QR Code Distance: What Size Should a QR Code Be in Relation to Scan Distance? - QR Code Generator (2022)

During this unfortunate time of the coronavirus pandemic, QR Codes are one of the best possible ways for businesses to receive cashless payments and to share information with customers without any physical contact. But do you know how big your QR Codes should be to ensure the best scans even from a distance? Read on to find out.

    Table of contents
  • What is QR Code distance?
  • How do QR Codes help with contactless information transfers?
  • Scanning QR Codes from a minimum distance
  • The size needed for a short distance QR Code scan
  • Scanning QR Codes from a long distance
  • The size needed for QR Code scans from afar
  • An overview of QR Code sizes in relation to scan distances
  • Other tips to ensure your QR Code is scannable
  • Maintain the quiet zone
  • Use high-quality images
  • Choose the appropriate color contrast

What is QR Code distance?

QR Code distance refers to the size a QR Code should be in relation to the distance it’s scanned from. When designing QR Codes for print materials, it’s important to keep this aspect in mind to ensure that users don’t have problems when trying to scan your QR Codes. Designing your QR Code with the appropriate size enables users to scan them from a distance. The farther away they can be scanned, the more likely you’ll get more total scans.

During such a pandemic like the coronavirus, it’s important to refrain from making cash payments and touching potentially contaminated surfaces in order to lessen the chance of spreading the disease. QR Codes are one of the best possible ways to do this because users can make payments and share information without having to physically touch anything except for their own smartphones. Italy is one of the countries that has unfortunately been hit the hardest and it has already implemented QR Codes for cashless and contactless payments in an effort to support small businesses. So, other businesses can take advantage of the contactless power of QR Codes and place them on print materials to enable users to make payments or share relevant information.

Overall, QR Codes are the perfect tool for things such as:

  • Contactless mobile payments.
  • Bitcoin and cryptocurrency payments.
  • Convenient WiFi access.
  • Contactless ticketing.
  • Contactless entrance to buildings, offices, or events.
  • General information sharing for social media links, PDFs, videos, images, and website links.
  • Digital coupons.
  • Digital business cards.
  • from companies.
  • Sending emails and text messages.
QR Code Distance: What Size Should a QR Code Be in Relation to Scan Distance? - QR Code Generator (1)

Scanning QR Codes from a minimum distance

QR Codes can easily be scanned from a short distance. Unlike NFC technology that has a radius of 4 cm (1.5 in), QR Codes have a minimum radius of 25 cm (10 in), which then scales up depending on the size of the QR Code. The only requirement is that the QR Code is a minimum of 2 x 2 cm (0.8 x 0.8 in), otherwise, a QR Code scanner could have trouble scanning it and viewers could have difficulty reading it.

(Video) The Ultimate QR Code Sizing Guide 2022

QR Code Distance: What Size Should a QR Code Be in Relation to Scan Distance? - QR Code Generator (2)

QR Codes that are often scanned at short distances include:

  • Display signs or table tents for mobile payments.
  • Print magazines and newspapers.
  • Mail, invoices, receipts, and paperwork.
  • Print business cards.
  • Public transit posters or advertisements.
  • Menus.
  • Flyers and brochures.
  • Product packaging.
  • Digital platforms (social media, emails, and landing pages).
  • Ticketing systems and print tickets.
QR Code Distance: What Size Should a QR Code Be in Relation to Scan Distance? - QR Code Generator (3)

The key point here is that all of the elements from the above list can be used for contactless marketing and mobile payments due to QR Codes. Furthermore, they’re also convenient for users, because people don’t need to try to find links or a separate payment system. They can just scan the QR Code and are automatically connected to the appropriate digital content or payment platform.

The size needed for a short distance QR Code scan

Although there is a minimum size QR Code of 2 x 2 cm (0.8 x 0.8 in), QR Codes be made as large as you need as long as you use high-quality images so that the pixels don’t become too blurred. When designing a QR Code to be used for a minimum distance scan, you have to also consider the placement. For example, if you use a QR Code on a print ad inside a train, you have to think about where it will be scanned from. It can be the case that not only the people sitting next to it will want to scan the QR Code, but also people from other seats as well. Consequently, the QR Code needs to be made large enough to adjust for these variables. As a general rule of thumb, use larger sizes to avoid losing any potential QR Code scans.

