Designer QR codes, barcodes and Microsoft tags

No longer is it confusing to other shoppers when you pull out your phone to scan a store product – as if you worked there. People now realise you are simply checking the price using an app, or that you are scanning the code to go to a webpage or video.

But as codes become more common place there will be a need to stand out from the crowd. One way to do this is with excellent design, and we’ve found some great designs that would turn us scan happy. As a bonus, we managed to find a series of guides on how to create a beautiful Microsoft tag.

QR Codes

QR codes (Quick Response codes) are essentially a link to content on the web. They use a matrix barcode which is a two-dimensional version of the classic barcode we know and love. Usually black and white squares it is nice to see designer’s getting their hands on them.


Barcodes have been around for ages, no tin of soup is without one. The question is, why has it taken so long to make them as interesting as this?

Microsoft tags

A Microsoft tag is a high capacity colour barcode. This means it can contain more data than QR codes and barcodes as more variations are possible – due to the tag size, the symbol size and the range of colours.

Microsoft tags are a great way to create a designer code with different images and colours. At a basic level they are already colourful enough, but if you want to go the extra mile you could create something link this. Check out the links to the guide to see how to do this yourself.

How to video 1
How to video 2
How to video 3
How to video 4
How to video 5

We’ve seen some pretty cool uses of the Microsoft tag, check out these adverts making good use of the adaptability of the tag to make more integrated designs.

Search the Windows Phone Marketplace or your phones app store for ‘Microsoft tag’ to download a reader if you don’t have one yet.

Published by David

David is a social media and tech gadget geek. You’ll usually find him blogging about the latest social networks, lauding them as the next big thing, or rambling on about the latest features on Windows Phone.

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