Part of the reason for launching my business was to create myself a brand. The need for this was highlighted when I didn’t have any business cards to hand out at an event I attended. Well I launched my business, but one thing I still haven’t got is business cards!
I was happy to launch my business without cards for a combination of the following reasons:
- I launched my business online;
- I had time constraints; and
- I want to develop something really special.
Business cards sit at the top of my priority list, particularly as I will be attending events where I wish to promote my services within the coming weeks, but there are some things I needed to get in place to be able to create that “something special” that best reflects my business.
I have been researching for sometime now what I want my business cards to include and number one on the list was a QR Code. QR codes are all the rage at the moment and regardless of whether or not they are a passing fad, right at this moment [in my opinion] having one on your business card demonstrates that you are up-to-date with the latest in web-based technologies. The fact that many people still don’t know what they are also generates a conversation starter amongst potential clients when exchanging cards.
If you look up QR codes on Wikipedia, it describes them as a matrix barcode comprising of “black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background”. Another example of Wikipedia being wrong! The matrix barcode bit is correct, but you are no longer limited to a bunch of black and white pixels. In fact you can incorporate colour and graphics into QR codes now to further reflect your brand, as I did thanks to the free on-line tool QR Hacker, created by CarnationGroup. Big thanks to Simply Zesty for the timely heads up on this one.
It is so simple and if I hadn’t kept changing my mind probably would’ve taken me about 5mins to complete as it’s as simple as 1, 2, 3, 4…
1. Decide What To Encode
This is what you want the QR code to link back to when people scan the code using a QR reader (my QR reader of choice is QR Reader for iPhone as it is simple and easy to use and free). You can pick from:
- Phone number
- Vcard/Contact details (Beta)
You make your selection and then put the content in the box below your selection. I chose my website as this is where I want all potential clients to visit as a first point of call.
Click on the “generate” button for the matrix to be generated prior to customising the design.
Here you can change the following:
- QR style – Slide the scale to select how square/round you want the pixels to appear. I went for as round as you can get, as I preferred that look.
- Background – You have the choice of a solid colour or a photo. I left the background white as it was in keeping with my brand, however in addition to the limited selection of colours they provide as options, you can also put in the exact RGB colour that you are after which is great from a branding perspective.
- Fourground – These are the pixels themselves. You can choose what colour you want them to be and even edit the colours pixel by pixel, which is what I did to make it look a little more interesting and to bring in two of the colours from my logo. You can also add a photo and I chose to incorporate my logo so that the QR code itself is instantly recognizable as Impactiv8. You have the choice of uploading your image or pointing it to a URL of where your logo is already on-line to achieve this.
4. Save QR Code
Click on the “Save QR” button and it allows you to save it as either a jpg or pdf file. Whilst I see more uses for the jpg version, I saved both versions for the hell of it.
And that is it! I now have a QR code that not only works (of course I tested that straight away), but also reflects my brand. Now I just need to get onto the rest of the design elements of my business cards.
Once your QR code is complete it appears in the gallery that scrolls across the bottom of the screen. I recommend taking a look through the gallery before you get started to get some ideas from QR codes that other people have made. There was a brilliant design that incorporated a persons face as the background image when I was making mine that looked really cool.
What do you think? Have a go. I would love for you to share with me your design. Feel free to put a link to your funky new QR code in the comments below.