How to Create QR Codes Using Canva

design digital marekting tech Jun 05, 2024
person scanning a QR code on their phone to pay for a coffee

A few years ago I always thought, what was the point of QR codes. However, ever since COVID times we've seen a huge rise in QR codes. I am always getting asked by clients to add them to marketing material.

They've become an integral part of modern marketing and communication strategies. They offer a quick and efficient way for users to access information, visit websites, or engage with content, mainly via their smart phone.

Read on for my top tips on how to use them and the best way to create them using Canva, the online graphic design tool, I just couldn't be without!


Why Use QR Codes?

QR codes (Quick Response codes) are a type of matrix barcode that can store various types of data. When scanned with a smartphone or tablet, they can link directly to websites, payment portals, videos, social media profiles, and other digital content. Here are a few reasons to use QR codes:

  • Convenience: QR codes offer a quick and easy way for users to access information without typing out website addresses. Great for accessing more information on websites and landing pages.
  • Engagement: They can improve the user experience by providing immediate access to digital content and simplifying the process of connecting with your digital content.
  • Trackability: QR codes can be tracked, providing analytics into user interaction and behaviour.
  • Versatility: They can be used in various marketing materials, including business cards, brochures, posters, and social media posts.
  • Cost-Effective: Reduces the need for expensive printed materials by linking to online resources.


What To Put QR Codes On?

QR codes can be placed on a variety of marketing materials. Here's a list that you could apply in your business:

  • Business Cards: Link to your website, LinkedIn profile, or a vCard with your contact information.
  • Brochures and Flyers: Provide additional information, access to detailed guides, or special offers.
  • Posters and Banners: Direct people to event pages, registration forms, or product information.
  • Packaging: Offer product details, user manuals, or promotional content.
  • Point-of-sale Stands: Link to more information, prices or pay online.
  • Social Media Posts: Encourage followers to visit your website or specific content pages.


Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Add QR Codes into Canva Designs

Not sure where to start to create an actual QR Code? I go to the app library in Canva (an easy-to-use graphic design tool). It's important to note I use the Canav Pro account and with the Canva free account, you may not be able to access some of this functionality.

Follow these steps to add a QR code to your Canva designs. These instructions are for use on the Canva desktop version.

  1. Sign In to Canva: Log in to your Canva account or create a new one if you don't have an account.

  2. Create a Design: Click on the “Create a design” button on the left-hand side and choose the type of design you want to create (e.g., flyer, poster, social media post).

  3. Choose a QR code app
    • Go to the "Apps" section in the Canva editor, which is the toolbar down the left-hand side of the screen
    • Search for "QR Code" in the app search bar and select the QR Code or any of the other ones that are presented to you.

  4. Generate a QR Code
    Enter the URL for where you want the QR code to link to and click "Generate."

    - Click on customise to change background colour, foreground colour and margin
    - Click update code to save changes

    Other apps I recommend are QR Code Generator and Bitly for shortened URLs and detailed analytics. Some QR codes you can even integrate your brand logo into the middle.

  5. Add the QR Code to Your Design:
    • Once generated, the QR code will appear in your Canva design
    • Resize and position the QR code as needed.

  6. Download and Share: Once your design is ready, click Share > Download to save it. You can then upload it to your website, get your design printed or share it on social media.


Best Practices When Designing QR Codes

Here are some tips I have learnt along the way for designing QR codes:

  • Size Matters: Ensure the QR code is large enough to be easily scanned.
  • Contrast: Use high contrast between the QR code and its background to ensure readability.
  • Placement: Place the QR code in a prominent and easily accessible location.
  • Test It: Always test the QR code to make sure it works correctly before finalising your design.Scan with your phone to make sure it goes to the correct destination.
  • Add Instructions: Include a brief instruction like “Scan me” to prompt users to scan the QR code.
  • Keep URLs Short: If linking to a URL, use a URL shortener to make the QR code less dense and easier to scan.
  • Branding: It's optional to customize the QR code with your brand colours, but ensure it remains easily scannable. 


By following these steps and best practices, you can effectively integrate QR codes into your Canva designs, enhancing the user experience and driving more engagement with your digital content. Whether for your website, social media, or printed materials, QR codes are a versatile tool that can help bridge the gap between offline and online marketing. I hope you've learnt something new!


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