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QR Code Size Guide – How Small or Big?

How small can a qr code be and still work
✅ Learn how big or small a QR code should be for printing.
✅ Discover why you need to make QR codes are in the correct size.

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How small can a qr code be and still work
how big should a qr code be

QR codes are more and more popular for obvious reasons. They represent a quick way to promote something. It is all about versatility and convenience. Whether it is your business address, a link to your official website or a vCard to end up in a user’s address book, QR codes are a good opportunity in marketing.

Creating your own QR code is fairly simple – there are plenty of websites allowing you to create your own. The whole procedure takes seconds only, as the code is instantly created based on the information you provide.

But how small can you make a QR code so they still scan?

What Affects the QR Code Size

QR code size depends a lot on where you use this QR code. Are you going to put it on a big billboard in the city center? Obviously, it should be much bigger there than if you were to put it on a small product package. The general idea is fairly simple – the distance between the code and the scanning smartphone is one of the most important factors in deciding on the size.

Size & Style

Another consideration is the size of the dots used to create the code. The dots become smaller as you add more data. Add a basic website and your QR code will be quite clean – easy to resize according to your needs. Add plenty of data and you will have a lot of small dots. At this point, if you make the QR code too small, some of the dots may stick to each other, while others will simply disappear.

Keep your QR Codes Short

To keep your QR codes as readable and clean as possible, we recommend to try our free QR Dynamic Links. This helps keep the contents small by using shortlinks. You also have the benefit of tracking your visitors and changing the content later, even after you have already printed your QR codes.

QR Code Sizing Formula

minimum qr code size

Most smartphones come with a simple formula for QR code scanning. The ratio is about 10:1. Think about the scanning distance and divide it by 10. If you plan to add a QR code in a magazine or a flyer, it will most likely be scanned from a close distance, such as 5 inches. In this case, the code can be 0.5×0.5 inches and still scan properly.

Maximum QR Code Size

maximum qr code size

If you want to place your QR code on a building or any other large format media, it will usually be scanned from a long distance. Use the same formula to determine the minimum QR code size.

There is no limit for maximum sizes, a QR code can be as big as you like. Just make sure that it fits into the smartphone camera from a normal scanning distance. When printing larger QR codes, make sure you are using vector formats, like .PDF, .EPS or .SVG. All these formats are available for free with the Pageloot QR Code Generator tool.

Minimum QR Code Size

Most specialists agree that 0.4×0.4 inches (1×1 centimeters) is the smallest readable size for most smartphones. We would recommend to at least double those dimensions – 0.8×0.8 inches or 2×2 centimeters. In other words, ideally you want to be above this size for magazines, business cards, flyers and so on.

Remember the distance formula, as well as the minimum size requirements. Keep in mind that bigger is usually better, especially as there might be other factors to affect the size, such as the QR code color. Make sure that the QR code and background are not similar in color and are clearly separable.

How small or big can you make a QR code for printing? When in doubt, always test!

Frequently asked questions

What is the recommended size for printing QR codes?

The recommended QR code size for printing is typically 2-10 cm (about 1 inch) in width, ensuring easy scanning without excess space. This does depend on the use case and expected scanning distance.

How does QR code size affect scanning?

QR code size impacts scanning because very small codes may be challenging to scan, while overly large ones can be less convenient. Trying to keep balance with the size is key.

Can QR codes be too small to scan?

Yes, QR codes can be too small to scan reliably, potentially leading to scanning errors and frustration for users. As a rule of thumb, always keep your QR codes at least 0.5 x 0.5 cm in size.

How big can a QR code be?

There is no limit to how big a QR Code can be. However, for practical reasons, consider the use case. It should fit the smartphone camera view range depending on the scanning distance.

How small can a QR code be?

QR codes can vary in size. Make sure they are not as smaller than 0.5 cm x 0.5 cm and they will function effectively.

What is the optimal size of a QR code?

The optimal QR code size depends on the application. Around 2-10 cm in width is often practical. This balances readability and space.

How large should I print my QR codes?

When printing QR codes, ensure they are large enough to be comfortably scanned from the expected distance. Avoid excessive enlargement. They should fit in the smartphone camera field of view.

What affects QR code size?

QR code size is affected by data capacity, error correction level, and scanning distance. Depending on how complicated your QR code is, this determines the minimum size it should be printed at.

About the author

Siim Tiigimägi is the Content Lead at Pageloot. He writes about our innovative QR code generator services. With a profound expertise spanning over 5 years on QR codes, Siim is a subject matter expert in the field. He makes significant strides in leveraging QR technology to simplify and augment digital interactions.

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