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Japanese agency SET have created designer QR codes, pushing the boundaries of Quick Response Technology to involve purposeful design and creativity.

A Tokyo based creative agency, SET “specializes in unique marketing solutions that combine graphic design and technology.” (via SET).

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Client Folli Follie Japan commissioned SET to produce a designer QR code to be showcased at their flagship store in the Tokyo suburb of Aoyama. The first time a designer QR code has been placed in a store window, the presence of the code means the store can essentially stay open 24/7 via interactive use of the code and internet, giving “window shopping” true meaning.

Japanese0.jpgThis particular code was designed “to match the look and feel of Folli Follie Reflections Collection of jewelry and will be used to draw traffic to the Folli Follie Japan mobile phone campaign site.” Once at the site, users can view images from the Folli Follie range and take part in a contest. Junko Hara, a spokesman for SET says: “We are very excited to see such a respected brand as Folli Follie embracing mobile marketing. The code we have designed is cute and fun, just like Folli Follie and we hope that customers enjoy this opportunity to take window shopping to an entirely new level.” (via SET).

SET also created a rabbit-inspired QR-code in celebration of the year of the rabbit. When scanned, it connected to the phrase, “Want to talk creative, hare-brained campaigns in 2011? We’re all ears,” as well as the agency contact information and homepage link.

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A ‘QR code is a “quick response code”, intended for smartphone users to scan using their devices. The codes are essentially two-dimensional barcodes which can be read by smart phones and also QR reading devices which take the user to a set of information stored on the web. Originating from Japan in the 1990’s, QR’s were initially designed to be used for tracking parts in the vehicle manufacturing industry. The concept has expanded within the digital industry and smart phone technology now means digital marketing has a great deal of scope.

Quick response codes have a 30% tolerance in readability, allowing for the clever creative edge exploited by agencies such as SET. Mashable picks 15 of the best creative QR codes (with many by SET), and author Amy-Mae Elliot says “you can have some real fun with clever designs. Besides looking good, this can also make them more successful.” (via Mashable).

“Designer QR codes are not only a way to make your 2D barcode stand out, but they also add a more human element to the otherwise cold and techie appearance,” says Patrick Donnelly, a QR code designer and tech expert. “This could be the difference between someone scanning your code or not.”

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(all QR codes shown by SET).