Placing a Logo on a QR Code: What to Avoid

QR Code Branding

Inserting shapes and logos in QR codes is a great way for branding QR codes, with your company colors for example. It’s a nice opportunity to promote your brand. It can also engage the public and encourage people to scan the QR code.

QRcodeLab - online qr code generator - logo buttonIt is really easy to brand a QR code in our QRcodeLab webapp using the ‘Logo’ button. However, it’s not so easy to know where and how to correctly place a logo so that the QR code remains readable.

QR Code Areas To Avoid

qr code areas to use and avoid to place a logo for brandingQR codes are composed of invariant elements that are always present, called targets. There are three main targets that are used for positioning in the optical recognition process. These are the targets which allow to decode a QR code in any position!

Depending on the size (or version) of the QR code, other smaller targets can be added. They are used to determine the alignment of the QR code and to compensate for perspective-induced distortions. For example when the optical recognition device is not aligned in front of the QR code.

Under no circumstances should these elements be masked with a logo! This would prevent the recognition of the QR code. These areas are highlighted in red in the picture.

There are still other elements that describe how the QR code was composed and therefore how it should be decoded. These are the areas highlighted in orange. The zones which border the large targets describe the encoding parameters of the QR code whereas the 2 zones which connect the large targets are used to determine the size of the QR code and its elements as well as possible distortions.

It is recommended to avoid covering these zones with a logo although often the QR code remains readable.

qr code with successful logo placement exampleThe rest of the surface of the QR code represents the data of the QR code (highlighted in in green). The data is read sequentially by blocks, in the direction of the arrows. There is a data redundancy mechanism built into the design of the QR code, which can vary from 7% to 30%. The QR code produced by the QRcodeLab online web application are 15% redundant.

You can cover a part of this area with a logo, as long as the surface of this one does not exceed the redundancy rate of the QR code surface allocated to the data (thus less than 15% of the green surface!)

Hassle-Free Alternative

qr code overlay logo example for brandingNew: you can also choose to completely cover the QR code with the logo of your choice! In this case you’ll have to work on the transparency of the logo so that the QR code beneath remains readable. With this approach you can get rid of all the placement constraints mentioned before.

This is easily done with the tools we provide with our online qr code generator: see the list of features for qr code branding with logo.

Unlimited Try Free

All these branding features are freely accessible in the QRcodeLab web application, either in demo mode without editing the QR code content or in registered demo mode. Opening an account is free, without any obligation to buy and it unlocks the possibility to edit the content for all types of QR code.

Unlimited free testing in both cases!

All the QR codes here are fully functional and compatible with common QR code readers.