You may have noticed 2D barcoding invading its way into your magazines, books, club flyers, billboards and product packaging. It’s a barcode which holds 2,000 bytes of data that can be scanned by a smartphone. This can lead you to a web site, a video, to add a phone contact, or load an image. So what does this have to do with logo future? I’ll explain…

Started in 1994 by Denso Corp., a subsidiary of Toyota, it is widely used in Japan. Like many new technologies what starts over there spreads like wildfires to the western culture.

Their futurist-looking, usually black, or very dark colored, block image gets some attention, but for designers it’s a challenging element to implement into designs. But if done properly could this bring your logo to a new level? Your logo is on everything. All of your internal sales documents; Your external advertising material, and just about everything else associated with your company. What if your logo could do more than just stand for the brand? What if it could interact with viewers? What about future logos that scan to a video about your company, or a logo that could be scanned to bring you right to the purchase page for your flagship product, or a logo that can be customized to each employee’s information.

Logo Future

Logo Future

Nielsen reported 31% of cell phones were smartphones at the start of 2011 which is a 72.1% increase from the last year. The IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker reports total smartphone sales for 2010 as 302.6 million, up around 74% on 2009. Morgan Stanley Research estimated sales of smartphones will exceed those of PCs in 2012.

So could this be a clever logo trick on your next logo design project?

Only time will this bold interactive symbol becomes popular enough to become your logo. Or if it will fall down next to the 8 track, laser disks, and the DeLorian. I, for one, think it’s an interesting concept to ponder. I could foresee a similar technology breaking as much ground as the introduction of modern printing press to your logo designs. Although, QR codes are found internationally which means barcoding is a language that everyone can understand. This is great for creating a multi-language symbol that can identify a business and bring them to a web site which interprets their language.

Creating QR Codes is Easy

So how do you create one of these interactive barcodes? It is very easy and free. Companies like Kaywa allow you to create a simple QR (Quick Response) barcode that is ready to scan instantly. Place it on your flyer or business card for print or share its permalink and embed it into your website or blog.

Other providers like, Zxing Project , delivr , QR Stuff , or Maestro can give you some different approaches with customizable features.

Future Logos

Future Logos

Simple Guidelines

Make sure to test your barcode before launching your 2-D barcode. Many sites have a reader you can download on your mobile device. Another way to find a barcode application is to search on mobile devices app stores with the keyword “barcode reader.” To simply put it, make sure it works. Try testing on multiple mobile devices in different sizes and made by different carriers.

If your barcode links to a website make sure your website is mobile friendly. If the website is hard to navigate on a cell phone, your ad has no meaning to the viewer. For example, RSSmachine is an RSS 2.0 template, 10 CSS style sheets and XSL, XSD & OPML files. Unlike other feeds, those made with RSSmachine are designed to reach mobile audiences.

Make sure you track your results. One way is to measure in-bound hits by using a tracking program like Google Analytics. Another way is to partner with Scan Life, Microsoft or another 2-D code provider to track data using their systems.
The best 2-D code experiences inspire prospects or customers to come back for more. They got from point A to point B without any trouble and they are satisfied with their experience.

Case Studies

According to a recent report published by ScanLife, an estimated 30-40% of all smartphone users have downloaded a barcode scanning application. The report went further to say that in 2010, there was a 1600% increase in mobile barcode scanning and mobile bar code scanning doubled in the 4th quarter of 2010. The study also highlighted a survey that found that 97% of respondents found mobile barcodes useful in some capacity.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) will launch a new service using QR codes. The barcodes will link to promotional campaigns for the USPS and if you place their barcode on your mail, you will receive a discount on the cost of sending.
Closure Systems International (CSI) manufactures a great deal of the bottle caps found on common beverages; beer, juice, water, milk, soda, etc. Recently, CSI announced that they will be testing ScanCap, a system that uses ScanLife Micro EZcodes. The codes will be printed inside or outside of the bottle cap and will have the ability to link to the online content of the beverage company’s choosing.

QR codes are virtual links connecting the offline and online world. Using barcode technology is simple, fast, and in the palm of your hand.

John Siebert
Tranquil Blue Web Design Logo Future

web design

web design

July 20, 2011

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