Story and artist behind the QR code mosaic murals in Santiago de Chile

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This post is about artist Jorge Campos who is an artist living in vibrant city Santiago de Chile. We’ve recently discovered his art work, QR code murals and glass QR codes and also that he has been a long time Esponce user as well. You will find more about his work at http://www.sub.cl/pixel-art

I’ve read that Chile has a great history when it comes to street art. Please give us a short intro and what make Santiago so unique?

Santiago is special because murals political expression mixed with the currents of American graffiti and hip hop. Ever since I can remember Santiago has always been painted, especially in the suburbs.

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Vincent van Gogh tribute. Mosaic’s glass tiles.

You have worked also in Paris, tell us a bit of your background?

I mostly spent doing photography street art. It was like a school that transformed my vision to see street art and encouraged me to be more innovative, more active. By the way, I used to make some stencils, to leave a mark.

Your technique »pixel art« seems to fit perfectly with the QR code technology. When did you realize that QR code technology could play a significant part of your projects?

In addition to dedicate the street art I am web master, so that the assimilation of new technologies sorry for granted. I try to apply everything I know to do my job, a QR code as a link on the streets is amazing, this is the future!

In previous years the quantity of smartphones has increased exponentially in Chile. When people see these QR codes do they know what they stand for and how to scan them?

I think in that sense we go a little slower than Europe. Chile is a country with a lot of bureaucracy, a lot of paper and endless lines. For that reason smartphone users do not find it a useful, except for advertising.

What was your inspiration to create a BIG QR code mural in mosaic technique? This must have been a long and accurate process that took a lot of patience. What was the people response when it was created and do they scan it to get your message?

I think making a QR code was natural for material use and pixels. Making a QR code mosaic is less work to do a pixelated picture. Occupy fewer colors and less pixels. Not that requires no patience to do it, but I’m used to do more complex mosaics. The truth is that there was not much reaction, some friends congratulated me and that was it.

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Street QR code mosaic, Santiago de Chile 2012.

and is it still there?

If street art is respected, fortunately in Chile, we have to respect the culture of the walls.

You work on commercial projects as well, please tell us what kind of projects are these?

I’m a designer and work as a web master, I fund my art. In Chile I do not belong to the elite art so I do not live it. I enjoy it that way because I feel so much freer.

When you first mentioned QR codes I have remembered that you said you are using also glass as a material to create a physical QR code art peace. I must say it’s very innovative approach not seeing very often?

Yes, it’s true. In Chile still is not given the importance of augmented reality. I feel that in that sense the innovation may play a role against. If you’re going to innovate at the level where people do not understand anything that you may take too long time to achieve your goals. In that sense it is best to seek other venues for innovation. This is where internet acts as a diffusion medium and you can connect with people like you who found my work interesting by using QR codes.

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Hand made glass QR code.

Artists are very pleased to see when their masterpiece is finished. Where do you see that your glass QR codes can be used?

Use the QR Code printed on a ceramic and adhere to the wall after installing the tile. The QR code directs you to my portfolio, where people can see the process of construction and installation of mosaic and other interventions in Santiago.

What you want to convey with your work?

My work speaks of the digital age, screens and essentially pixel. Through my work I seek to link with the art and culture of the people who do not have time or access to it.

Thanks for your time Jorge it was very interesting to know more about your work.

If you know any great QR code street art or outdoor QR campaigns please share it in the comments below.

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Jorge Campos, an artist from Santiago de Chile working between photography and Pixelart. Follow Jorge on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook

QR codes still the easiest and the most cost effective way to enter Mobile Marketing

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Jennifer Birch, apart from her online classes, Jenni keeps herself busy by blogging about various marketing tips and techniques. Keep in touch with Jenni on Twitter and G+.

QR Codes have been around for years, and every year, news breaks out of how they are slowly, but surely, dying and becoming obsolete. Every year, however, we also see different businesses beginning to use QR codes, and while they’re now being used for the dead with interactive memorials, they’re far from being dead themselves.

