QR codes are finally starting to show up around town, but we've all known about them for some time, right? Well if you want to stay ahead of the curve and keep wowing regular people with your mobile expertise, why not start adding images to your QR codes? Esponce is a company that's in the business of selling QR code tracking and marketing, but part of the service is freely available, and you can use it to really spice up your QR codes.

The web tool provided by Esponce relies on the fact that some of the lines in a QR code don't actually contain the information needed to decode it. Toward the center, there are several areas you can cover up that won't affect the functionality of the code. On the Esponce site, you just have to fill in your link, pick an image size, and the tick the box at the bottom labeled "Add Logo Image."

You will be presented with the raw QR code first, so go ahead and choose the image you want to use. A square format picture is recommended; wider pics are more likely to block important parts of the code. The Scale slider lets you change the size of the picture, and the arrow buttons move it. As you tweak and nudge your image around, an indicator above the code will tell you whether or not you're covering anything important. It's also worth noting that the interface for configuring your super-cool logo is based on Silverlight, so it won't work on mobile devices.

qr maker

You can pick different blending modes for your image, but I think the default is the best. The Silverlight frame makes the logo image look a little blurry, but don't fret -- it will look much better when exported. A black and white image is likely to blend better, but you can use anything you want, no matter how garish.

[Esponse; Thanks, Jeff]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play.

  • Peter V

    Looks like this might not work in Chrome on a Mac. Apparently Silverlight is required.

  • Tristan

    You can make it, but no one will take a picture of it.


    • ChumbleSpuzz

      I see what you did there

  • SlimDan22

    I think http://www.qrhacker.com is a better website for doing this.

    No flash or Silverlight either.

    • Steven M

      thanks. i growled slightly when i saw the Silverlight logo on the first website!

    • http://twitter.com/shamus_carter james kendall

      thanks for the link that site is a ton of fun to play around with.

  • http://nope Double

    Every part of our QR-code contains usefull info. (Except for the 3 squares, and one row of dots) However, it has some advanced error correction build in, you can obscure -depending on the amount of error correction- almost 50 percent of a QR, and it will still be readable.

    • Scott Kennedy

      I was going to mention this too. It's not that "some of the lines in a QR code don't actually contain the information needed to decode it" or "toward the center, there are several areas you can cover up that won't affect the functionality of the code", just that there is error detection and correction built in (to most QR codes), so a few bad blocks don't prevent scanning.

      • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

        The site lets you specify how much error correction to apply too, and whether the final output will be usable or not.

  • J-Dog

    How would a QR code handle being stretched out to more of a rectangular shape?

    I'm thinking a possible geeky business card could be a giant QR code with contact info embedded in it (so the phone can add it automatically) with the info printed out (instead of a logo) in traditional text for non-QR'ers.

    I'd think stretching it out to consume the entire card would be more ascetically pleasing & defiantly allow for the text to be read easier. But if it'd FUBAR the code from being used....

  • http://ecelltech.blogspot.com/ e_cell

    Bummer. I just knew this now. Where was I then?! Nevertheless, I must say it's still pretty awesome to personalize a QR code.