QR Codes as Art?

Is that funky picture hanging on the wall of the coffee shop a piece of artwork from a new local artist? Why is everybody taking pictures of it with their cell phones? It certainly is eye catching but do I really need a picture of it on my phone? Chances are that picture is so much more than a work of art. It could well be a QR code disguised as a wall decoration.

QR codes are popping up in all kinds of unusual spots. In case you have never seen one they are squares full of smaller squares and square shaped empty spaces. They can be appealing to the eye but they serve a purpose above and beyond their aesthetics. QR codes are used to transmit information to consumers by allowing them to scan the codes with their smart phones and learn information about the company who issued the code. The information may be about the business in general or it may be specific to a sale or promotion that the company is sponsoring at that time.

So why would anyone hang one on the wall and call it art? More realistically it may be called an artistic statement that is beneficial to the business. While an enlarged QR code certainly has an interesting look and will draw the eye of the consumer there is so much more to it. For instance a framed QR code on the wall of the local bistro may include a discount on a return visit when a customer scans the code. An equally eye-catching code hanging in the hallway at the mall may be encoded with a special price on dinner at a restaurant in the mall. A diner could claim the discount by scanning the picture and showing it at the door of the restaurant.

Regardless of the size of the QR code all that is needed to take advantage of this craze is a smart phone and an application that will scan the codes. Armed with this alone you will have the ability to make good use of many discounts and promotions that businesses are making available. Simply by using the installed app on your phone your camera will take a photo of the code. You will then be connected to a website or promotional area where the encoded information will likely contain some money saving offer. When QR codes are found in the usual places such as magazines, mail advertisements, menus, etc. they are small and you might overlook them. When they are the same size as the landscape on the opposite wall you will not be able to miss them or the offers they contain.