Metal Business Card QR Codes
There are a few very important factors with QR codes in any application, and metal cards are no different! The short answer is, YES! QR codes work great on Metal Kards! We do them all the time without any problems – as long as they are done a certain way.
Can we Etch QR Codes onto Metal Cards?
With a QR code, there are two important factors. One is that the QR code has reasonable contrast – they are meant to be flat, like a UPC barcode, and not 3D. This means, with our standard surface etching that removes 10% of the surface material, it can cause problems for QR code scanning. For this reason, we do not do our standard surface etching or etch+fill printing for QR codes.
We can however laser etch QR codes, which only mark the surface of the metal and do not create a deboss or depth into the engraving. We can also silkscreen print QR codes onto the card surface.
What tolerances and specs do QR codes require?
The two biggest issues we've run into, is if a QR code is too small or there is not enough contrast. You can make QR codes in different colors, without a problem, but we must ensure the contrast is great enough. A black QR code on a silver card or a white QR code on a black card is great.
Size wise, a QR code must be large enough for most phones to read the data. This means that too small, with an older phone or cheaper phone, and it may not be able to focus. We generally recommend all QR codes are at least 0.5" inch or 12.7mm x 12.7mm or larger.
A very important aspect to QR code size, is the amount of data within the QR code. A very simple and short URL will contain less data, and thus have less "squares" within the QR code to read. If you want to print a small QR code, the data should be very small or "short". However, if it is a very long URL or contains even more data such as a contact vCard with numerous details, we recommend making it 1" or 25.4mm x 25.4mm.
Frequently Asked Questions about QR Codes on Metal Cards:
Q: What is a QR code?
A: QR code stands for Quick Response code. It is a two-dimensional barcode that contains encoded information, which can be quickly scanned and read using a smartphone or a QR code scanner.
Q: How does a QR code work?
A: QR codes work by using a matrix of black and white squares to represent information. When a QR code is scanned, the encoded data is extracted and interpreted by the scanning device or app.
Q: What kind of information can be stored in a QR code?
A: QR codes can store various types of information, such as website URLs, contact information (vCard), plain text, email addresses, phone numbers, Wi-Fi network details, product information, and more.
Q: How do I scan a QR code?
A: To scan a QR code, you need a smartphone or a tablet with a built-in camera or a QR code scanning app. Open the app, point the camera at the QR code, and the app will automatically recognize and decode the information contained within the QR code.
Q: Can I create my own QR codes?
A: Yes, you can generate your own QR codes using online QR code generators or QR code creation software. You simply input the desired information or data, customize the design if needed, and generate the QR code image.
Q: Do QR codes work on polished finish metal cards?
A: Yes! They absolutely can, where we want to ensure that we have the QR code large enough, and the user may need to scan from a slight angle so the phone is not reflecting back. For this reason, we do recommend doing a two color silkscreen and printing the background color and foreground color for absolutely the best contrast, but we have done plenty of QR codes on polished surfaces for a beautiful outcome.
Q: What phones are compatible with QR codes?
A: Currently all the latest iPhone and Android phones can use the default camera app to scan QR codes, they will recognize them automatically. Even the oldest phones can download a QR code app to scan them, if they have an older operating system (OS) than what recognizes them automatically. iPhones as old as the 5S released in 2014 can upgrade to iOS 11 to scan QR codes in the default camera app, but a third party app could be used for even earlier models.
Q: What operating systems are compatible with QR codes?
A: Apple added built in QR code recognition in iOS 11 released in 2017, with devices as early as 2014 able to run this OS. Google built in native QR support with Android 8 Oreo released in 2018.
Q: Are QR codes secure?
A: QR codes themselves are not inherently secure or insecure. However, the content or destination of a QR code can potentially be malicious. It's important to exercise caution when scanning QR codes from unknown sources or unfamiliar places.
Q: Can QR codes be edited or modified?
A: Once a QR code is generated, its content is typically fixed and cannot be modified. If changes are needed, a new QR code needs to be created. One option you can do to bypass this, is setup a unique URL which you can change the content on the page. If you have a page on your website the QR code goes to, in the future you can always update your web page with new information.
Q: Can QR codes be used offline?
A: Yes, QR codes can be used offline. The encoded information is stored within the QR code image itself, so as long as you have a QR code scanner app or device, you can scan and interpret the information without an internet connection.
Q: Are QR codes only used for marketing?
A: No, QR codes have a wide range of applications beyond marketing. They can be used for ticketing, payment processing, inventory management, authentication, document tracking, and much more.
Q: Can you print a unique QR code on each metal card?
A: Yes we can, the pricing however would be a custom order so be sure to submit an estimate with your project details. You can read more about this process here.
Q: Are QR codes universal or do they vary by country?
A: QR codes are a standardized format and can be read by any QR code scanner or app that adheres to the QR code standards. They are not specific to any particular country or region.