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One of the biggest complaints about QR Codes is that, well, they’re ugly. Their random patterns of blocks and squares look like a mess and clutter up an otherwise pretty graphic design.

Despite their apparent homeliness, QR Codes are quite effective. Just open a QR reader app on a smart phone, scan, and voila! You are magically transported to a web page with entertainment, information or some kind of special offer. QR Codes work so well for so many applications that they’re become commonplace. And people have gotten quite used to scanning them.

QR Codes as ArtBut there’s still that darn ugliness issue. Or is there? As it turns out, QR Codes offer a lot of flexibility for you to dress them up. QR Codes CAN be beautiful!

Making QR Codes into works of art.

First, how do you make a QR Code? Easy! There are a number of sites online that will instantly generate a QR Code for you. All you have to do is enter the URL for the site you want the code to link to. One of our favorites is located at This site includes a decent amount of error protection (meaning, even if parts of the code are blocked, you can still successfully scan the code). Best of all, it saves your codes in a variety of formats include EPS so you can easily modify them in a vector drawing program like Adobe Illustrator.

How To Make QR Codes as Art


The first way is the DIY (Do It Yourself) way. With DIY, you can take your code into a drawing program and play with it until you have your work of art. Here are some codes we made, all of which lead to the ZUZA home page.

ZUZA Logo QR Code

ZUZA Beach Ball Drink QR Code

ZUZA Pina Colada Drink QR Code


Go to a custom design website.

A website like Unitag will generate a code for you and let you customize it right on the screen. Then you can save your code for free in a lower resolution format (which is still sufficient for scanning). For a low annual subscription fee, you can save your graphic in an editable vector format and have the website provide analytics so you can see usage statistics for your codes.

Hire a specialist to design your code for you

This can mean either hiring a graphic designer, or using one of several companies available online, like QR { Media Labs } to design your code for you (they charge $149.95 per code). Here are just some of the spectacular branded designs they’ve done for their clients:

QR {Media Labs} sample QR logo

QR {Media Labs} sample QR logo

QR {Media Labs} sample QR logo

QR {Media Labs} sample QR logo


Just how artistic can a QR Code be?

Watch this video by an Australian artist Yiying Lu to see for yourself!

Creating Digital Art: Beautiful Traps QR Code Art Project by Yiying Lu from yiyinglu on Vimeo.


Unleash your inner QR artiste!

As marketers, we’re always trying to find that special something that will appeal to and delight our customers and prospects. Artistically designed QR codes let us do just that. Are your creative juices flowing now? How can you integrate artistic, even, dare we say, beautiful QR Codes into your next marketing campaigns?

Here’s to the Marketing Champion in all of us. See you in the next post.


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ZUZA is your printing services resource. Let us help your company look its very best across the full spectrum of printed pieces with our commercial printing services — from one-page flyers to the most intricately designed collateral and everything in-between. Get the highest quality for your projects with ZUZA’s veteran team of creative professionals, based in San Diego, CA and serving Southern California and beyond.