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The QR Code Comeback

QR (quick response) codes were first invented in 1994 by a Japanese automotive company for use tracking inventory parts. Following the company’s move to make the technology available publicly and the addition of cameras on mobile phones QR codes gained their first round of popularity in marketing in the 2010s.i At the time, smartphones, however, did not have native tech to scan QR codes. Having to download a separate app created a barrier that made it hard for QR codes to catch on. Yet nearly a decade later at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, QR codes began to make a resurgence.

Are QR codes here to stay?

QR codes are widely used, and their popularity is growing. They offer a convenient, user-friendly, and accessible way to access information or make transactions. According to an eMarketer report, the use of QR codes is expected to increase to 99.5 million by 2025.ii

What are the benefits of using QR codes on marketing materials?


The pandemic brought with it the need for a safe and hygienic way to access information and complete transactions. The increasing number of contactless interactions directly resulted in the resurgence of QR code use that has continued today.

Easy and Convenient

QR codes are easy to generate and can be scanned quickly and easily using a smartphone or other mobile device. This makes it a convenient way to access information or complete transactions.


QR codes are a cost-effective marketing tool as they can be created for free and do not require any additional printing or distribution costs.

Quick Response

QR codes provide quick responses, allowing users to access information or complete transactions in a matter of seconds.


QR codes can be used for a wide range of purposes, including providing product information, making payments, and accessing websites or social media pages.


QR codes can be tracked, providing valuable data and insights for businesses. This allows them to measure the success of their marketing campaigns and make necessary adjustments.

Increased Engagement

QR codes can be used to engage with customers in interactive ways, such as providing special offers, discounts, or exclusive content.

Offline to Online Connection

QR codes bridge the gap between offline and online marketing by providing a seamless way to connect customers with digital content.


QR codes can be customized with colors, logos, and designs to match a brand’s identity and make them stand out.

Top QR Code Design Considerations

When determining how and where to incorporate QR codes in your design, there are several key things to keep in mind.

  1. Always test your code.
  2. Think about the size and where it will be scanned.
  3. Shorter links mean better codes. The longer the link, the more dots the QR code will have, and if you have a shorter URL it improves the scan-ability.
  4. A QR code needs high contrast for easy scanning. That means you also need to think about the substrate you’re printing it on. Glossy printing leads to more difficult code scanning.
  5. Blend QR codes seamlessly into the design. Think of it as a secondary or tertiary design element.

QR codes have made a strong comeback in the marketing world. With the rise of smartphone usage and the need for contactless interactions, these codes have become an essential tool for businesses to engage with their customers. From providing easy access to information to facilitating transactions and promotions, QR codes have proven to be a versatile and effective marketing strategy. As technology continues to advance, we can only expect to see even more innovative uses for QR codes in the future. With their ability to bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds, they offer a unique and effective way for businesses to connect with their customers. So the next time you see a QR code, don’t dismiss it as a passing trend – it may just be here to stay.

Want to incorporate QR codes in your marketing materials? OffWhite Marketing can help.

Contact Us


ii Adrian, Peter. “QR Codes Forecast and Trends 2022.” EMARKETER, February 11, 2022.

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