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A Beginner's Guide to Designing Professional-Looking ID Badges

Planning and designing the look and features of an ID card is one of the fun parts of running an ID card program, and because an ID card is an important representation of your business or organization, you would want your ID badge to look professional while reflecting your core values.

Here are a number of essential points you need to consider when designing ID cards:


ID Content

This is the primary consideration. You need to decide what information will go into your ID card. Note that an ID card must be able to provide cardholder information at a glance. Make a list of ID data that you plan to include, and decide which information should be printed in the front and which data can be added to the back of the card.


ID Design

As mentioned above, your ID cards are a reflection of your company’s identity. So be sure to include your company’s fonts and colors in the design of your ID badge. You can also use colors to segregate different types of workers. While it may be tempting to add everything you can think of to your ID card’s design, remember that you are working with a limited space. As such, it is important that you only include elements that are necessary. Also, note that busy backgrounds make text difficult to read.


ID Orentation
During the design process, you have the option to choose between portrait and landscape orientation. If your logo or the names of your ID users are long, a horizontal ID card will better serve you since you would not need to use smaller fonts just to fit the information in the limited space.


ID Features

ID cards nowadays are more than just identification badges. Some blank cards come with magnetic stripes and smart chips built-in, enabling advanced features like attendance tracking, cafeteria payments, building access, and library checkouts. If you plan to use a card with these embedded features, be sure to factor the magnetic stripe’s or the smart chip’s physical location on the card so you don’t design and print over them.


ID Security

To make your cards more secure and harder to copy, it is important that you incorporate covert and overt security features. This must be factored in the design as well. Holographic overlaminates, for example, can be used to add subtle visual security elements to your ID cards. Adding security text that can only be seen under black light to your card’s design can also increase the security of your cards significantly.


ID Usage

The manner in which your cardholders display their ID cards is also a factor that must be given consideration when designing ID badges. Will you be punching slots for clips on the card? Make sure your company logo or the employee’s photo is placed away from the slot area to avoid inadvertent clipping of important ID information. Will your ID card users be constantly swiping their cards on a reader? Then avoid adding important information near the magnetic stripe, which could get scratched over time.

Whether you are designing your ID cards yourself or are working with a professional graphics designer, you will surely be able to create beautiful, functional, and secure ID cards if you give these tips some serious thought.

For more card design tips, speak with our experienced graphics designer at 1-800-667-1772. You may also get in touch with us via e-mail.

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