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Advice from an ID Card Artist: How to Design Beautiful Cards

In this article, an artist lays down the basics of designing beautiful ID cards.

Card design is a dynamic process that can engage your business philosophy through an identifiable and visually pleasing product. Finding a starting point might seem overwhelming, but with these industry design tips, you will be fast on your way to making an excellently designed card.

Keep it clean and simple:

  • You don’t need to put every design element related to your business. Pick a few strong characteristics that represent the essence of your brand. Less is often more, as you don’t want to detract from the overall message.

Sample Card with Clean and Simple Design

Line up your work/business philosophy with your design:

  • What is the driving philosophy behind your workplace? Simple and sweet? Glitz and glam? Colorful and playful? Try to incorporate representative elements that reflect your workplace philosophy. These would all help guide what your design could reflect.

Card Designs that incorporate company philosophy

Adjust contrast and balance:

  • Design aspects can be subtle and easy to incorporate. You can include stylistic cues such as contrast and balance to create a more aesthetically pleasing design.

Card Design with Contrast and Subtle Elements

Match color tones:

  • The best designs are ones that transmit the feeling that your brand represents.
  • If you have a theme or certain set of colors for your brand, use these as guides for your custom design. Keep color schemes more or less related to the key colors of your brand, as this will help make your brand and design cohesive.

Make your text stand out:

  • Make it legible. It doesn’t matter how great it looks if it takes more than a few seconds to decipher.
  • Keep it simple, the best designs use generally one font set for the front side.
  • Bigger is better. Keep in mind that card designs are generally 2.125”x3.375” which doesn’t leave a lot of room for small type.
  • Remember that font is universal; so a more memorable design would incorporate images or designs as well as font.

”Fargo Asure ID software

Bolder and better:

  • Is your font heavy enough? Thicker typesets allow greater visibility without too much impact in the physical size it occupies. Keep in mind that you want to promote recognisability.

Keep your audience in mind:

  • Who is your target demographic, what are the design elements that gel with these populations. Often your brand theme reflects this, so look to bring your card design in line with this.

When in doubt:

  • Imagine how someone who has never seen your design would approach it. Would they be overwhelmed with too much information? Where would their eyes rest as they examine the card? Does your design represent your brand and business philosophy?

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