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Archive 2013 · QR Codes on Business Cards
  
 
joshim
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · QR Codes on Business Cards


Hi everyone,

I'm currently designing my business cards and was wondering what the popular view was on QR codes. I know they're slightly gimmicky, yet they're purposeful in a way.

What do you guys think about them on business cards? Anyone include them?



Jan 07, 2013 at 07:01 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · QR Codes on Business Cards


Currently working on a card design ... premature thought, but I think I'd be more inclined to use it (larger) on the back of the card than the front (smaller/none), Depending on style of card, "four corners" could be interesting for graphic appeal, etc.

Also, likely would depend on your target market as to whether it would come across techno-savvy or unnecessarily gimmicky. Some would find it "way cool" ... but given the intent of the business card to serve as a calling card to facilitate remembrance/reference info, it leaves me to wonder it's lasting value.

If you've got the QR Code ... how are people going to use it, i.e. only with a reader. The QR code isn't something they can "remember" and use when they are away from their reader (or wherever they may have stored the code). I get that people are "attached" to their smart phones these days and wouldn't even consider taking their first morning's breathe of life without consulting it first. But, given the choice between using the (front) real estate for making an impression into their eye/brain/memory or having the QR code available for them to scan ... I'd likely opt against the QR code on the front.

But, that's just my "old school" thinking that I want to make an impression into their mind ... more so than their gizmo (but if they can't function without their gizmo).

There is a saying "Keep the main thing ... the main thing." Is the QR code stealing thunder from the main thing (diverting attention / stealing real estate) ... or is it adding convenience (really) and "techno-savvy" impression (really) that is going to help achieve the purpose you have for your card. There is only so much that the card can achieve ... is the QR code compromising the other aspects of the card?

To me, there is a certain amount of "depersonalization" that a QR code infers. Kinda contradictory (imo) if the card is part of the effort to aid them remembering you. If it is merely a lazy/convenience/cool tool/toy to let them avoid thinking/typing your website name, and that's what you want them to remember of you ... that you're "up with the times" and "techno-savvy" ... well, that again goes back to your target market and intent/purpose/expectation of your card, imo.

Personally ... I'm me ... not a number, not a gizmo graphic. If you can't put forth the effort to remember/type my name, than I must be of very little value to you. That, or I'm just something for you to "toy" with. Is that "bad on me" or "bad on you" ... debatable, but doesn't really matter ... it is "bad" in either case, imo.

Old school ... my .02.

Ooops, my bad ... you asked for the "popular view".



BTW ... here's a link to an image that I saw, just moments before reading this post. Take a look and think about your initial impression of the use of the code.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1179979




Jan 07, 2013 at 02:49 PM
joshim
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · QR Codes on Business Cards


That's some great insight and valuable opinion, RustyBug. Thanks for your 2 cents =)
I was actually thinking of having the code create a vCard so they'll automatically add me into their address book.
But I guess I'm gonna go against QR codes. You made some great points!
Thanks!



Jan 07, 2013 at 03:30 PM
jefferies1
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · QR Codes on Business Cards


I would say that QR codes have not taken off like other products. I do see them in a few magazines so maybe I am just not keeping up. I do think listing that it will add the card contact details to their address book is a great idea. That would be useful.



Jan 07, 2013 at 06:13 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · QR Codes on Business Cards


Being NOT tech savvy @ such things ... the auto add to the address book sounds of value, because that then puts it into the realm of "normal" usefulness (expediently @ service to them). I'd still be inclined to put it on the back and just bring it to their attention that IF they have QR reading capability, you've gone the extra mile to simplify the contact info upload process for them.

That makes some sense as being service oriented to others, i.e. almost always inherent value there. My initial take was trendy/techno-cool, ... "Look at me, I'm so cool I've got a QR Code" ... which I obviously didn't put a lot of stock in.

But I'm a "chisel & stone" ... er, a bit behind on some techno issues.

GL, sounds interesting @ Vcard application.



Jan 07, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · QR Codes on Business Cards


To the few who understand the QR it'll be useful, to others like RB it won't make a difference.
The concept of "Look at me, I'm so cool I've got a QR Code" reminds me of my sister who STILL thinks people who use cell phones are trying to impress those around them...to be honest most people don;t give a hoot what others do.
So IMO it's a plus to the early adaptors.



