October 19, 2011 / Coverage

Know the code: how to create a QR Code

Written by Idea File Staff

QR Codes are a great way to increase information in your yearbook. Get started on using them now.

What is a QR Code?

A QR Code is a two-dimensional barcode that is readable by a mobile smartphone or computer webcam. Businesses can place a QR Code on an item, and then readers scan the QRC with their phones and they are taken to a web page with additional content, such as videos and photos.

How to Create QR Codes

It is very easy to create a QR Code. All you need is the URL. There are many QR Code-generating sites out there (such as qrcode.kaywa.com).

On qrcode.kaywa.com:

  1. QR code imageEnter your URL in the URL box.
  2. Decide which size code you want – we recommend using a medium or large.
  3. Click Generate!
  4. Code will appear in box to left of text. Right-click on the QR Code and Save As a PNG file to your desktop.
  5. Test, test, test! Make sure your code works.

How to Read QR Codes

There are many free QR Code readers available. Here are a few apps for iPhones, Android Phones and BlackBerry devices.

  • Android: QRDroid, ScanLife
  • BlackBerry: App World
  • iPhone: QR Reader, Scan

Once you have downloaded the app onto your phone, simply open that app and use your phone’s camera to scan the QRC. After scanning the code, you will be taken to the URL referenced in the QRC.

Printing QR Codes: Best Practices

  • Minimum size: 1” square
  • Resolution:  300 dpi
  • Colors: You can leave at black or change the colors. Try to keep a darker color so there is contrast.
  • Background Color: Recommend printing the QR Code on a light colored, non-textured background with two times the smallest pixel size in white space around the code.
  • Try not to place the QR Code too close to edges of page or too close to other QR Codes.

How to Set Up Photos and Videos

Where to host online content will be one of the most important decisions for schools using QR codes.


Schools can host photos on their own website or use photo sites like smugmug.com.


If your school is capable of hosting video on their own website, that’s great. However, that will need to be verified with a school network administrator.

Vimeo is a respected, professional, secure video-sharing site. Plus, it’s free. Uploading videos on Vimeo is easy. You can sign up for an account using these steps:

  1. Visit Vimeo.com and click Sign up for Vimeo.
  2. Vimeo’s basic, free service should give a school everything they would need. However, if a school wants more customization options, they can choose Vimeo’s plus service for a fee. Click to make a selection.
  3. Enter a name, email and password, then click Join Vimeo.
  4. You are now a Vimeo member. To upload a video, click Upload a video from the member’s home page and follow the steps.

YouTube is another option if your school already has its own channel and a presence on that site.

Idea File Staff

Idea File Staff reports are posts compiled by the Walsworth Yearbooks Marketing Department, covering a wide range of yearbook topics.