Microsoft Tag Artist Blends Bar Codes & Art


 One artist, deemed the "Tag Master," is taking advantage of the customization abilities of Microsoft Tag and using it as a platform for his bar code art.

There are an abundance of articles now available on the Internet that analyze the use and benefits of 2D bar codes. By far, it is the exploding new trend in advertising technology. 2D bar codes allow the consumer to take a mobile snapshot of whatever might interest them in the realm of advertising and digitally transfer all the data they are searching instantly to a mobile device, such as a smartphone. But now that 2D bar codes have become so popular, could it be possible that they are becoming a bit boring? Maybe even, shall I say, typical?

Fortunately, when it comes to technology these days, “boring and typical” only lasts moments, if not seconds. And, of course, Microsoft is leading the way by advancing that theory with their introduction of Microsoft Tag. Microsoft Tag is a form of 2D bar codes, and although both grant the merchant the ability to integrate print with mobile for an interactive user experience, Tag takes custom innovation a step further, allowing some to even use as a platform for art.

I want to bring to your attention a name that should be embedded in the words ”Microsoft Tag.” The aftist's name is Bret daCosta. But, before I expand on his art work, I'd like to preface it with a brief overview of the benefits of Microsoft Tag.

There are three versions of Tag: black and white, color, and custom. Black and white is typically used to create customer awareness. Once customers are familiar with the concept of Tag, it would be conducive for the merchant to move forward with a color or custom Tag; something that can truly represent their brand.

Tag also gives the merchant the opportunity to customize the data incorporated into Tag. Whether it is a video they would like their customers to watch or a link to their website, it can be embedded into the Tag. One aspect, unique to Tag, is the ability to learn which mobile device is being utilized and add contact information to one's address book once scanned, insert an event date into a calendar, and even download an app. Another important benefit to consider is Tag's ability to measure effectiveness using advanced analytics that capture the number of scans along with geographical locations.

Individualized customization is another important benefit and that is where daCosta comes in (who's art work is featured on the official Microsoft Tag home page). Known as 'The Tag Master,' daCosta has discovered a unique and creative way to customize the ordinary Tag and turn it into an art. “I have invented the techniques which allow me to create the most extreme 2D bar codes on the planet,” says daCosta. “Blending art and technology is my passion, the Microsoft Tag my palette.”

Some examples of daCosta's art work




By creating these functional art forms, daCosta has opened the door to an infinite number of Microsoft Tag employments. And, even more appealing, Tag can be transferred to another owner for complete control of the content once initially created. "There are many advantages to Tag. The Tag manager allows you to redirect the url in real-time, anytime. It is a free platform and only requires one reader... so you can change your message as required," daCosta explains. "Tags are more secure as they are managed from one central platform. I could go on and on. I also use QR codes in my campaigns and have not found any thing that compares to the functionality of Tag."

To view more samples of daCosta's art work. Please visit his website at

(Photos courtesy of Bret daCosta)

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Assorted bar code resources

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