QR Gourd – Carvin’ For Our Community

We’ll admit it―again―we’re barcode NERDS. When you work with labels and barcodes every day, you start to think about them in your sleep. What can we do with them? What makes them appealing to customers? In what sort of unusual applications are people using them?

Pumpkin with QR CodeLast week as some of our employees were carving pumpkins for our annual Keene Pumpkin Festival, (aka Pumpkin Fest) we came up with not only some traditional scary faces, but also our company name, our web address and even our logo’s lightning bolt. As with most pumpkin carvers, we were out to catch attention and have passersby stop and take note of our creative masterpieces. As active members in our community, we wanted to share in the challenge to beat the Guinness Book of World Records for the greatest number of lit pumpkins. Our competitive nature was especially put to the test this year because HGTV had us in a Pumpkin War between our town and Highwood, IL. (Hope you will tune in on Halloween night, October 31st at 9:00 pm EST/ 8:00 pm CST to see all the festivity!)

Needless to say, our spirits were high and our creative juices were flowing. In fact, it took one of our imaginative and resourceful graphic artists a few hours but we think she hit the mark on what we’re all about – BARCODES! Starting with a paper template, she tenaciously laid out a large 2D QR Code. To get good contrast between the barcode and the light placed inside―aka “print contrast” in the label world―she carefully skimmed out the inside of the rather thick gourd. Then with painstaking precision and a razor blade, she outlined the edges of every bar in the code, knowing full well that the bumps and ridges on pumpkins sometimes make it difficult to keep a straight line.

We had a bet going around that it wouldn’t scan. But “a picture says a thousand words”… or in this case―the QR Code did! It linked right to a landing page on our website using a smart phone with a barcode software app. Thanks to built-in redundancy, even though part of the code may have been “damaged,” it still was readable.

Bottom line… barcodes are not all work. We can have fun with them too! And while Keene may not have won the pumpkin record, we sure had a whole lot of fun trying! We had great food, all sorts of exciting events (like pumpkin bowling), and a Ferris wheel to look down Main Street and see all the pumpkins. And we definitely loved watching our locals try out the EIM QR Code!

Electronic Imaging Materials