Are Digital Watermarks The New Alternative To QR Codes?

Are Digital Watermarks The New Alternative To QR Codes?

Design magazine House Beautiful will feature 'Digimarc' icons on its ads for Glidden paint to prevent unaesthetic clutter.

Emma Hutchings
  • 10 january 2012

For next month’s issue of House Beautiful, the design magazine is placing digital watermarks on certain ads and editorial content instead of QR codes. These will allow users who download the Digimarc Discover app for iOS or Android to visit a related video or website when they scan them.

The New York Times reports that the February issue will feature ads for Glidden paint with the image of a mobile phone inside an orange circle, instead of the usual black-and-white pixelated squares. Scanning the icon will redirect readers to Glidden’s ‘My Colortopia‘ site where they can learn about choosing and combining different paint colors. Smaller blue icons on editorial content in the magazine will send readers to related videos, with Glidden ads before and after.

House Beautiful began using Digimarc technology on its editorial pages last year and has now expanded the codes to its ad pages. This new iteration aims to prove that tech can be aesthetic too. Kate Kelly Smith, the publishing director for House Beautiful, said:

In a design magazine, you don’t want a QR code on the page, because it absolutely takes away from the photography.


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