground to style your QR to any solid color. Add logo to have your own logo printed on the QR.
If you need some extra styling, select ‘Edit pixel by pixel’ to make it more vibrant. Simply select any color you want to use and point your ‘pen’ cursor to your QR code and start coloring.
4. Maximum customization (Important!)
Your QR codes can tolerate only up to a certain percentage or level of customization. When you exceed this limit, your QR code will not working properly anymore, i.e. it may no longer be scanned.
QR Hacker has a ‘Customization maximum’ bar that lets you keep track of how much customization (or in other words here, damage) you do to your QR code. At the bottom of your QR code (during the customization mode) is a long four-colored bar. Blue indicates that you have made minor and acceptable adjustments to your QR code while Red indicates that you have reached the maximum adjustments you are allowed, and that you should reduce some changes.
5. Saving your QR Code
At the bottom left of the screen, click on button ‘Save QR’ to save your customized QR code. A small window will pop up; you can choose to have your QR saved in PNG or PDF format.
Saving is done as a download, directly to your computer so you can use your QR code anytime you want.
Around 30% of your QR codes can be missing or obstructed; this means you can remove some part of the QR then draw a symbol or logo in it, and still maintain the ability of the code to be scanned. Keeping tolerance levels at the back of your mind to ensure QR readability, you can use your creativity to beautify your QR Codes easily with QR Hacker.