There has recently been a surge in the use of QR codes, last month Camelot announced that all lottery tickets will now have QR codes on them so people can instantly check if they’ve won (or more likely lost!). However, QR Codes were originally invented by manufacturers (namely Toyota) not for marketing, but for inventory management. They called this two-dimensional graphical code system Quick Response, or a QR code system.

QR codes have often been unappealing to designers, as they are not the most aesthetically pleasing, but while QR codes come with their own design and manufacturing challenges, so too does the perfect label. It is therefore important to get steps 1-3 (below) right, before finally integrating the QR code.

Here are Fascia Graphics’ three steps to designing the perfect label:

1. What is the message you want to put across to your customers? It is very common for labels to have limited space for all the information required, therefore it is important that you select the most important information to be printed on your label. Information such as product name, company name and registration number, contact details, ingredients, country of origin and barcode, are just some of the information you should consider adding to your label. It is also important you know the demographic you are marketing to before designing your label.

2. Finding the ideal shape – The shape and size can make a fundamental difference, whether it will stand out from your competitors, or just be buried in a crowd. Good practice is to take a look at what labelling your competitors use, and see what shapes and sizes they used, using something a little different can help you stand out.

3. Ensure it feels right – There are many different materials and finishes available, each producing different textures and effects. You therefore need to consider how you want your label to be viewed by your potential customers. Do you want a metallic finish? A matt or gloss finish? Do you want the material to be clear? Do you want the material to be white? There are so many different options, so it is important that you take your time before deciding, so your label can be produced for the best results.

Integrating a QR code

You can use a QR code on packaging labels or general promotional stickers for a number of uses. Why not run a promotion or giveaway, and tell readers to scan the QR code to enter a special competition? This could take them to your website and is a great way to increase traffic. QR codes don’t just have to direct the viewer to your home page. They can be personalised, with each user’s landing page tailored to them. By utilising the data you have on your customers, you can tailor the code to display offers and incentives that correspond with their specific demographic and needs. The more relevant the landing page, the more effective it will be. 

By implementing this advice, you can ensure your product has the perfect label and at the same time, increase interaction with your customers through the use of a QR code.

Mark Anderson is UK Sales Manager at Fascia Graphics, the UK’s market leader for the production of graphic overlays and membrane keypads.