The appeal to go mobile is undeniable, and it can be felt in all areas of the globe, but in some countries, the push to go mobile is more distinct. In Austria, for example, mobile and smartphone addiction has been likened by experts to dependence on alcohol, nicotine, and games. 82% of Austrians now own a smartphone, with 77% of them using mobile internet. In countries like these, becoming more mobile-friendly is of paramount importance for businesses, and giving their consumers access to information on their phones makes all the difference.

It was for this reason that QR codes had been invented – businesses needed a way to get information out to the people who were interested in them instantly, and these small 2-dimensional codes provided an opportunity to do just that.

QR codes are still doing an excellent job of giving users access right from their phones.

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This video from O2 shows exactly how easy it is for smartphone owners to use QR codes to access more information about subjects they’re interested in.

But while QR codes have made great strides and are quickly proving to be excellent marketing tools, research and development is underway. Nowadays only use of the Technology vehicle is not enough to make mobile marketing more interesting! What’s in the future for mobile marketing?

What does the future hold for mobile marketing?

Esponce

Esponce is a mobile marketing platform to help marketers and companies create smart, beautiful and effective targeted mobile campaigns. There are a variety of options and a nice slick & clean interface let’s you quickly start even if you are beginner.


Esponce mobile solutions

Clickable Paper

As Aaron Strout of Marketing Land recently said, one of the chief problems people have had regarding the use of QR codes is how difficult it can be do scan the code with your phone. Clickable Paper solves this problem by allowing users to simply snap photos of the print ad. Users can then “click” the photo taken, and various related links are brought up, including Amazon, Youtube, and social sharing options. Check out the video below, which illustrates just how wonderful and intuitive Clickable Paper is!

Google Goggles

Having made a living as the world’s most popular search engine, Google has sought to bring its business closer to consumers by offering Google Goggles, an app that brings the underrated Google Reverse Image Search to mobile phones. With Google Goggles, users can snap photos of interesting things like landmarks, paintings, and even products. Google then searches its database for these products and brings up relevant information for the user to enjoy.

Blippar

Just like Google Goggles, Blippar is an app that lets consumers interact with everyday objects using their smartphones. Unlike Google Goggles, Blippar allows its users to play games, watch videos, and access information about the products that they shoot with their cameras. Interact with everything from soda cans to cereal boxes, and start looking at the world with renewed interest!
Blipar

New Esponce iOS QR code scanner

We are delighted to announce that we’ve launched the New Esponce iOS QR code scanner and it’s ready for the download. We believe that this new Esponce app has truly become the app that utilizes everything the common user needs for fast and easy QR code scanning.

We very recently re-designed Escponce scanner for Android phones and followed that with an iOS app as well. While the old version had iPhone and iPad support the new version is optimized for iPhone only. As the majority of iOS users use the QR code scanner app mostly on their phones, we decided to remove the support for the iPad.


Esponce iOS QR code scanner

Here’s what’s new in Esponce 2.0

  • New user interface
  • Automatic recognition of QR codes pointing to: Youtube, Vimeo, App download stores, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, G+, Linkedin, PayPal, Flickr and IMBD
  • Improved history with extra details
  • Zoom option – Pinch out to zoom in
  • Upload photo of QR code and scan
  • Share option
  • Save QR code in photos
  • Help and tutorial for better scanning

We’re constantly improving the Esponce app and greatly appreciate your feedback and support. Please let us know if you have an issue with the app and of course we’re always incredibly grateful for your ratings.

Designed QR codes from a custom QR code template

Today we are happy to announce the release of our much-anticipated Template codes. We’ve been hard at work to develop it and from today the Esponce “Template codes” are available on all accounts.

Esponce template codes

Esponce default template Esponce color template

What are Template codes?

