World’s First Fully Functional QR Code Portraits

World's First Fully Functional QR Code Portraits

As technology is growing day by day we are getting something new each day and as the example of new exploding technology that is QR codes which are widely used these days. A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that is readable by dedicated QR readers, smart phones, and to a lesser extent, computers with webcams. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, URL, or other data.

World’s First Fully Functional QR Code Portraits

QR Codes

Getting inspired from the QR codes, I have started my “QR code project” in which I am designing QR Code pattern images of influential personalities from around the world. Now I want to share a little about the background story of this project – A few days ago, while using one of the social networking websites I came across a stream which was about “QR Codes being used in headstones of graveyards”, I found that post interesting: How people are adopting technology for some really different applications.

At the same time, I was studying the history of art and design so an idea came into my mind to blend this new technology to create some new designs and this is how QR Code project started. The first piece with which I started this project was ‘Mona Lisa’.

The special thing about these portraits is that they are made using the Error correction capability. The higher the error correction level, the less storage capacity. At the highest error correction level it is possible to create artistic QR codes that still scan correctly, but contain intentional errors to make them more readable or attractive to the human eye, as well as to incorporate colors, logos and other features into the QR code block.

While the exact number of errors that can be corrected depends on the size of the symbol and the location of the errors, the following table lists the approximate error correction capability at each of the four levels:

  • Level L 7% of codewords can be restored.
  • Level M 15% of codewords can be restored.
  • Level Q 25% of codewords can be restored
  • Level H 30% of codewords can be restored.

Note: These QR codes were tested using various QR code readers and proved to be fully functional but they are much more sensitive than the normal ones so you need take proper care while decoding them using your readers (proper focus, lighting etc.).

Mona Lisa

The most famous painting in the world by Leonardo Da Vinci.

Mona Lisa

Albert Einstein

The father of modern physics.

Albert Einstein

Barack Obama

This man needs no introduction his name is enough to tell “Who is he?”

Barack Obama

Bill Gates

American business magnate and inventor, Philanthropist, author and chairman of Microsoft.

Bill Gates

Abraham Lincoln

The 16th President of the United States.

Abraham Lincoln

A.P. J. Abdul Kalam

Former President of India and most inspirational icon in Indian history.

A.P. J. Abdul Kalam

Che Guevara

Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, intellectual, guerrilla leader, diplomat and military theorist.

Che Guevara

Amitabh Bachchan

Legendary Figure of Bollywood (Indian Cinema)

Amitabh Bachchan


This is not the end of this project, It’s just the beginning and I am planning to cover at least 100 most influential personalities from around the world but for that I need your help, please suggest names of iconic people from your region so that I can include the most deserving people in my list.

Related QR Links For Use

Here are some of the links to popular QR code Generators and Readers.

QR Code Generators (Online)

  • Qrcode Kaywa
  • QR Stuff: QRStuff uses a custom ISO-compliant alogorithm thus image size and resolution limits are not a problem.
  • Goqr: Brought to you by Andreas Haerter, a software developer, web entrepreneur and Open Source enthusiast.
  • QR Code Generator: Create QR Codes with QR Code Generator and get tracking with free registration.
  • Good survey QR code generator: has lots of new features and wide range of QR generation options as well as free custom logo embedding service.


  • Tucows: Free Desktop QR Code Generator For Windows Operating Systems
  • Download CNET – QR Code Generator: Easily generate QR-Code symbols for VCARDs, Business Cards, FaceBook, Twitter Follow and URL encoding. Includes time-saving memorization features and forms that combine multiple fields into a single QR barcode.

Popular QR code Reader/Decoders (For Phones)

  • Kaywa Reader: Free application that supports wide range of phones.
  • Quickmark: It is also free and supports most of the phones.
  • Optiscan: QR Code scanner for iPhones.
  • I-Nigma: Popular decoder/reader application that works on most of the popular smartphones.
  • SnapMaze: QR code reader for Nokia, Sony Ericcson and Motorola phones.
  • Jaxo Systems: Runs on most Java-enabled phones.
  • Upcode: Supports a wide range of Symbian, UIQ, windows mobile, Iphone, Blackberry and Java phones.

Software & Applications

More Resources

Niteesh Yadav is a creative person and he likes sketching and designing. He is a self taught graphic designer, illustrator and artist who loves to create new things inspired from his surroundings.


    • Rana mukherjee,
    • September 5, 2011
    / Reply

    Nice article,Niteesh have good topic discuss.

  1. / Reply

    Great portraits you have made. This is another example of how creative people can go with QR codes. If you need QR code generator with ability to edit QR codes at later stage and add Social networks and Video visit

  2. / Reply

    Brilliant collection buddy. Brilliant!!

    • balram,
    • September 5, 2011
    / Reply

    Sachin Tendulkar the God of Cricket

  3. / Reply

    This is beyond incredible, Just came up with tons of new QR code based ideas!