QR Code Distance: What Size Should a QR Code Be in Relation to Scan Distance? - QR Code Generator (4)

QR Code Distance: What Size Should a QR Code Be in Relation to Scan Distance? - QR Code Generator (5)

Scanning QR Codes from a long distance

The farther away QR Code scanning should take place, the larger the QR Code needs to be. If you put a QR Code on something like a billboard advertisement, the QR Code needs to be scannable from a large distance to still work. Other types of QR Codes that will be scanned from far away include:

(Video) QR Code Minimum Size: See How To Calculate Ideal QR Code Size

  • Posters
  • Displays
  • Shop windows
  • Vehicles
QR Code Distance: What Size Should a QR Code Be in Relation to Scan Distance? - QR Code Generator (6)

For some of these methods, QR Codes could still be scanned from a short distance. But you always want to make sure the maximum scan distance is also possible so that you don’t lose any potential customers.

The size needed for QR Code scans from afar

What size you need depends on a number of factors, including the height of what you’ll place the advertisement with the QR Code on (i.e. the higher the QR Code is from eye level, the bigger it needs to be), different angles that it might be scanned from, and if you can create a high enough quality image for the QR Code pixels to still be clear.

QR Code Distance: What Size Should a QR Code Be in Relation to Scan Distance? - QR Code Generator (7)

QR Code Distance: What Size Should a QR Code Be in Relation to Scan Distance? - QR Code Generator (8)

An overview of QR Code sizes in relation to scan distances

To help you determine the size your QR Code should be, here is a table with an overview of scanning distances and the approximate size QR Codes should be in relation to that distance. As mentioned above, always choose larger rather than smaller to ensure that the QR Code is readable and scannable from the maximum distance. Sizes listed always refer to an exact square shape because otherwise, your QR Code won’t function properly.

Scanning DistanceQR Code Size Range
1.5-2.5 feet (45-75 cm) 2.4-6.3 in (6-15.8 cm) – magazines, catalogs
4-12 feet (1.2-3.6 meters) 6.3 – 30 in (16-75 cm) – posters, windows
12-25 feet (3.6-7.6 meters) 19-61.3 in (48-157 cm) – billboards

We’ve listed ranges here because you need to adapt the size and scan distance to the conditions of where the QR Code is placed. We recommend printing at least three different sizes and then comparing them to make sure which one meets the scan radius you’d like to achieve. The below image outlines a typical directional scan radius QR Codes should be designed for. If you’d like a wider scan radius, then you’ll need a bigger QR Code.

(Video) QR Code To Excel - How To Quickly Log Items To MS Excel File After Scan QR

QR Code Distance: What Size Should a QR Code Be in Relation to Scan Distance? - QR Code Generator (9)

Other tips to ensure your QR Code is scannable

Other than designing your QR Code to be the appropriate size, there are three other main points to keep in mind to make sure your QR Code is crisp, clear, and readable: The quiet zone, image quality, and color contrast.

Maintain the quiet zone

The quiet zone is the space surrounding the QR Code that separates the QR Code’s pixels from the other designs. QR Codes need a quiet zone so that scanners can detect what images are QR Code pixels and which aren’t. Without the quiet zone, it’s likely that the QR Code won’t work.

Use high-quality images

QR Code Distance: What Size Should a QR Code Be in Relation to Scan Distance? - QR Code Generator (12)

(Video) How To Generate Single & Batch QR Codes With Excel [Free Download]

QR Code Distance: What Size Should a QR Code Be in Relation to Scan Distance? - QR Code Generator (13)

We’ve mentioned image quality before, but we’ll stress it again here because all your design efforts won’t amount to much if the QR Code image is too low of quality to be read. Our QR Codes can be downloaded as JPG, PNG, EPS, and SVG image file formats and then be added to any graphic design using a photo editing tool. Here again, it’s a good idea to compare a few different images and QR Code sizes to make sure the resolution is high enough to be scanned from a distance.

Choose the appropriate color contrast

Another important element of good QR Code design is using contrasting colors. This rule applies to both the background material for what’s behind the QR Code design, as well as the design itself. In the image below on the left, there is no color contrast between the QR Code and the surrounding design. The quiet zone has also been removed, so there is no way for a QR Code scanner to detect this QR Code. The image on the right shows how to design color contrast correctly.

