How m62 Got Our Corporate Presentation onto Our Business Cards

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 , 0 comments


At m62, we often find it difficult to explain just what we do to potential new clients. We always want a quick way of demonstrating this to people we meet, but we often encounter them in places where we can’t get a laptop out. There hasn’t been a simple solution to this problem – until now.

A QR code is a barcode that has many different uses, but it is most well known for offering a means to direct a viewer to a specific URL. The QR code has proven particularly useful on smartphones, which almost always have an in-built camera and internet access, but may prove fiddly or cumbersome when it comes to typing in web addresses.

QR codes offer improved ease of use, and almost anyone with a smartphone and the ability to download apps can use QR codes. If your phone doesn’t have an in-built QR reader, download a QR reader app – there are plenty available for free for various operating systems – and scan. You will automatically be directed to the webpage programmed into the code.

As we have recordings of many of our presentations online, we now have a way of hosting our introductory presentation on demand. This means that anyone with an internet connection can view this presentation anywhere in the world, at any time – all they need is the link. And with the adoption of QR codes, we can easily make that link available.

QR codes are still a relatively new way of using technology, and haven’t been adopted as the norm yet. QR codes on business cards are newer still, and using a QR code on a business card to link to a presentation – well, we hadn’t encountered it before we tried it!

Using a presentation is a really great way of getting people you meet engaged with your content. It’s far more personal than directing someone to your company website, particularly as each person can narrate their own slides, thus introducing themselves and their role, as well as introducing the company.

While it was clearly a great solution, it wasn’t necessarily a simple one. Adding QR codes to our business cards wasn’t simply a case of plonking them on to our existing design. We’re sure most companies put a lot of thought into the look of their business cards, but as an organisation that specialises in effective design, it was important that the ultimate look would reflect positively on our brand.

And there were other factors to take into consideration. While it was important that the QR code was positioned in a way that looked good, it had to be large enough that it would scan correctly. We also looked at options on whether we could use a more ‘designed’ QR code, but this would be difficult as users have to balance design with accuracy, as editing the code for design purposes increases the error margin of the scan.

Some of the options we tried (personal details have been removed):

QR code design 001     QR code design 002     QR code design 003

Once we’d resolved the design issue by selecting an appropriate position on the back of our business cards, producing the individual codes was simple. There are many free  QR code generators available online, and we were quickly and easily able to produce the ones we needed. These were then positioned on the relevant business cards, and sent off to the printer!

Finally, we tested the QR codes on iPhone and Android devices to check that it was scanning properly. Unfortunately, one of the ideas we’d had – to attach vCards to the presentations so that viewers could instantly download the relevant contact details – didn’t work on all devices. iOS devices aren’t able to handle vCards that they download from a website or application; only those that are emailed. So although this does work correctly on Android devices, we haven’t included these with our introductory presentations at this time.

Apple, if you’re listening – this would be a great update for the next iPhone!

The final design:

QR code design 004

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