Giving New Meaning to the Phrase “Dead Links”

QR (quick response) codes are catching on all over. With the amount of people using smart phones these days, they provide a simple, fast way to direct people to your website, or any site.


Here at BK, we use them on our business cards, allowing people to instantly check us out, as opposed to waiting until they’re at home sitting infront of their computer. In today’s culture of instant gratification and endless digital distractions, making an impression quickly can save you from getting buried under everything else. But one Seattle company is used to getting buried, and they’re putting QR codes to use in an interesting way.


Quiring Monuments has begun to offer the use of QR codes on headstones for around $65. When scanned by a smartphone, the code takes you to a password-protected site detailing the life of the person you’re standing on, allowing friends and family to enjoy the story of their life beyond the normal constraints of a standard epitaph.


In an interview with the Denver Post, Quiring was quoted as saying, “For many funerals, there are few young people. This technology brings them back into the fold. This marriage of technology with history seems a way to make preserving memories more important to people.”


I agree that this practice could leave a better history about those that matter to us–stories and details disappear with every generation–but part of Quiring’s justification is pretty dark. To think that today’s youth (myself included) would be more inclined to attend a funeral or visit the grave of a relative, simply because they can scan a sticker with their smartphone, is pretty morbid. Are we that connected to our devices and thus that disconnected from the real world… or basic emotion and decency?


The use of QR codes on headstones would, strangely, bring cemetaries ‘up-to-date,’ though. A landscape of stone tablets could be instantly turned into an extensive record of the past; a library full of biographies. And in that sense I do agree with Quiring. I don’t think that simply the use of this modern technology would make a younger generation more interested in their past, but it would provide a more complete and accessible record than what most are left with now, which in this day and age, makes all the difference. If it’s out there, someone will find it and make use of it.


I like to think I have lots of time left, which is good, because as a graphic designer my tastes are always changing. I constantly revisit personal projects with new insight and ideas. As such, it’s going to take me a lot of time to decide on a website design that I’ll be happy with for eternity…


You can read the article at the Denver Post  here, or you can learn more about Quiring’s “Living Headstones” here.

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