FAQs

What size should QR Code be? ›

But a QR code must be at least 2 centimeters wide by 2 centimeters long to be scanned by most modern devices. So unless your QR code is extremely complex and you can't print high-resolution images, stick with a 2-centimeter minimum and 10:1 distance-to-size ratio when printing or placing your QR code.

Does it matter the size of a QR Code? ›

Size does matter, after all. Make sure the QR code is at least 1.2 inches (3-4 cm) in dimension for people to scan it from short distances. It is also very important that you place your QR codes in places with a high amount of people, so scanners will notice it right away.

How much space does a QR Code need around it? ›

It is a general practice to leave some space around your QR Code, along its boundary. 4 blocks of space are considered ideal so that the QR Code scanner can scan the QR Code without much effort.

How far away can a phone read a QR Code? ›

The relationship between the scan distance and the minimum QR Code size should be 10:1. A 2.5 cm QR Code can be scanned from 250 mm or 10 inches away.

How big should A3 QR Code be? ›

100mm x 100mm

Does a QR code have to be square? ›

Do QR Codes have to be square-shaped? No, QR Codes do not have to be square-shaped. You can use a QR Code shape generator to create them in custom shapes, such as a circle.

Do you need a border around a QR code? ›

Quiet Zone - This is the empty white border around the outside of a QR code. Without this border, a QR reader will not be able to determine what is and is not contained within the QR code (due to interference from outside elements).

How much of a QR code can you cover? ›

Letter H: If your QR code is given a letter 'H' code, you'll be able to cover up or alter as much as 30% of the code (i.e. if you have 120 dots/bytes, you'll be able to cover up around 36 of them). You should keep in mind that this is only a rough guide, so constant testing of your QR code is a must.

How many pixels wide is a QR code? ›

The use of QR codes is license-free. The smallest QR codes are 21x21 pixels, and the largest are 177x177. The sizes are called versions. The 21x21 pixel size is version 1, 25x25 is version 2, and so on.

How do I increase the size of my QR code? ›

If you're planning to resize your QR code as larger as you need it to be, then downloading and printing your QR code in SVG format is your best option. QR codes in SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) format enables you to adjust your QR code into different sizes without affecting the image's original quality.

How do I make a QR Code smaller? ›

How to Create a QR Code on Any Device
  1. Step 1: Head to qr-code-generator.com. ...
  2. Step 2: Enter your URL. ...
  3. Step 3: Customize your QR code's frame, shape, and color. ...
  4. Step 4: Click “Download” and save the file to your computer. ...
  5. Step 5: Add the QR code to print collateral.
16 May 2022

What is QR Code quiet zone? ›

Quiet zone is the blank margin on the either side of a barcode that's used to tell the barcode scanner where a barcode's symbol starts and stops. The purpose of a Quiet Zone is to prevent the scanner from picking up information that does not pertain to the barcode scanned.

What is module size in QR Code in SAP? ›

→ 0.254 mm when printed with 4-dot configuration. Version 3 = 29 modules, therefore, the size of QR Code is 29 modules × 0.254 mm/module = 7.366 mm.

How do I find my QR code square? ›

Open the Square Point of Sale app. Add item(s) to cart or key in any amount and hit checkout. Select the Pay with QR code option and a QR code will pop up on your screen. Customer scans QR code and is directed to a simple checkout page.

What are the 3 squares on a QR code? ›

Three corners of the QR Code contain the finder pattern, a nested series of black and white squares that, when detected by an optical scanner and interpreted by software, allow the scanning device to determine the orientation of the QR Code.

Does the shape of a QR code matter? ›

You can use a variety of shapes but the key is subtlety. You don't want the edges to completely reshape your QR Code. Keep in mind that extreme deviation from a QR Code's overall shape will make it unrecognizable and unscannable which ultimately results in fewer scans.

What is a safe QR code generator? ›

A safe QR code generator always updates its software to maintain its safeness and improve the experience. Because of this, QR code users can continuously enjoy their usage while ensuring their information safety.

