Put a Tag on It

Jackie Micucci
Thursday, Sep 01, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Creating custom Microsoft Tags has become a bit of a hobby/cottage industry for Robert Abiera.  Abiera, who has gotten a bit of buzz on Twitter thanks to his cool Tags, says he has a passion for both computer graphics and social media. He has been creating custom Tags for fun and business since he first saw the Tags of another designer about a year ago.

Designer Tag image

“What I love about Tag is that you can incorporate a company’s logo or person’s face or other interesting graphics; it’s not just a barcode,” he says. “I also like the way Tag does its metrics.”

Abiera has designed about 50 Tags to date for businesses such as dog walker Sniff Seattle to a charity called They Shall Walk, which is near and dear to his heart because of a serviceman friend of his who suffered a crippling injury. He says wherever he goes he sees the potential for Tag, whether he’s at the local coffee shop or walking by the Space Needle.  

After checking out Abiera’s innovative designs, we thought this would be a good time to remind everyone about some best practices to keep in mind when creating custom Tags:

  • Make sure your Tag has a white border. This ensures it remains readable. The width of the white space should be equal to the height of the bottom black bar and not have any encroachment of lines, figures, or other artifacts. And, of course, you should always test the Tag before using it to confirm it scans correctly.
  • Tell your users how to download the Microsoft Tag app. For example: “Get the free mobile app at http://gettag.mobi.” Remember, 2D barcodes may be unfamiliar to some consumers. We also recommend you clearly tell them what kind of content is behind the Tag so they know what to expect when scanning. For instance, “Scan this Tag to view our instructional video.”

What other designs do you think would work well with Tag? Let us know with your comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.


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