How many of you have spotted the funky new square barcodes that are starting to show up in advertisements and print media everywhere? They are called “Quick Response codes”, or “QR codes”, and they can be used to store huge amounts of data. These codes have a pretty neat history that you can read about over on Wikipedia. What has made them so useful these days is that you can quickly and easily scan them using one of the many QR code reader apps available for your smart phone.
QR codes are super easy to create, too, especially with services like QRStuff.com, which lets you quickly create a barcode pointing to any URL you want (or lots of other types of data, too). It took me less than a minute to create and download a QR code that points to ChicaAndJo.com. Pretty neat, huh? You can actually scan it right here on the computer if you’ve got an app such as Scan – QR Code City on your phone.
I thought it would be cool to incorporate a QR code into the design of my Christmas cards this year for a fun twist. Then I could have the code point to any online digital media I wanted, as a fun way to share with my friends and family.
Just think of the personal things you can share with loved ones far away in your Christmas card. For example, you could use a QR code to point everyone to:
- a photo of the family (on Flickr)
- a video of the new baby (on YouTube)
- your Facebook page
- the website of your favorite charity
- your personal blog
- your family’s Christmas letter
- your company website
- … or anything else you can find online!
For my card design, I kept things clean and modern. I created an image with a simple tree and a few gifts, and incorporated the QR code into the biggest gift. In case someone doesn’t know what the barcode is for, I put a little message on the back of the card. I made a handy-dandy template to share with you all so that you can create your own cards, too!
Once you open the template in Microsoft Word, you can optionally edit the text on the front and back of the card, and you can update the QR code with one you created yourself. Then just print the cards out onto 8.5″ x 11″ sheets of white cardstock.
Then just fold the card in half and sign your message and name on the inside.
The card will fit perfectly into a standard A9 envelope (5-3/4″ x 8-3/4″). Okay, my cards are done… now I just have to get all those envelopes addressed!