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QR Code Guidelines for Social Distancing

For QR codes that will be scanned from a distance the ratio of the scanning distance to the size of the QR code should be close to 10:1

QR codes are encountered in different circumstances, fitting into one of the following distances.

Intimate Distance

Effectively zero distance. These QR codes are expected to be interacted with from a small distance; it can be as small as the camera focus on your device can go.

Examples of QR codes at intimate distances:

  • QR codes inside a magazine or newspaper
  • QR codes on envelopes mailed to you
  • QR codes on business cards
  • QR codes on the menu in a restaurant
  • QR codes on products in a supermarket
  • QR codes on books and DVD covers

Personal Distance

This is the distance individuals maintain between each other. The length of the arm plays a major role in defining this distance and it ranges between 1.5-2.5 feet (1/2 to 3/4 meters). QR codes that fit into the personal distance are QR codes that are in your arm distance after extending your arm towards them.

Examples of QR codes at personal distances:

  • QR codes on supermarket shelves
  • QR codes on bus stations
  • QR codes in a zoo or museum

Social Distance

This is the distance that people feel comfortable with, in a social situation. It measures between 6-12 feet (1.25-3.6 meters). QR codes that are expected to be interacted within a social distance are QR codes positioned in places where many people are gathered.

Examples of QR codes at social distances:

  • QR codes in subway cars
  • QR codes in buses
  • QR codes in underground stations
  • QR codes in bars and restaurants
  • QR codes in movie theaters
  • QR codes on posters and LED screens
  • QR codes on in-store POS / POP displays
  • QR codes on storefront windows

Public Distance

This is the distance considered to be well outside any social involvement. This distance goes between 12 feet and above (more than 3.6 meters). QR codes are expected to be interacted in a public zone. The most natural way to contact them is from a distance of 12 feet and above.

Examples of QR codes at public distances:

  • QR codes on billboards
  • QR codes on signage
  • QR codes on T-shirts
  • QR codes on sign posts
  • QR codes on buildings and entrances
  • QR codes on buses

Distance and QR code printing  guidlelines and best practices.

Every distance has an equivalent QR code size.

For QR codes that will be scanned up close e.g.; on Products, in Magazines.

  • 10mm (.4 inch), excluding the margin, is the minimum size for scanning standard, ISO 18004-compliant QR codes, Increase to 12 mm excluding the margin if possible.
  • 30mm (1 3/8 inch), is the minimum size for scanning Visual codes*

For QR codes that will be scanned from afar e.g; on Signage.The ratio of the scanning distance to the size of the QR code should be close to 10:1

  • The simplest approach is use a QR code size that is at least one tenth of the scanning distance, excluding the margin.
  • For example, a code on a Billboard that will be scanned from a distance of 10m (32 ft) should be at least 1m (3.2 ft) in size, excluding the margin.

For all QR codes

  • Use a minimum margin of 4 blocks. Delivr default.
  • Good contrast between the background and the QR Code color is very important when a standard Black & White code is not used. In cases of colorized codes, the QR Code should have a dark color with a light background color.
  • Some QR Code Readers can not read reversed colors e.g., light color with a dark background color, white with black background color.

* Please note, while Delivr provides high-level best practices, most label and packaging design require deeper bespoke analysis especially when deviating from a standard black and white code. That starts with a review of a PDF of the layout, requires an understanding of the type of printing method and materials, and may then move to a print trial. Always Test. Test. Test.

For Broadcast QR:

  • The minimum code size at 1080p Resolution is 240 pixels x 240 pixels at 72 dpi. Expect a scanning distance of 3-5 feet.
  • Increase size to increase average scanning distance. e.g.;1000 pixels x 1000 pixels,10 feet

Delivr® is a privacy-first software and services company serving thousands of businesses looking to drive audiences from offline to online experiences. Established in 2008, Delivr has developed software to track and visualize consumer engagement with print and broadcast media, labels and packaging. With Super Simple Serialization℠ and TrueMrk®, Delivr is extending its martech product suite to serialize and authenticate products. Headquartered in the USA.