Barth and Co Design

Rob’s Blog

There’s a QR Code on my toilet paper.

4:02 PM Tuesday April 1, 2014

I did a double-take recently when I saw a QR code on a toilet paper wrapper from Marcal. It begged questions:

1) It’s been said that QR Codes are over. Does this make it official?
2) In a world where people don’t even read newspapers, doesn’t this place a lot of faith in the toilet paper wrapper as a communications platform?
3) Given what’s usually going on when you’re unwrapping a roll of TP, is that a particularly convenient time to execute a QR scan?
4) Even if you did take out your phone, unlock it, launch the QR app, and scan the TP wrapper, what's the payoff? Instructions? An owner’s manual?

Marketing bloggers have been announcing the death of QR for quite a while, citing that scanning codes has proven far too laborious to ever take off among mobile users. For many, they’ve proven to be one of those techy things that seems cool at first, but is ultimately a gimmicky solution in search of a problem. I think Marcal might have just forced me into that camp.

For more absurd QR appearances, check out