Jan 07, 2013 at 07:57 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · QR Codes on Business Cards


+1 @ Mickey

imo ...

QR Codes (in general) are still in "early adopter" stage. QR codes on business cards would be in the innovation stage. I would expect that far less than 1% have incorporated QR codes on business cards at this stage of the game. You are surely in the innovative realm of the curve.

Maybe you should start a "Show your business card" thread, similar to the "show your website" thread.

See "early adopter curve" @ google / google images or wiki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffusion_of_innovations




Jan 07, 2013 at 08:03 PM
joshim
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · QR Codes on Business Cards


The only issue with the vCard is that there is so much info, that the QR code would be pretty large and the smartphone would need to have a good camera.

Anyways, you guys made some really interesting points. Especially like the info on the early adopter curve. I feel more comfortable using it in my business card now. I'll make two mock up versions, one with and one without and go from there.

Thanks a lot, guys!

btw, didn't we already have a thread for business cards...? I'll have to go search.



Jan 08, 2013 at 12:37 AM
Skarkowtsky
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · QR Codes on Business Cards


As a former graphic designer, my two cents is that a business card needs to tell an immediate story, on a limited canvas.

The QR codes are rather large, and the important information on your card, contact info, especially, will suffer size limitations--if you stay within the standard business card dimensions, that is.

I would stay within the standard size as too small a card tends to get lost, and too large a card tends to get tossed.

Also, QR codes aren't as popular as they were projected to be just yet, even with well established brands that have consumer loyalty.

I just don't see adding something that isn't in demand to such a small space, as in a business card.



Jan 08, 2013 at 01:16 AM
mdude85
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · QR Codes on Business Cards


In addition to the good points already mentioned I would also add that I think QR codes are most useful for mining information about a subject when you are "on the go". For instance ... here in Washington DC they are over billboard ads in the subway. People who want to learn about a product or service can quickly scan the QR code and move on, then use their QR software to learn more later. A business card does not really serve the type of audience. Most of the information they need to know about you is in their pocket or on your website.

So I see the QR code as more of a gimmick, but it could have some intrinsic value, like showing your potential clients that you are technologically savvy. On the other hand, it could backfire for potential clients who think it's useless or silly or a misuse of the technology.



Jan 08, 2013 at 02:34 AM
 

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TTee
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · QR Codes on Business Cards


I have a QR code on mine that links to my website. I mostly shoot models and when I finish a shoot with one, I find my website traffic goes up over the next few days due to the model showing my card to her friends. I've gotten more requests to shoot since doing this.


Jan 09, 2013 at 04:55 AM
joshim
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · QR Codes on Business Cards


TTee, that's pretty interesting. Do you suppose that would work for weddings also? By the time the wedding's finished and edited, they probably would know your website address pretty well, right?


Jan 10, 2013 at 12:40 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · QR Codes on Business Cards


Not to dismiss the value of the QR Code per se ... but is the increase in traffic because of the business card design and the web address on the card, or the word of mouth from the model (i.e. satisfied client), or the QR code?

Since all three (assuming you also have your web address on the card), co-exist it becomes difficult to discern and attribute the cause / effect relationship for the increase in traffic to the inclusion of a QR code on your card, more than the others.

Potential litmus test to consider asking yourself:

If you were forced to choose between putting ONLY your web address on your business card ... or ... ONLY a QR Code on your business card, which would you choose?

For me, the answer is very clear ... which suggests primary significance vs. supplemental augmentation of marginal consideration.



Jan 10, 2013 at 01:52 AM
TTee
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · QR Codes on Business Cards


joshim- I'm not sure if this way would work for weddings as most brides are going to research the photographer more thoroughly and would remember the photographer's name. Maybe a QR code on a promo card at a bridal show would work as the perspective brides would have seen many vendor booths. Having a QR code on a promo card would spark their memory. Just tossing out ideas.

Rusty- good thought for discussion. I think for me because I photograph models in their early 20's, they are very smart phone oriented so when they meet up with their friends and they have my card they can quickly show examples of my work. I'm only a weekend warrior that shoots a lot of TF and most of the photo shoots I do come from referrals from models or Model Mayhem. I do notice that when I hand them a card after a shoot, they'll scan the card to see the website. That's when I tell them I'll have an image of them on the site within a few days. Keeps them excited to check back.



