Everything You Need To Know

Most Creative Uses For QR Codes - Feb 2017

QR Codes have been around now long enough for people to get creative with them, and as we covered in previous posts, they are easy to make, cheap and give a seamless portal for almost any user between the physical and digital world. so what are some of the most creative ways they have been used to date, which QR Codes stick in our mind as being cleverly designed or creative.


In this QR Code created for Instagram (the popular photo sharing network), the traditionally black squares that form part of the image have been replaced with small photos from the social network.

It's a lot easier to see these photos in the expanded image to the right. Any QR Code reader will be able to decode this QR Code, because the image still has a clear difference between the foreground and background elements of the code. We talk about this in more depth at Does a QR Code Have To Be Black And White?.

From a marketing perspective, it makes the QR code more interesting and incorporates exactly what the Instagram business is all about.

Angry Birds

Instagram were not the only ones to cleverly incorporate their brand identity into the QR Code. The makers or the popular mobile game Angry Birds have done the same. In fact, it was the same company that designed these codes for both Instagram and the makes of Angry Birds (Rovio).

In the Angry birds advert seen here, the distinctive materials used to create the structures within the Angry birds game have been used to replace the traditionally black squares seen on QR Codes. this makes the overall QR code appears as an extremely complex level from the game.

More importantly than anything else, the brand identity is very clear within this advert and you can look at this QR Code with the naked eye, and without reading the header in the advert, its immediately clear that this is in some way linked to Angry Birds.

Dog Collar

Another very creative use for QR Codes is on Dog Collars or Pet IDs in general. Today your pets are micro chipped or wear a Collar with some sort of physical engraving that includes the pets details should it be lost and found.

While for the most part these work well, microchips can't be read by just anyone on the street, often meaning your found pet needs to be taken to somewhere to be scanned and identified usually with a fee for you to pay upon collection. With engravings you need to remember to keep those details up to date and your space to print is limited.

Using a QR Code instead has some great advantages. There are a few ways to use them, you could simply encode the contact details in the QR Code so people have your details when they scan it. the advantage here being you can get a lot more in the code than you could with an engraving and it can be decode by anyone with a smartphone, but it still needs to be updated when those details change.

the other option is to encode a URL into the QR Code that links back to a webpage where you keep the details of the animal and how to contact you. This is much easier to maintain and can be updated at any time without needing to regenerate or reprint the QR Code. Error correction can also help ensure that if the QR Code was damaged, it may still be readable, unlike with a physical engraving where if a digit was damaged in a phone number, you wouldn't be able to contact the owner.


This example was actually a gift someone was given as part of a "Secret Santa" one year. But the ingenious idea was to give someone a combination safe but not the key.

But the recipient was not expected to simply guess the key to the safe, instead the recipient was also given a Jigsaw, with a QR code printed on it. Not a small Jigsaw either, it was a 252 piece Jigsaw.

The idea was simple, put the jigsaw together without your eyes melting, and scan the final impact with your QR Code reader, this would then give you the code to the safe. If you want to read more, go here


If you're new to QR Codes and want to learn a little more, then take the time to read What's A QR Code

Or return to our FAQs

If you want something a little more technical, try The Technical Stuff