Positive and negative aspects of QR codes

Positive and negative aspects of QR codes

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The following is a list I compiled of positives and negatives concerning QR codes.


  • Easy to make. All you really need is a free QR code generator, and there are plenty of them floating around the Internet.
  • Cost effective. Since most of the QR code generators are free, making the actual codes is inexpensive. The cost of printing materials can also remain relatively low, since they can be used on business cards or stickers. Stores can print their QR codes in ads, which they already invest money into.
  • Anyone can make a QR code.
  • Saves paper. People can scan a QR code to do things like enter contact information or store a coupon on a cellphone. Instead of having to carry paper coupons, people can just scan a QR coupon and have it available in their phone.
  • Very quick transfer of information. Since the advent of DSL internet and now the 4G network for cellphones, people have gotten very used to getting information very quickly.
  • Relatively small in size. This makes the codes great to put on business cards, in a corner of an ad, somewhere on a coupon, or anywhere there is a small bit of space. These codes can be made much smaller than the information they contain. So instead of placing a long, ugly, URL, on an advertisement or resume, simply place a small QR code.


  • Potential for over usage. Marketers should be aware that placing a QR code absolutely everywhere can be overkill.
  • Reputation issues. Many people are making their QR code that link to social media, such as Facebook. This might not be the best idea, especially if one of your friends decides to get drunk one night and write something obscene on your wall. Say you put that QR code on your business card; then everyone you’ve given your business card to can see that as well. Also, since free generators are available to everyone with an internet connection, there is a potential risk that someone could create a QR code that represents you or your business, but you did not actually make the code.
  • Anyone can make a QR code. This is a con as well as a positive. Since anyone can make it, there’s really nothing that extremely special about one, so people are going to have to think outside of the box when thinking of ways to customize them.
  • Security issues. The transfer of data between two devices can always lead to security issues. Also, before scanning a code, the scanner can never really know where the code is going to lead them.
  • Not the most aesthetically pleasing marketing tool. QR codes cannot be manipulated very much to look “pretty.” Some generators allow for the color of the QR code to be changed, and some companies have found ways to integrate their logo into the QR code, but the code usually still ends up looking very much like a barcode since it must contain those four basic squares.