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How Do I Design an ID Card?

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How Do I Design an ID Card?

It’s one of the most important—and fun—steps to launching an ID badge program: designing the card! You want a professional-looking badge that represents your organization, plus cards with specific design features that aren’t easily duplicated. Simply designed badges can compromise the security of your facility and the people in it. You may consider working with a graphic designer or your marketing department to create an ID badge that is both difficult to replicate and representative of your brand or organization.

Examples of ID Content

• Company Logo

• Company Contact Info

• Cardholder Name

• Cardholder Photo

• Cardholder Signature

• Cardholder Title (student, member, director)

 • ID Number

 • Issue/Expiration Date

 • Barcode

 • Security Access Level

 • Identifying Info (height, weight, eye color, sex)

Whether you’re doing it yourself or working with a designer, here are six questions to ask yourself before designing your organization’s ID badges.­

What info will go on the cards?

First things first, begin by making a list of the data that needs to be included on the cards. The design should revolve around this list. Consider the examples in the box at the right. Will all this information fit on one side of the card, or will some be placed on the back?

What will the photo look like?

Larger photos typically print in higher quality and are easier to verify. Consider the color and style of the background of your photos. White backdrops help the image pop and keep the overall look of the card clean, while colored backdrops are an easy and inexpensive way to visually classify groups of people, by department for example.

What design elements will be included?

Your ID card should be a reflection of your organization’s identity and include your company’s standard fonts and colors. Choose a font and font size that will be easy to read, typically sans-serif fonts work best. Do not use a busy background that will require intense scrutiny to authenticate.

What orientation will work best?

Your logo, employee photos, bar code, and other card contents may fit better in a horizontal or vertical format. Longer logos or text fields will look better on a horizontal orientation since you won’t have to shrink the font size or wrap the text to fit in the allotted space.

Will the card contain security features?

If you’ll be using cards with embedded security or data features, such as a HoloMark seal or barcode, find out where they will be located on the card so the card design can accommodate the embedded feature.

How will the cards be worn after printed?

If you won’t be using badge holders you’ll need to consider the location, shape, and size of the card slot for lanyards, badge reels, and clips since the slot punch will interrupt the design layout.

Need some design inspiration? View sample ID card designs

Have questions or need assistance? Talk with an ID Expert at (800) 910-5987, Chat Live, or email

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