A QR Code makes its appearance in the January NEG. How else might the codes be used?

NEG0101.thumbnail QR code ad in NEG WordPress for Noobs ad in NEG WordPress for Noobs course QR Code

I bought a small ad for my WordPress for Noobs course (starts next week! Call now! Operators are standing by! Not available in stores!) in the January 2011 issue of the Northfield Entertainment Guide (NEG). See it on page 11.

My ad contains a QR Code, which Wikipedia describes as a

matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera, and smartphones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.

QR Codes marry the analog world, especially print, to the digital. (They do work online, too. Try it by pointing your smartphone’s code reader app at the code in this blog post.)

I used the free QR Code generator here to make my code.

WIRED_QRcodes copy qrbuckle-660x440
Left: See this blog post about the QR Code in a TAG Heuer print ad in the December issue of WIRED Magazine.

Right: A QR Code belt buckle.

How else might QR Codes be used in Northfield?


  1. Griff Wigley said:

    I think art galleries, museums, and public works of art would be a natural for QR Codes. Point your smartphone at a QR Code adjacent to a display or piece of art work and get immediate access to a web page about it… or better yet, a video by the artist. For example, Ray Jacobson’s Harvest sculpture on the Sesqui Plaza should have a QR Code that links to this page with a video about it.

    January 3, 2011
  2. Griff Wigley said:

    All the event posters in town that get plastered on store windows, coffee shop walls, bulletin boards, and placed in the Sesqui Plaza kiosk could benefit from having a QR Code.

    January 3, 2011
  3. Griff Wigley said:

    Today’s Strib has a story about Chino Latino using QR Codes:

    The Uptown hot spot is getting edgy again, but this time on the techy side of things. This week it introduced an interactive ad campaign using QR codes, those black-and-white squares that look like digitized Rorschach tests… Chino is putting these codes on billboards and inside the restaurant on bathroom stalls and cocktail flags.

    January 14, 2011
  4. Griff Wigley said:

    Somewhat related to using QR codes: augmented reality.

    Poynter: Boston Globe’s augmented reality project an example of quick, cheap innovation

    Augmented reality is still a foreign concept for most journalists, but The Boston Globe showed last weekend that “AR” can be done quickly and cheaply, making it an experiment worth trying in any newsroom. The cover of the Boston Globe’s 2011 Winter Arts Guide featured five illustrations that worked with an augmented reality app.

    Each year the Boston Globe produces a Winter Arts Guide, which has schedules and previews of upcoming arts and entertainment events. The theme for this year’s section was “The Season Comes Alive.” So Dan Zedek, the Globe’s assistant managing editor for design, asked, “What if we made the page come alive?” In short order, Zedek and a small, cross-departmental team worked with an outside illustrator to design a section front with five illustrations and connect them to animations using an augmented reality (AR) smart phone app.

    How it works blog post: Augmented reality in the Boston Globe

    This winter we here at the Boston Globe have been developing some new features to enhance your experience with the paper. One of the latest – augmented reality.

    What do we mean by augmented reality? It’s a digital add-on to the physical paper. You’ll see our first instance of this new feature embedded on the cover of the February 6th Winter Arts Guide.

    February 9, 2011
  5. Griff Wigley said:

    How about real estate agents who are using QR codes?

    NY Times: A For-Sale Sign With Brains.

    Barry Kramer, an owner of Westchester Choice Realty in Scarsdale, prefers his for-sale advertisements to have a QR, or quick response, code. A version of the product bar code familiar to any supermarket shopper, it can be scanned by a camera phone to direct a potential buyer to information on the Web about properties for sale. Mr. Kramer says the codes are particularly appealing to young, tech-savvy clients, many of who are first-time buyers in the market for co-ops and condos, his agency’s market niche.

    February 28, 2011
  6. Arlen Malecha said:


    I am all for using technology in real estate. Do you, or any of your readers, know where I can learn more about QR codes and their use in the promotion of real estate?

    February 28, 2011
  7. […] Hayes Scriven makes use of a QR code for the NHS ‘Next Level’ campaign By Griff Wigley, on February 28, 2011, 12:58 pm I got an email this morning from Northfield Historical Society Executive Director Hayes Scriven: Hey Griff, I saw a story over the weekend about a town in Florida using a version of QR Codes for tourism.  That reminded me about your blog post: A QR Code makes its appearance in the January NEG. How else might the codes be used? […]

    February 28, 2011
  8. Griff Wigley said:

    I’ve signed up as an affiliate for StickerScan.com. The ad banner you now see at the top of the site is linked to my account so if you click that banner (not the link in tis comment) and then purchase anything there, I get a little $.

    They have QR code tattoos, stickers, car magnets, yard signs, t shirts, sign riders, mouse pads, business cards, key chains, name tags, etc.

    Arlen, see this real estate blog post there:

    Is Your Home Advertised With A QR-Code?

    March 2, 2011
  9. Arlen Malecha said:


    I am happy to announce that Coldwell Banker South Metro (http://www.CBSouthMetro.com) will be utilizing a QR code in our real estate ad in the Saturday edition of the NFLD News this week.

    In the coming weeks we will begin utilizing them for each of our property listings. Watch for them in our print ads, on our flyers, on real estate signs and in any other fashion we can incorporate them.

    Thanks for your help in getting us started!

    March 10, 2011
  10. Griff Wigley said:

    You’re welcome, Arlen.

    Let us know when you’ve got something to show.

    March 17, 2011
  11. Arlen Malecha said:

    Griff –

    We had a QR code in our NN ad last week. Coldwell Banker South Metro is proud to once again take the lead in bringing new technology to the forefront as it relates to real estate.

    March 18, 2011
  12. Griff Wigley said:

    This week’s Pioneer Press: Twin Cities marketers queuing up with QR codes.

    Mentioned in the article:

    Best Buy, Home Depot, Mayo Clinic, Urban Bean Coffee, Housley Homes and Keller Williams Premier Realty, River Valley Church, Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys.

    May 21, 2011

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