Linkz Support

  • Branded Microsite: We can make your Linkz experience totally yours with your own branded colors, typography, special graphics, etc. Please talk to us about this feature.

    Linkz ID: the Linkz ID is the name of the embedded watermark we place inside your image. The Linkz ID is invisible to the human eye and can only be seen by your smartphone.

    Microsite: the microsite is connected the Linkz ID. When the Linkz image is scanned or “viewed” with the smartphone – the Linkz app will load the associated microsite (or a URL of your choice) directly to the user’s smartphone. When you contract for the microsite, you have full access to create and modify whenever you wish using the included tools, links and buttons from microsite generator. Microsite access also includes Linkz analytics – which can of course be exported for further analysis.

    Printed size: Linkz needs to know the final print size if an image is to be encoded. Cropping an encoded image is usually fine – we place our encoding all over the image – but reducing or enlarger more than 10% can slow the scanning.

    Re-applying a Linkz ID: Sometime you may want different images contain the same Linkz ID. You could have multiple images (or different sizes of the same image) all point to a single microsite.

    Try it yourself – from your phone, click here

  • Use this handy Campaign Planner to design your campaign.

    We have provided classic marketing questions to make sure you stay on track and focused on your goals and your end-user’s goals.

    Linkz Campaign Planner

Microsite Builder

  • Use this handy PowerPoint file to help build and design your site offline.

    Making a microsite is quite easy – the hard work is designing it – and this tool will help you think through the buttons and panels required, as well as the navigation logic.

    Campaign Builder Thumb

    Microsite Design tool.pptx

  • Learn how to start making a microsite with the Linkz Microsite Builder

  • How to create buttons with the Builder

  • Learn how to add pages and panels to your microsite.

  • How to add an email button

  • Making it pretty – here we’ll learn about making your buttons and panels look great.

  • Deeplinking is the ability to open an installed app and go to a specific page or sub-section of that app.

    Say for instance, if you want to add the ability for your Linkz end-user to connect via Twitter, you’d use the URL twitter://user?screen_name=[id] ([id] is the screen name of the twitter account) scheme to enable Linkz to query the phone to see if the app is installed and if installed – then go to that Twitter page on the Twitter app.

    For example, with the button action “Link to an external URL” “twitter://user?screen_name=LinkzApp” will load Twitter on their phone and then go the Linkz Twitter account.

    Twitter Deeplink

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Below are some common schemas Linkz actively supports. Please let us know if you’d like to add additional schemas.

    Facebook: fb://profile/[id] Example: fb://profile/1679445655614650
    Please bear in mind that Facebook – the mother of all social apps – constantly changes their schema so do watch out for Facebook linking. Above works with iOS but Android is flakey just now. We have solutions – just ask!

    Twitter: twitter://user?screen_name=[id] Example: twitter://user?screen_name=LinkzApp

    LinkedIn: linkedin://profile?id=[id] Example: linkedin://profile/38514507

    Pinterest: pinterest://user/[id] Example: pinterest://user/wardparsons

    YouTube: vnd.youtube://user/[id] Example: vnd.youtube://youtu.be/HiHb2Lmy3-4

    Spotify: spotify:track:[trackid] Example: spotify:track:4QieoU2kL0vrzwKlXi0Vmx

     

Image Encoding

  • Encoding images with Linkz is easy. But certain ground rules are necessary. Just as images for Web, video and print all have different production characteristics, images for Linkz requires a few guidelines. Generally speaking – if you can print an image – you can upload and encode it with Linkz.

    Mandatory requirements:
    1. You must provide the final print size of the image. Remember – cropping an image is fine (Linkz watermarks are repeated throughout the image) but enlarging or reducing an image plus or minus 10 to 15% will start to degrade the speed of the payoff when scanned by the smart phone.
      • “Image width” is the actual dimension of the image if it was printed with no cropping, no reduction and no enlargement – not the necessarily the size of the image in a page layout application. Often, an image is enlarged or reduced more than 10% in a layout application – using the layout application dimensions will result in poor scanning. If you reduce or enlarge the image in your layout application, this scaling factor must be taken into account in the Linkz “Image Width” dimension. Generally, cropping an image in your layout application is fine – provided there is enough of the image to be scanned – typically at least 3x3cm.
    2. Images must be a JPEG or TIFF file.  See the PDF handling FAQ page to see how to deal with vector or PDF files. Of course, for a fee, we will do the required adjustments.
    3. Encoding must have color data to work with – this means image areas with little to no dots when printed will not scan. At the other end, if an image’s density is too large  – over 300% ink coverage for CMYK or 85% for single color  – scanning can fail as the smartphone camera cannot distinguish tonal variations in the image.
      In short – no pure whites and no super heavy densities. But despair not! See the How to work with Text FAQ for how to deal with areas of very low color data.
  • CharacteristicRequirement
    ResolutionNewsprint: between 120 and 750dpi
    Commercial: between 150 and 750dpi
    ColorspaceCMYK preferred, RGB, Grayscale supported*
    Bit Depth8 Bits per Channel
    File FormatJPEG, TIFF**
    SizeThe recommended artwork size is 2" x 2" or larger for optimal watermarking and readability. Digitally watermarking artwork smaller than 2" x 2" is possible, but may require using higher strength settings and a limited range of colors to provide readability for most smartphones. Watermarking artwork as small as 0.5" x 0.5" is allowed, though not recommended due to limited readability by only the best mobile camera devices.
    Ink DensityA maximum of 300%
    As CMYK ink coverage increases — especially above 300% — most printers have trouble reproducing the details of the digital watermark accurately.
    * Watermarking RGB images can produce unexpected results when printed.
    ** TIFF and LZW compressed TIFF supported. Layered TIFFs are not supported
  • CMYK — The watermark is optimized for printing commercially in color images. Commercial color printing typically involves using Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black inks, often referred to as CMYK or 4C (color) process. CMYK images prepared for commercial printing, especially SWOP US Web standards, should watermark well if they meet the image selection guidelines.

