Everything You Need To Know

QR Code Street Art

Sidewalk QR Code

you've likely seen QR Codes in the street, on posters or in magazines. Usually professionally printed by a media company as part of a campaign to advertise and sell a product or drive traffic to a website. The material the code is created with is usually something that is removable or adjustable so that alterations can be made or it can be replaced by something else easily when the campaign is over. But some local authorities have even embedded QR Codes directly into the sidewalk. In this example from Curitiba in Brazil, the QR Code in question is offering a link to historical information about the area.

Painted QR Code

But street artists are having fun with QR Codes too, and often creating the most interesting and memorable experiences. Some are skilled enough to be able to reproduce a QR Code freehand with enough accuracy that it can still be scanned by a QR Code Reader, and others simply use templates and spray paint to achieve the same.

They are not always attractive to the naked eye. and are certainly frowned upon by local authorities who have to invest time and cash in removing them. But in some cases the street artist has been able to create a buzz around their work.

Sidewalk QR Code

One of my favourite examples is that of a Berlin based street graffiti artist known as Sweza who has created and been distributing these posters around the city. The posters are of a boombox, but what is more interesting about them is that where the cassette tape would normally be on the image, is a QR Code.

When you place your smartphone in front of the QR code in order to scan it, the code takes you to an image and subsequently plays the music. So this gives the impression that your smartphone has become the cassette tape. There is a great demo of it in action below, but this is also one of the best demonstrations of how the QR code seamlessly links the real and digital world together.

There are plenty of other examples out there, and im sure other street artists will continue to come up with new and creative ways to incorporate QR Codes into their work. Much to the frustration of those responsible to cleaning up after.


If you want to learn more about QR Codes, you should read What's A QR Code?

Or take a look at our FAQs

Alternatively if you know the basics and want something a bit more technical, try The Technical Stuff