Jan 10, 2013 at 04:36 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · QR Codes on Business Cards


Tom,

That's pretty close to what I would have guessed. As a father of five in the 19-27 demographic, I'm a little bit familiar with that target market also.

It has been my experience (in my miniscule corner of the world) that those individuals who are business oriented (i.e. paying you for your work) aren't nearly so enamored from the technological aspects as those who aren't "footing the bill" themselves. Does the technological element of a QR code, "strike a chord" / appeal to your target market (back to my first comment) of young girls @ TF ... I am fairly confident that it does.

But, I'm inclined to think that the "carrot & stick" that you have dangling in front of them with anticipation is more viably responsible for your traffic increase ... that combined with the "I gotta get my friends to see my pics" aspect of human nature that typically follows. I think your traffic would see this spike even if they had to wait while you carved your website name on a rock with a chisel to give to them. Will a potential commercial client be as enamored by a QR code and the expediency it can provide ... I'm thinking, not nearly as much (but I could be way off here), which of course takes us back to "target market".

I'm actually kinda diggin' your experience / utilization (would like to see your card), and the discussion is prompting my own consideration (relative to my target market). Likely, if I were shooting seniors or young MM model types again ... I might feel rather different, recognizing that they can be somewhat tech-enamored.

My utilization of a QR code will likely remain relegated to my perspective that the front real estate is in line with John's comments above. A QR code (not strongly considered before this thread) could find its way on the back though.

But, where I see value (for me) with a QR code would be as part of the signage on my vehicle. Without me there to hand out a card, and passerby's typically not "pen & paper" oriented, as well as the fact that they likely have something else on their mind that will render their memory unreliable (correct name spelling, etc.) ... they can just pop the QR code with the smart phone for later ... that is something that I might have to give more credence to. (iaw Scott's "on the go" perspective)

Hmmm, park the vehicle by the high school at lunchtime with a QR code on it. If I were shooting seniors, it could be like moths to a flame.
Did I mention "target market".





Jan 10, 2013 at 10:48 AM
knower
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · QR Codes on Business Cards


I have just designed my new business cards and they do have a QR code in the back along with traditional information.

The QR has a great advantage because can be scanned from a phone and be saved as contact with everything in it.
It's common for people to take your business card and then forget it, if they save your data in their phone, tablet etc is another possibility they will keep your contact with them.

The QR does have everything you need, vCard data, website, facebook and everything else, and with you simple scan fromyour phone you can send an email, navigate the website or set a facebook like in one go.

For me it's a great thing, considering also the other marketing strategies you can apply, like car stickers, or merchandising.
I also put it on my prints now, in the back, with custom stickers.

To be honest we are at a point where typing something is old, everything is automated. For me the QR is no brainer, I can see them everywhere now, they are growing up very much.

It doesn't need to be as big, anyway and there is space to put your written data with a good design.
I have a full card picture in the front and the QR with some info in the back.


G.



Jan 10, 2013 at 08:29 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · QR Codes on Business Cards


knower wrote:
I have a full card picture in the front and the QR with some info in the back.


Makes sense to me with QR @ back.



Jan 10, 2013 at 09:09 PM
giuliano
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · QR Codes on Business Cards


I suggest you also check Olocode (www.olocode.com) an alternative to QR code for contact management that does not require scanning with a camera phone nor an app to be downloaded.
Olocode takes minimal space on business cards and includes full contact details and your picture, while QR codes contain less than a tweet, hardly your full contact details and surely not a photo.
Imagine - as the user now has your picture in their contact book, whenever they look for you, call you or receive your call your smile will fill their screen!
Olocode can also be added to email signatures, scribble on a palm or piece of paper or spelled on the phone. It works on smartphones, PCs, Macs and tablets with no software to download and keeps people updated if your contact details change.



Feb 01, 2013 at 02:38 PM
mart4321
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · QR Codes on Business Cards


If the QR code looks too techno-savvy it can always be designed. You will just have to use QR code with highest error correction. Its a bit bigger then but you can actually replace as much as 30% of the code with your own design and it will still work. A bit more about what can be done can be read for example here .


Feb 04, 2013 at 10:18 PM
edgately
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · QR Codes on Business Cards


my two cents...

http://picturesofpeoplescanningqrcodes.tumblr.com/



Jul 30, 2013 at 01:29 PM
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