    RGB — Red, Green, and Blue light waves are used by displays to project images and by digital cameras to capture images. RGB has a much greater range of colors than CMYK, which may or may not be available when printed. The process of converting an RGB image into a printed image varies by each user’s set-up. Due to this variation we cannot calibrate the embedder to provide consistently optimal results with RGB images.

    Grayscale — A single channel image has only black and white data available to be digitally watermarked. Often watermarks in grayscale images may be more noticeable. This is due to less available image data for the watermark to be embedded into.

  • A primary consideration in placing images is to avoid scaling. You should  scale images to their final size before watermarking. Reducing or enlarging an image more than 10% after embedding the watermark can adversely affect watermark detectability.

    Cameras without auto-focus, aperture controls, and high quality image sensors have difficulty resolving fine details. Reducing an image more than 10% can push it beyond the capabilities of such cameras to resolve enough detail to detect the watermark.

    Enlarging an image can create the opposite problem of reduction. If you excessively enlarge an image, significant portions of the watermark will fall outside the camera’s field of view, and the watermark can be cropped beyond detectability.

    Another issue with scaling images is that watermarks are designed to be read at approximately 7 to 15cm ( 3″ to 6″), and users will quickly adapt to these boundaries. Reduced or enlarged images may contradict users’ expectations about where to hold their devices, even if their cameras are capable of watermark detection at shorter or longer distances.

  • Below are several images that are good candidates for watermarking due to these characteristics: All three images have textures that will effectively absorb a watermark. In the beach photo, the sand, the water on the beach, and the clouds offer adequate texture. The dog, the trees, and the lawn provide texture in the dog photo. While there is an expanse of red in the photo of the girl, it’s not a flat tint. The bedspread contains plenty of texture for embedding the watermark. The colors in all three images are predominantly in the midtones, with only some small areas of very light and very dark colors.

     

    osp-guidelines-exampleimages

     

     

     
     
     
     
     
     
    Image courtesy of Digimarc
  • This section provides you with some simple watermarking guidelines. As you gain experience, you will undoubtedly refine these recommendations for your use.

    • A busy image hides a watermark well, you will be able to easily apply a strong watermark signal without impacting your image quality.
    • Areas of bright highlights or dark shadows do not accept watermarks well. In highlights, where color coverage approaches 0%, there are too few pixels to modify to add the signal. In shadows, where color coverage approaches 100%, the ability to modify pixels is essentially halved because of ink saturation. You may need to increase the strength setting using the slider to improve watermark detectability. You can also strengthen the watermark in highlights, but this usually negatively impacts visibility.
    • For the same reason that highlights do not accept watermarks well, pure white areas — those with 0% color coverage — cannot be watermarked at all. If you must watermark a pure white area, consider adding a light color tint into larger white areas. It will need to be dark enough for your printer to reproduce for sufficient color coverage to embed a detectable watermark. Unfortunately, the watermark may become more visible with the added detectability.
    • Identify areas for different watermark strengths by roughly the same criteria you use for unsharp masking in image editing software. For example, faces will probably require a lower watermarking strength; areas with lots of detail can take a watermark of higher strength.
  • Watermarks aren’t just for images! Placing a subtle and often imperceptible tint behind a text block creates an area able to hold a digital watermark; this enables the content of a paragraph to be scanned.

    Simply creates a colored tint the same size of the text column made up of 10% cyan, 20% magenta and 50% yellow. Then save it as a TIFF or JPEG, upload the tint to Linkz and then place behind the text.

  • A PDFs is essentially a files format that is a wrapper around other graphical content – raster and bitmap images, vector art or type. And vector art is a series of mathematical curves. But PDFs and vector art cannot by themselves be watermarked as they are not pure raster images. There are 2 ways to deal with PDFs and Vector art.

    Of course the best practice is to encode raster images before they are used to make PDFs – but you already that knew, right?

    1. Extract the background image from the PDF or vector art and submit this raster image to Linkz for encoding. Then – re-insert the watermarked image into the PDF or vector art.
    2. Often rasterizing the whole PDF or vector will work. Gone are the days when professional RIPS had a hard time with large raster files – current RIPs chew ’em up and spit ’em out. Of course, your mileage may vary.
      • Make sure your resolution is high enough for printing. Digital devices usually have 6oo DPI engines so rasterizing the art to 600dpi should work great.
      • Watch out for type and other vector art quality. Rasterizing at a high enough resolution should not degrade the quality of vector art but your milage may vary.