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QR Profile Pics to bring friends over to Minds

CoreySep 17, 2015, 7:51:38 AM
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**9/20/2015 - Updated - Cleaned up and simplified templates at end of post**

**3/18/2016 - Updated - Adding new intro due to better information **

**3/18/2016 - Edit**

This post was based on a rough hack of QR code genorators that would offer social media icons in the middle. Little did I know, that there is actually much more flexibility/power available and following the instructions that I presented here are much less efficient and offer less creative freedom than what others have figured out before.

Instead of limiting yourself to a relatively small square in the middle you can actually place your objects almost anywhere in much more interesting shapes than this post had covered. This is because of a feature available in QR codes that allows for up to 30% error correction. In simpler terms the QR codes have a reconstructiion mechanism to compensate for parts of the code being covered up. To what extent can vary by situation but all it taks some experimentation. and testing and no templates are required.

To get a better idea of what can be possible with these codes these two articles offer some explanation/inspiration:

http://web.archive.org/web/20150321031237/http://research.swtch.com/qart

https://archive.is/20120710063050/http://mashable.com/2011/04/18/qr-code-design-tips/

To do QR art like this, all you need is a generator that allows for "error correction" Surprisingly a lot of sites don't offer this as an option and rather opt to sell customizations, but free resources are available if you know where to look:

http://keremerkan.net/qr-code-and-2d-code-generator/

Be sure to set "error correction" on "high". Placing images over the code is easy, and just requires a bit of trial and error. Rule of thumb, if it doesn't scan, scale down your image so that more of the QR code is visible. Downloading an SVG can allow you to quickly round the corners using a vector graphic editor. However. that particular process is beyond the scope of this tutorial.

I will be leaving the original post in it's entirety below, but will be taking down the template links, because they were obsolete before they began. You are better off with the simpler solutions available because they will give you a better look and take less effort.

Case in point:Now it is much more suitable to being displayed in small thumnails!

*Original Post**

It occured to me that a good way to bring attention/new users to minds would be through creatively changing our profile pictures in other social media accounts. It's worked before for other good things, why not Minds?

In order to effectively convey the aggregation of awesome of this social network, it would make sense to have your existing friends/followers/connections/etc go directly to your profile and see for themselves how great the community is over here. In my opinion, the quickest, very underused, and eyecatching way to accomplish this would be changing our external profile pics to slick personalized QR codes.

There are a couple of ways that we can go about this. The cleanest and quickest way (but slightly less noticable) would be to make a generic template with the minds logo in the middle and append it to our profile pics/banners. Something like this:

But initially I had another idea that ended up being a lot harder to execute. I planned on standardizing a way for a profile picture to be surrounded entirely by a QR code. The only problem it is prone to getting "too busy," the smaller it is scaled:

In that example I tried to keep things as simple as possible. If you go any smaller than a headshot, things will really start getting confusing. That's because as far as I know the most you can push a picture on the inside of a QR code is within this area:

Correct me if I am mistaken because this would be without a doubt the most original way to do it. And a bigger area would enhance the creative possibilities. My excessivly goofy mind immediatly went this route when the idea came to me.

if I see this is something others want to do and there is a consensus on style, I'll standardise a template that tries to simplify the process as much as possible. For the time being, if anyone wants to experiment themselves, here is my super messy Illustrator project file that has some clipping masks in place that can speed up the allignment along with a background for the middle that matches the generated patterns:https://www.dropbox.com/s/33xjq0dtj05wafz/MINDSQRDRAFT.ai?dl=0

And to create and individual QR code, I went here and removed the social media icon:

http://www.qrcode-monkey.com/

But I am so open to better sources if anyone knows! :)

**9/20/2015 - Edit**I've uploaded cleaned up and simplified templates for anyone that wants to do the same. Here is the link:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/jsz06toax8z0gd7/AABmGdbudePjEzU16dptx54ka?dl=0

They are clearly labeled and available as PSDs or AIs. You just need to paste a full res code with any premade social media image on the layer below, and the template will take care of the rest. If anyone has any trouble, let me know and I'll make a quick tutorial. -Corey