Poster design with QR codes - Worthing Town Centre Initiative

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Case study: QR code campaign to promote shopping and food offer in Worthing Town Centre Initiative

Client: Worthing Town Centre Initiative

Project name: QR code poster marketing campaign

Poster objectives:

  1. Share Worthing’s shopping and food offer, increasing love for Worthing
  2. Drive traffic to the Worthing Town Centre Initiative website using QR codes.

The challenge: How can we make a QR code look sexy?

  • Marketing is like asking someone for a kiss: asking people to scan the QR code in; and
  • Branding is the reason someone wants to give you a kiss: Why would someone want to scan in a QR code?

Our two main challenges were:

  • QR codes are ugly. How can one make a QR code poster look stunning and grab attention?
  • How can we encourage people to scan QR codes?

What is a QR code?

First, what is a QR code? QR stands for a Quick Response. A QR code is a type of barcode that is composed of a combination of black and white modules, positioned in patterns and formations. QR codes were invented by a Japanese automotive company called Denso Wave

Unfortunately, QR codes are ugly, and The Brand Surgery doesn’t do ugly. We thought: “How can we make a QR code look sexy?”

The objective of these QR codes is to drive people to the Worthing Town Centre website, to see the food and shopping offer. Our food and shopping offers are one of the many ‘reasons’ why visitors fall in love with Worthing.

The Solution

There’s never been a better time to use QR codes in your marketing campaigns. The Covid-19 pandemic has enabled the public to embrace technology in several ways

  • We were united through Zoom meetings
  • We also had to scan QR codes to check into venues via the NHS app.

The public have been forced to learn how to scan QR codes. Hooray! Therefore, now is the right time to consider a marketing campaign to promote your brand soul using a QR code. 

QR code creativity and limitations

In design, there is often a compromise between functionality and creativity. Designers want their designs to look good, and marketers need their message to generate a return on investment and create brand love.

In order for this poster to work, the QR codes need to look inviting so people ‘want’ to scan QR codes and tap into what Worthing has to offer. In order to transform ugly QR codes to become sassy, we explored how far you can push a QR code before it becomes unreadable by scanning devices.

There are all sorts of rules and regulations relating to size, position, and the amount of information that can be retrieved. We tested various designs until we came up with a snappy, engaging design that reflects Worthing Town Centre Initiatives brand guidelines.

Incidentally, The Brand Surgery designed the WTCI logo back in 2006, the Worthing Food Festival logo in 2015, and three winning BID proposal documents for WTCI!

Finally, What can QR codes be used for?

QR codes can be used in many ways to promote your business:

  • Promote your websites
  • Coupons
  • Business pages
  • Social media
  • Play MP3s
  • Promote events
  • Get feedback
  • View your apps


Posted on

18 August 2021