How To… Use QR Codes

Seems like everywhere I go these days, I’m seeing QR Codes.

In case you don’t know what they are yet, QR Codes are those black-and-white (usually) square barcodes that you can scan with your camera phone. After you’ve scanned the code, it takes you to a web URL, a video, gets you to send an email, a text message, make a phone call, or exchange contact information. The reason folks are getting so excited about them is because they essentially bridge the gap between offline and online connections.

I wrote a blog post a couple of months back about how QR Codes could be really useful for Posters.

I’m seeing more and more examples all the time of businesses using QR Codes to drive traffic back to their websites and social media sites.

Check out this poster I saw recently on a Vancouver street. This company is using them to make it into a game or a contest.

Lululemon is using them to help people to connect with them online, when they are offline. I took this photo recently in a Lululemon store window:

Or this one on the counter of my favorite bookstore in Seattle:

Prior to Christmas, I noticed big electronic stores using QR codes for additional product information, and even to allow you to compare prices of that item at other stores to make sure you were getting the best deal.

If you have a smartphone, download yourself a QR Scanner and see what other businesses are using them for. Go on a QR Code treasure hunt.



How could you apply QR Code technology to your own business or art practice? I’ve been thinking about putting one on the back of my business card. You can use PingTags to do that. Scan my QR Code at the right to see how it works.

Here is a list of different sites where you can generate QR Codes.

What on Earth is a QR Code? (from the National Arts Marketing Project)–h/t to @vancouveropera

A Great introductory post: How Do QR Codes Work?

QR Codes: What’s a Theatre To Do? h/t @2amt

22 Ways Non Profits can use QR Codes for Fundraising and Awareness Campaigns

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12 responses to “How To… Use QR Codes”

  1. Sue

    we’re using them as a donations tool – if you snap the QR code we have in any of our new building projects, on the hoardings etc. it takes you to a specific page in the website explaining why it’s important to donate to that project and how to.

  2. Rebecca Coleman

    That’s awesome, Sue! Thanks for sharing!

  3. david M Beach

    Ive been using them as sort of a social experiment.. street art.. bizarre email/posting sort of thing…lol
    ( Ive got time on my hands right now )

  4. Dean Buscher

    Great post Rebecca,

    I have just inserted my first QR code into my blog for a new promotion I just started. The only problem is I just had new business cards printed. It appears as though i will be making labels….

    Have a great weekend!

  5. Tweets that mention How To… Use QR Codes --

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Vancouver Opera, Dean Buscher Photo. Dean Buscher Photo said: How To Use QR (Quick Response) by Codes Rebecca Coleman Marketing and Media Relations […]

  6. Rebecca Coleman

    Thanks so much for sharing, you guys! :-)

  7. Rebecca Coleman
  8. Stacey White

    I have seen these around and although i knew what they were i hadn’t tested them out yet. They are great! I feared they would just go to websites but the potential is so much biger.

  9. Melanie Kellly

    So cool! Thanks for the info, Rebecca!

  10. Patrick Donnelly

    Awesome Rebecca. Check out some of my Qr code artwork and campaigns. I think you will enjoy

    Patrick Donnelly

  11. Rebecca Coleman

    Patrick! So cool!
    I agree, now that people on this side of the ocean are really getting into QR codes, that the artistic side of them is going to be the next big stop. Have you seen the Louis Vitton one? Gorgeous!

  12. A Triple QR Code Post | Sue Edworthy Arts Planning

    […] How to Use QR Codes […]

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Rebecca Coleman, Marketing and Media Relations Email: rebecca (at) rebeccacoleman (dot) ca Phone: 778.230.1712