How to personalize your own QR code: A step-by-step Guide


By now we’ve all been exposed to QR codes, the lovely squares which are decorating everything from subway posters to graves these days. Today we’re going to share how you can make your own weird and wacky personalized QR codes by inserting a logo or an image into the center! Let’s take a look at both do-it-yourself methods and online tools that’ll help make this happen:


Do it Yourself

While allowing for more flexibility, the do-it-yourself approach is certainly the trickier way to go about creating personalized QR codes, and you’ll need at least some basic computer skills working with images. Certain parts of a QR code can be edited without affecting its ability to be scanned, while others must always be visible. Here’s the basic process:

1) Choose your content – Typically a URL, phone number, SMS, or text

2) Use an online tool to make your code – Tools like MobileFish make it simple to attach your content and generate codes. We recommend you set the error correction level to “H,” as this will allow you to personalize up to 30% of the code.Keep an eye out for an upcoming post that will explain QR code error correction in detail.

3) Save your code – Just right click on the image and use “save as” to save the image as in bitmap format.

4) Open your code – You’ll have to use a graphics program such as Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Paint, or GIMP to work with the image.

5) Note the “Do-Not-Change” zones – Only the grey areas in the following image can be modified:


Diagram 1: Structure of a QR Code (source: Wikimedia)



6) Insert your logo into the center of the image –With your error correction level set to highest level of redundancy “H”, you can now modify up to 30% of the code. The simplest thing to do is to estimate this percentage, paste your logo into the center of the image and try to scan the code. If the scan doesn’t work the first time, simply make the logo smaller and try again. It shouldn’t take long to find the appropriate size.

7) Save your code – Simply save the image in your preferred format and start using your personalized code across the web or in your sales collateral.

Here are some personalized codes we created using this method:




Use an online tool

To get your feet wet right away and make custom codes in the next 5 minutes we recommend you use an online service like QRHacker. Here’s how to do it:

1) Choose your content – Using QRHacker you can attach a URL, phone number, VCard, WiFi Access, or text to a QR Code with ease. For our example we attached a URL simply by copying it into the required field.

2) Hit the generate button – This will generate your QR code in the center of the screen.

3) Upload a logo or a photo – On the customization panel select “Add my logo/photo.” You then have the option to browse to the file or to upload via URL.

4) Customize your code – QRHacker comes with all sorts of great options to customize your code through the customization panel. You can change pixel roundness, coloration, and even modify the code pixel by pixel if you wish.

5) Save your code – You can save your code as an image file or a PDF file. It’s that simple!

For the vast majority of purposes, using a tool like QRHacker is both simpler and faster than creating personalized codes from scratch. You can make customized codes in less than 30 seconds with some practice. However, if you are looking for something more special than what tools like QRHacker provide out-of-the-box, you’ll have get your hands dirty and play with the pixels yourself.

Go ahead and scan this personalized QR code we created using our Scandit QR Scanner:

  • Ben
    Posted at 01:39h, 28 August

    Thanks for the article. that means i can easily replace some QR code with my own colors by introducing ERRORS that can be handled by the smartphone …

    thats clever 😀