Template codes refer to customized and designed QR codes that are generated by the software. These kind of codes are usually created by designers by hand and the process is rather long. These nice looking QR codes demand a lot of planning and effort and then sadly only one solution can use it. In fact making a few similarly designed QR codes take a great deal of time and resources and not to mention ensuring the perfect readability which is the main issue when creating designed QR code.

With “Template codes” we take a custom designed QR code and transform it from a static into a dynamic QR code template that can be used each time you generate a new QR code. The word “Template” comes from the nature of how the code is generated > out of a template. Our own templates have an icon in the middle to represent the content behind the QR code and a few dynamic text fields around the code. The end result can be seen as a sticker ready for prepress.

There are a lot of QR code generators online that can produce customized QR codes, but to put this into perspective you need to repeat the process for every code you wish to generate. With “Template codes” we’ve automated this process, so each time you generate new QR code, the uniquely designed QR code will be generated based on the design template and encoded data. This removes many of the worries about the code readability and time consuming hand corrections.

Why customized QR codes matter?

It is proven that these customized QR codes are more likely to be scanned compared to the normal Black and white QR codes. Adding extra information around the QR code is always a good thing, for your users to see the code destination URL at first glance and putting the code into the context of the mobile campaign. Designed QR codes tend to follow companies Branding guidelines and consistency in design to bring the Trustworthy factor forward and lastly, they are usually much more visually appealing which brings that extra factor to get more traffic.

Where to use designed QR codes?

Many customers are using QR codes on their automated invoices, receipts, labels, etc.. or display them on screen for multi-purposes and different actions. In a real word scenario our customers are using Branding and the only missing part was the code itself. From now on the QR code is generated out of a design template to produce a unique QR code. The code can be created manually or via API.

Connecta template code

Swiss startup Connecta system apporach Esponce to create customized QR code template to be used over Esponce API.

How I can have and use my own custom QR code Template?

You can design your own custom QR code or ask a QR code designer to do it. The Template itself can be in any dimension or shape. In case of labels or stickers there can be many graphic elements around the code that will be always part of the final generated QR code. These graphics and text can be dynamic or static. With the dynamic component, we are still trying new approaches to see how far we can go. There are definitely some cutting edge design approaches and the complexity of design parameters that would demand much more time to adapt into a template.

Template codes are a PRO add-on feature to be used on top of an Esponce account. We need to manually transform custom designed QR code into a template and then integrate it with a specific Esponce account and account API.

Design limitations

Here are some ideas of customized QR codes and design parameters that designers can use when designing initial QR codes that will be basis for a QR code template.

Esponce QR code template example

Rotation and graphic mirror effect

Camouflage – extra dummy QR code pixels

Esponce QR code template example 2

Extra B&W dots to increase the readability, crisp and anti-alised edges

Module colors
solid, gradient, custom, mask, texture

Esponce QR code template example 3template-codes-examples-3

Shadow to simulate glow effect (size, thickness, padding), line style (solid, dashed, dotted)

Graphic wrapper and placeholders

Esponce QR code template examples 4

Modules can be anything form “beer caps” to square, triangles, circles, custom shapes (arrows), polygon with rounded edges, …. modules can be joined together or customized using overlay, flip, offset, rotation opacity and blend effects.

Esponce QR code template - labels

Template codes can be printed into PDF, ESP, SVG format as labels in rows and columns ready to be sent to the print shop. Each code can use dynamic text from the data file. Here is an example of what we’ve done for one of our UK client.

Challenges

With all of these options available we are sure we’ve covered most of our design toolbox to let you create incredibly beautiful designed QR codes. As creativity is limitless, we constantly find new challenges, and to give you an idea of what would be really cool, please check the gorgeous designed QR codes below. These kinds of designs really stretch us to transform them into QR templates, but as you know, we love a challenge.

Esponce customized codes

Beautiful QR code from @jess3 agency
from their QR code art project.

Feedback

Please leave your comments or send us your questions. If you’d like to use your own QR template with your Esponce account please countact us to discuss it further.