Barcode Art: From the Store to Your Wall

I was recently looking at a fellow blog called Drawn (it’s on my blogroll, too) and saw a post with this picture:

Barcode art

So, barcode art it is. I’m not very surprised by this development. We’ve already seen Picasso in QR code form from a previous post. If you haven’t noticed them yet, QR codes are specific matrix barcodes that are readable by QR barcode readers and camera phones. After scanning the QR code with a phone, the user is taken to a specified URL. In other words, these codes are becoming a useful and popular marketing tool.

The Martin Agency in Richmond, Virginia used QR codes in ads and a Facebook page dedicated to their Picasso exhibit that opened in mid-February.

After doing some light research, it seems that barcode art has extended beyond the advertising and marketing world. Here’s what I found…

Published in 2011, the book After The Revolution Has Passed Us By: An Experiment in Technological Expression Trisha Barnes is “the first book in the world to consist entirely of QR Code.”

Next, Artist Scott Blake is all over the Internet if you search barcode art. Blake is a barcode artist who first began creating these interesting pieces in 1998. According to TBO News, “his first portrait was of Jesus. It was 50 by 50 inches and consisted of 10,000 barcodes. A year later, he refined it and paired down the codes to 7,776.”

"Barcode Oprah" by Scott Blake

"UPC Madonna" by Scott Blake

You can even “barcode yourself” on Blake’s website. Here’s my barcode:

How do I look?

If you’re interested in more barcode art, Mashable recently chronicled “10 Creative Bar Code Designs.” I also encourage you to look at Scott Blake’s work on his website.

by Guido


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