Placing a logo image inside a QR Code

It is perhaps not all that well known that QR Codes were designed to be readable even when damaged. This is a clever feature built into the codes by using error correction to allow for smudges, wrinkles, and other damage to allow the QR Code to still be successfully scanned. This feature has the side effect of allowing the embedding of an image inside the QR Code, damaging it in the process, without seriously affecting the ability of the code to be scanned.

Some people have already taken advantage of this feature. You may have seen it before. I present to you a simple bit of Swift code that I wrote and ran from inside Xcode to create such a QR Code for a friend of mine to advertise his YouTube site. This code can be freely modified as required for your own use. I don’t see a need to copyright¬†something so trivial.

[gist user=”DavidSteuber” id=”a6bf3df8c290ffc3839a”]

QR Code with logo
QR Code with logo


The reason for creating such a large code in this case is so that it can be printed onto a business card, sticker, or what have you without needing to scale up. Certainly there are other ways to do the job. In this case, I’m pretty much treating Swift as a scripting language for a one off job.

The advantage of this approach is that the method for creating such a QR Code using Quartz in an application is very obvious without having to create a bunch of boiler plate code for a proper app. The one downside is that it doesn’t show how you might do the same job in iOS and save the output to your photos. This script runs on OS X.

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David S

David Steuber

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