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Artistic QR Code Embellishment



A QR code is a two-dimensional barcode that encodes information. A standard QR code contains only regular black and white squares, and thus is unattractive. This paper proposes a novel framework for embellishing a standard QR code, to make it both attractive and recognizable by any human while maintaining its scanability. The proposed method is inspired by artistic methods. A QR code is typically embellished by stylizing the squares and embedding images into it. In the proposed framework, the regular squares are reshaped using a binary examplar, to make their local appearances resemble the example shape. Additionally, an error-aware warping technique for deforming the embedded image is proposed; it minimizes the error in the QR code that is generated by the embedding of the image to optimize the readability of the code. The proposed algorithm yields lower data error than previous global transformation techniques because the warping can locally deform the embedded image to conform to the squares that surround it. The proposed framework was examined by using it to embellish an extensive set of QR codes and to test the readability with various commercial QR code readers.