How Small Can A QR Code Be? Ultimate QR Code Sizing Guide

Nov 25, 2022 - Views: 220

Rating: 4.7 - 53Votes

How small can a QR code be?

QR codes are quickly becoming the standard in a society that is growing increasingly reliant on contactless engagement. 

However, the reliability of QR codes determines their quality, which is affected by QR code size limits.

So, in this post, we provide you information about the maximum - minimum size for QR code and ways to print your QR Code as small as possible.

Let’s find out!

How small can QR codes be?

How small can QR codes be?

Does QR Code Size Matter?

QR Code size does matter. This is due to the correlation between QR Code size and scannability.

No matter where you plan to use them, picking the right QR Code size will make reading them simple.

On the other hand, you might lose a lot of scans if you don't take this into account.

In some cases, the interaction of size and scanning distance might potentially make your QR Codes illegible.

QR Code size

QR Code size

How Small Can A QR Code Be?

To take into consideration the scanning capacity of most contemporary smartphones and QR code scanner apps, the realistic smallest size for QR code is at least 2 x 2 cm. 

However, the appropriate QR code size depends entirely on the quantity of data and scanning distance.

Generally speaking, a distance-to-size ratio of 10:1 will work. If you follow the guideline 90% of the time, you'll be alright. 

The smallest QR code size is around 2 x 2 cm

The smallest QR code size is around 2 x 2 cm

Yet, there exist edge situations. 

When high-resolution printing is not an option and small QR codes need to be larger since it contains so much data. 

If you don't have the capacity to print in high quality, your QR code's size can be increased by about .2" to ensure a 12" scan distance for every 5 rows and columns.

Doing so will make sure that more complicated codes may still be read when low-resolution printing is used.

How Big Can A QR Code Be?

Theoretically, you can make QR Codes as big or small as you like. 

There is no limit to the size of QR codes. 

But once more, we advise a 2 x 2 cm dimension if you want your QR Codes to be as compact as possible. 

This guarantees that they take up the least amount of room while still being scannable by consumers.

How big does a QR code need to be?

How big does a QR code need to be?

Nevertheless, there are maximum and minimum configurations in terms of modules (rather than the final size, which can be changed by stretching and rescaling). 

The current minimum and maximum configurations are 11 x 11 and 171 x 171 modules, respectively.

Also read: How many QR codes are there?

How To Print A QR Code As Small As Possible?

There are 4 things that you need to focus on regarding QR code minimum size for print:

Make use of scalable vector QR Codes

Making QR Codes in vector format is crucial. 

When plotting QR Codes from.png or.jpg sources, they may become distorted and become unreadable.

Make use of scalable vector QR Codes

Make use of scalable vector QR Codes

Use a low level of error correction

You can choose the level of error correction while making a QR code. 

The more of a QR Code that can be damaged while still being legible depends on how high the level is set. 

A higher level, though, also makes a QR Code larger.

Use a low level of error correction

Use a low level of error correction

For QR Codes without an embedded logo, we advise setting the error level L.

You will receive a QR Code in its smallest size as a result.

Keep the quiet zone around the QR Code

Always allow a quiet area (margin) around a QR Code while printing it. 

To guarantee that your QR Code can be read by any QR Code reader, we advise leaving 4 units of white space around it.

Keep the quiet zone around the QR Code

Keep the quiet zone around the QR Code

Shorten your URLs

Instead of using lengthy URLs, shorten them. 

The QR Code will include fewer units and may thus be plotted smaller if the URL is shorter.

  • A QR Code with 21x21 units will be generated from a shortened URL with up to 17 characters. 

  • A QR Code with 35x35 units will come from encoding a larger URL with up to 72 characters.

Shorten your URLs

Shorten your URLs

Read more: Type of barcodes

What Size QR Code Can Be Read From A Short Distance?

A QR Code smallest size is 2 x 2 cm (0.8 x 0.8”), as mentioned earlier.

Depending on “where are QR codes used”, you can make your QR Codes as big as you need as long as you use high-quality photos to prevent the pixels from getting too blurry.

Consider where the QR Code will be scanned, for instance, if you use one on a paper advertisement inside a train. 

It's possible that individuals from other seats can scan the QR Code in addition to those seated close to it.

As a result, the QR Code must be created big enough to account for these factors. Use bigger sizes as a general guideline to prevent losing any possible QR Code scans.

Readable QR code size from a short distance

Readable QR code size from a short distance

A QR code table is provided below to assist you in visualizing the ideal scanning distance based on the QR code version.

Version Modules Alphanumeric Characters 6” Scan Distance 12” Scan Distance 18” Scan Distance

2

25x25

47

0.6”

1.2”

1.8”

7

45x45

224

1.0”

2.0”

3.0”

12

65x65

535

1.4”

2.8”

4.2”

17

85x85

938

1.8”

3.6”

5.4”

22

105x105

1460

2.1”

4.2”

6.4”

27

125x125

2132

2.5”

5.0”

7.4”

32

145x145

2840

2.9”

5.8”

10.2”

37

165x165

3729

3.3”

6.6”

13.4”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What size QR code for a business card?

For business cards, a side with a QR code should be around 0.8 × 0.8". It's not the end of the world if you utilize 1 square inch. 

Just a little bit more distance is just right for scanning. This is presuming a business card that is the typical 9 x 5 cm or 3.5 x 2" size.

How many pixels is a QR code?

If you're unclear about your QR Code's resolution, it should have a pixel ratio of at least 38 by 38 pixels. 

This is a general QR code minimum size guideline because the size changes depending on the specific use case.

Do QR codes have to be square?

There is no requirement that QR Codes be squared. You may create custom QR Codes in shapes like a circle by using a QR Code shape generator.

The functional, scannable portion of circular QR codes and other shapes like clouds and triangles, on the other hand, are always square. 

The form that you see is a QR code template in the form of a square.

Conclusion

Now that you have known the importance and requirement for QR code size. We hope this post helps you have the answer to “How small can a QR code be?” Let’s customize your QR code.

Rating: 4.7 - 53Votes

9 Comments

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  1. Mason White

    How much data is a micro QR code? It is too small so I predict it can't hold much data

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    1. Barcodelive

      In fact, it can store up to 35 numeric digits, 21 alphanumeric characters, or 128 data bits

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  2. Luke Smith

    Excellent article

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  3. Johan Stokes

    How small can a micro QR code be?

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    1. Barcodelive

      Hi, a micro QR code can be under 1 square centimeter

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  4. Maya Floyd

    Does a QR code work if you shrink it?

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    1. Barcodelive

      Yes, but you need to ensure that the width matches the height exactly

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  5. Olivia Martin

    What is Micro QR Code?

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    1. Barcodelive

      Micro QR Code was designed by Denso Wave in Japan to be a smaller, more compact version of their regular QR Code

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