QR Code: Barcode’s Biggest Enemy, A How To

QR Codes are great for marketing, either for personal or professional services, and they are now able to be customized to whatever your liking may be – I have most recently used QR codes in ad campaigns for work and to bring awareness to causes that would otherwise cause difficulty or hindered access for end users. Regardless, this post will show you how to capitalize on custom, creative, and web-based QR code generation software available today in a simple, quick, and value-added fashion.

I prefer a site that is simple and free to use and despite the crazy name, very well done – https://www.qrcode-monkey.com/  – simply navigate directly to the webpage to begin and you will see a page similar to the one directly below.

Once you have arrived, you will quickly be able to see a sample of the QR Code that you are about to make on the left portion of the window. A great help if you like to track progress visually as you progress. In order to activate this feature, once edits are made, simply click the green ‘Create QR Code’ button immediately below the code and the image itself will self-update.

Either way, there are four segments to work with that are made available for you to customize your QR code: Enter Content, Set Colors, Add Logo Image, and Customize Design. We will walk through each one quickly and individually.

Enter Content

The first ‘Enter Content’ option allows you to set a custom URL to help navigate your users to whatever page, app, or whatever else you desire. The link can be entirely custom and in this case we will change it to this blog’s main address – http://michaelkol.com/ – once done, either hit the ‘Enter’ button on your keyboard or navigate to the green ‘Create QR Code’ button as mentioned before and select it for updates.

Set Colors

Next, click the ‘+’ icon located directly to the right side of the ‘Set Colors’ segment in order to turn it into a ‘-‘ and effectively drop down the available options (This step will be repeated for the two remaining segments following this step). You will see the available options as radio buttons: Single Color, Color Gradient, or Custom Eye Color available to you. The choice is yours and for simplicity of this post we will continue forward and leave the foreground color as the HEX value #000000 which is black and the background color as #FFFFFF which is white. Feel free to play around with these until you find something you like. Remember, when you are done, either hit ‘Enter’ on your keyboard or select the green ‘Create QR Code’ button once again to update and save your changes.

Add Logo Image

This third segment allows you to add a custom logo to the middle of the QR code you are generating. For Example and as you will see below, I spent a little time making a custom ‘MK’ image (my first and last name initials for future reference) but you can make whatever you like or leave it blank at that. The image you be saved in .png format and size should be approximately 250x250px as the system will auto-reduce to fit within your code. I chose this size to early adjust for potential scaling in the future. Regardless, upload whatever image you deem fit and then save you changes. You will see a sample of mine below.

Customize Design

Lastly, you have the option of customizing your design in the form of Body Shape, Eye Frame Shape, and Eye Ball Shape. If you don’t know what these are now, don’t worry, it is all pretty intuitive once you take a look. You can see what I chose for my personal one below, but you are more than welcome to choose whichever you prefer.

Once done, simply click the blue ‘Download PNG’ button beside the green button you were using to update earlier and save to whatever device you choose. You can also adjust the size, or choose the .SVG option which will allow you to scale to any size if you have the proper image manipulation software. I prefer the free Gimp 2 but that is the subject of another post entirely. Nevertheless, you now have the tools and knowledge to create and manage your own marketing campaigns and capitalizing on the use of custom QR codes simultaneously!


The benefits of QR codes used for personal and professional branding or marketing campaigns are extraordinary. I have seen people use them on packages, resumes, marketing and promotional materials, etc. Literally, the possibilities are endless.

The point of a QR code is to make it simple to register and use information, and in this case we are able to make a custom QR code and link it directly to a website. If you have an app you can do the same, if you have a poll you want people to take then that option is available, or even if you want to solicit donations or bring awareness to something not readily available then that option is there for you to take advantage of too. Plus, overall, they look really cool. Good luck and looking forward to seeing your custom QR codes out there!

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