How do I select a QR code generator? ›

There are many QR code generators to choose from.
...
Here's a step-by-step guide using a website called QR Code Generator.
  1. Using any web browser, go to the QR Code Generator website.
  2. Enter the URL of the website you want the QR code to send people to. ...
  3. When you're finished, click Download to save your custom QR code.
23 Sept 2022

How small can a QR code be and still work? ›

The minimum size of a QR code is 2 x 2 cm, or roughly 0.8 x 0.8”. There is no standardized QR code size, and QR codes can actually be smaller than 2 x 2 centimeters. But to make sure the majority of current smartphones can scan it, a QR should be at least 2 centimeters wide by 2 centimeters long.

How big can a QR code be on a poster? ›

There is no maximum or minimum possible QR Code size. But, again, if you want your QR Codes to be as small as possible, we recommend a 1 cm x 1 cm size. This ensures that they occupy the least possible space while also being scannable for users.

Does QR code have to be on a white background? ›

QR Code Generator allows you to have your personalized design where you can embed various and multiple colors without affecting its scannability. The only important thing to remember is that the code color should generally be dark and placed against a light-colored background.

How big should a QR code be on a business card? ›

The minimum size for a QR code on a business card is 0.8” x 0.8” (or 2cm X 2cm). The QR code needs to be large enough for a phone to be able to read it. Most QR codes have a 10:1 distance to size ratio.

Do QR codes have to be square? ›

Do QR Codes have to be square-shaped? No, QR Codes do not have to be square-shaped. You can use a QR Code shape generator to create them in custom shapes, such as a circle.

How many pixels does a QR code have? ›

The use of QR codes is license-free. The smallest QR codes are 21x21 pixels, and the largest are 177x177. The sizes are called versions. The 21x21 pixel size is version 1, 25x25 is version 2, and so on.

Do QR codes need to be black and white? ›

But does a QR code must be black and white? Of course not. QR code can be either colorful or recognizable only if it can be detected in binarization. Colorful QR code can not only leave people a deeper impression, but it can also convey more information than standard QR code.

What is a standard size business card? ›

Standard Size Business Cards | 3.5" x 2.0" | MOO US.

How much of a QR Code can you cover? ›

Letter H: If your QR code is given a letter 'H' code, you'll be able to cover up or alter as much as 30% of the code (i.e. if you have 120 dots/bytes, you'll be able to cover up around 36 of them). You should keep in mind that this is only a rough guide, so constant testing of your QR code is a must.

How do I scan a QR Code small? ›

Just follow these simple steps.
  1. Open the QR Code reader on your phone.
  2. Hold your device over a QR Code so that it's clearly visible within your smartphone's screen. Two things can happen when you correctly hold your smartphone over a QR Code. ...
  3. If necessary, press the button. Presto!
26 Mar 2016

How do I find my QR code square? ›

Open the Square Point of Sale app. Add item(s) to cart or key in any amount and hit checkout. Select the Pay with QR code option and a QR code will pop up on your screen. Customer scans QR code and is directed to a simple checkout page.

Does the shape of a QR code matter? ›

You can use a variety of shapes but the key is subtlety. You don't want the edges to completely reshape your QR Code. Keep in mind that extreme deviation from a QR Code's overall shape will make it unrecognizable and unscannable which ultimately results in fewer scans.

What is module size in QR Code in SAP? ›

→ 0.254 mm when printed with 4-dot configuration. Version 3 = 29 modules, therefore, the size of QR Code is 29 modules × 0.254 mm/module = 7.366 mm.

How big does a QR Code need to be on a billboard? ›

1. Size Matters (the Bigger, the Better) Make sure the QR Code is big enough to scan easily. The minimum size should be 1.25" by 1.25"; any smaller than that, and the code becomes difficult to scan.

Why do QR codes have 3 squares? ›

Three corners of the QR Code contain the finder pattern, a nested series of black and white squares that, when detected by an optical scanner and interpreted by software, allow the scanning device to determine the orientation of the QR Code. Two other patterns are also present.

Why can't my phone scan QR? ›

If the camera on your phone is too close or too far from the QR code, the camera might not be able to scan it. Bring your camera close to the QR code. Then, slowly move the camera back from the QR code. Hold your camera about a foot away from the QR code.

Can I design my own QR code? ›

Yes, you can create a QR Code the regular way and make it circular through the templates available on the QR Code platform. Essentially the square QR Code has some extra design bits all around it to make it a circular QR Code.

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