How to Design ID Badge Templates

ID badge designs can be a bit cumbersome because they tend to include the same basic information: names, titles, organizations and access levels. But that doesn’t mean your ID badge designs have to be boorish. With a bit of creative thinking, you can design ID badge templates that identify staff members, VIPs and guests at any organization, business, or event with pride, elegance, joviality or authority. Here’s how to design ID badge templates so you can easily outfit an entire organization with one simple design.

Start with a template

Beginning an ID badge template design with, well, a template might seem counterintuitive. But keep in mind that there are essentially two types of templates: layout templates, which have guidelines for creating designs; and design templates, which are completely pre-designed with images, colors and text. Layout templates are what you should concern yourself with, because they can save you time and money since they’re already pre-formatted in the correct size, color mode and resolution; and because they include guides for safe areas, cutlines, bleed lines and other helpful press markings. Best of all, you can download free ID badge design templates.

Create a unique design

The most important rule you need to know about ID badge template design is that there are no rules. Try to stay away from the stereotypical mugshot and single column list of identifiers. Instead, play with creative trends such as photos of staff members in action that take up the entire background, vertical text with the organization’s name, oversized logos and unique die-cut shapes.

When you set out to create your design, you want your ID badge templates to quickly identify who the wearer is and what access levels he or she has – so large fonts work well. But that’s not the only goal of your ID badges: they should also lend credibility to the person wearing them, brand the organization behind them and increase employee morale. All of these things can lead to increased productivity and more sales, so it’s important that as a designer you keep the big picture in mind.

Learn about variable data printing

If your software is capable of setting up files for variable data printing (as Adobe Creative Suite is), it is worth your while to investigate how you can use it to quickly create multiple ID badges for dozens or even hundreds of staff members with one ID badge template. You can literally save hundreds of hours by learning how to use your software’s VDP features, and in turn make more money by freeing up that time. If you do use Adobe products, the company has set up a special online resource for variable data printing that will get you started in the right direction.

Print quality ID badges

Even the best ID badge designs can look bad when printed on low-grade paper, while mediocre designs can brim with brilliance when premium printing techniques are employed. For the best-looking ID badges that last, print on thick 100-pound gloss cover stock with a durable water-resistant lamination.

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