  4. / Reply

    Very cool indeed. I love how QR Codes are taking off

    • David K from Philly,
    • September 6, 2011
    / Reply

    While I think this is a great idea and very cool… it’s unfortunate that you chose to include Che Guevara. While popular culture romanticizes the man and his exploits, some argue that he will little more than a well traveled and well read mass murderer. And, I tend to agree with that assessment.

    Otherwise, cool stuff.

    1. / Reply

      David I respect your opinion but my project is all about preparing the QR code portraits of most influential people of all time and I did a lot of research on web and hardly there is any list which does not contain his name.

        • David K from Philly,
        • September 8, 2011
        / Reply


        Hitler and the Nazis were pretty influential, too. But, I wouldn’t make QR codes from them.

      • whatever,
      • September 8, 2011
      / Reply

      I agree with you. Not a good guy, by any stretch. I wish people would stop perpetuating the myth of him being a hero. He was, sir, a douch.

  5. / Reply

    That is Awesome how QR Codes are advancing,

    They are starting to show up every where now and soon they will be everywhere you look

    wouldn’t it be great to have one place to go if your looking for QR Codes to scan if your looking for something,

    or if you use a QR Code you could advertise your QR Code for Free,

    ( There is Click my name )

    Thanks for the inspiration on how to make them Look different 8=)

  6. / Reply

    great collection. thanks for sharing

    • JG from Arkansas,
    • September 6, 2011
    / Reply

    I like all the things that people are starting to do with QR codes. I think they have so much potential, however the best one I have seen is the QR code that can deliver multiple destinations through a single QR code. You have to try one of these out, it works so well and there is so much I can do with it. IMO, it is the best QR code you can get. Redirect Ware created it and you can find them online at

  7. / Reply

    This is a pretty interesting collection, and I am incredibly curious where this QR Code Design approach will lead. Thanks for the collection – looking forward to more!

  8. / Reply

    Nice job ;)

    Ill be keeping my eye out for you. I would ask why you decided to go with a non online UX?

    Patrick Donnelly

  9. / Reply

    Hello Patrick it’s my pleasure to have a word of appreciation from your side, you are among the most featured figure in QR code design history.

    Answering to your question: the reason behind non online UX is ‘UX itself’, thinking from the perspective of a common man- no one wants to waste his/her time reading the whole webpage or information instead they look for general outline info which is brief and easy to remember and this way I have tried to simplify the UX from 3-tier process to 2-tier (reading code —> direct display of essential info.

    • Jandre,
    • September 8, 2011
    / Reply

    Nelson Mandela

  10. / Reply

    This is cool, but instead of encoding text, why not embed links to QRpedia URLs, which serve Wikipedia pages in the user’s preferred language?


    1. / Reply

      Your answer is present just one comment above your comment, using this method is the part of simple UX and as you have mentioned about embedding the pic thats a very old thing for me, my codes doesn’t use embedded images instead they contain portraits made of native square blocks which are used at the time of QR code generation. I hope now it’s clear why these codes are different from others.

  11. / Reply

    the examples look pretty good , but my vote will go to Che Guevara portrait!

    • Sam,
    • September 12, 2011
    / Reply

    Functional? How can they be functional, the main use of these is for quick scanning with mobile devices, most of which have terrible definition, they’d never pick up the size of those pixels accurately. In fact, my phone doesn’t pick up anything from any of these.

    So no, not functional lol.


    1. / Reply

      If you would read the whole article then you should have not commented anything like this, These codes are more sensitive than others and talking about their functionality that is checked by a wide range of QR code scanners and mobile devices. It’s really unfortunate that your device is incapable of scanning them coz even these codes are working well on java phones.

    • Paolo,
    • September 22, 2011
    / Reply

    as you’re discussing about using QR codes (thanks Niteesh for your clear article and good “suggestions”…) , I’d ask you to try the experimental “Service” called “IDENTITY” (t.m.), that lets you have a sort of “Virtual Business Card” to share with others, entering a (future, I hope…) Community where to save favourites scanned contacts and products, sharing ratings on products.

    I’d be glad if you’ll write me your opinions and suggestions…

    You can find more info about the service here:


    • Milap Singh,
    • December 16, 2011
    / Reply

    All d best buddy…..
    keep it up…. :)

  12. / Reply

    Great stuff… i’ll be covering this on my blog :)

    i can suggest Mother Teresa’s name.

  13. / Reply

    I like this. I added a little color to mine!

    • Ethan,
    • March 23, 2012
    / Reply

    You should make one for Jason Russel.

    • Dave,
    • December 28, 2012
    / Reply

    It took me ages to find this and is remarkably useful(and the developer even added functionality for me)! QR code generator that sends different phones to its relevant marketplace.

  14. / Reply

    This is so great and works really well ! interesting job !
    I could suggest some names such:
    Marilyn Monroe,
    Isaac Newton,
    Marie Curie,
    William Shakespeare,
    George Washington
    In Portugal the major name international known Amália Rodrigues it’s a good example.

    I hope helped with some of this suggestions.

    • Lu Ya Xin,
    • August 8, 2013
    / Reply


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