Bite-Size Briefings

QR Code Variants

There are a number of variants of QR code, each with differing characteristics in terms of readability, data density and error correction. Currently the variant offering the greatest data capacity is “40L” (type 40, error correction level L). This utilises a 177 x 177 dot matrix and can be used to represent up to 4,296 alphanumeric characters or 7,089 numeric-only characters.

40L QR Code

Figure 1 – This version ‘40L’ (177×177 dots) QR code contains 1,264 characters of text.

Now that the initial novelty of QR codes has worn off marketers are seeking more creative ways of displaying them. It is now possible to produce readable QR codes that contain a central image, use non-square dots, are in colour and/or overlay a picture.

Simpsons QR Code

Figure 2 – Scanning this QR code will redirect you to the Fox Movies website. It was originally used to promote the Simpsons film “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”

Barcode-Sorted QR Code

Figure 3 – This Version 2 (25×25 dot) QR code contains the URL “”

Research has shown that when used in an advertising/marketing context a creatively designed QR code can increase scan & response rates by 50% to 400% compared with the traditional codes.

Are you interested in implementing a QR code-based solution within your business? Barcode-Sorted can provide you with friendly, impartial, expert advice. Please use our contact form to enquire further or call us on 0845 652 6576.