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Step by step on how to effectively design a certificate 

1. What is an effective certificate design

Effective certificate design works and provides visible results for the business; it is also a fantastic marketing tool to increase your brand awareness. 

The statement of any award or certificate is to create a memory. From the main features to the small decorations, you set a tone for how the certificate is perceived.

Make the design of a certificate, achievement, or diploma with care and remember that you are creating something to be proud of.

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Ask yourself, “What are the purpose of these certificates?” before you build the design. It would help if you defined the goal clearly. To help you set your goals, consider this:

Praise and Thank? 

  • Who are the recipients of certificates? 
  • What is the reason for gifting this praise?
  • Advance the significance of the education program or course
  • Increase the feeling of the importance of the event
  • Keep a warm memory for the recipient of the certificates  

For example:

  • a young person receiving an award after a beauty course
  • a child receiving a reward for exceptional behaviour
  • a student getting a diploma after graduation 
  • a doctor participating in the medical conference
  • Understanding your receivers impacts the style of the certificate design.

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  • How do you want your certificate to appear?
  • Colourful or restrained certificate style?
  • Portrait or landscape orientation?
  • Filled or minimalist design?
  • Formal or informal layout?

Decide on these essential elements. Your design decision is what makes this certificate significant. For instance, most universities use serif fonts and old-fashioned lettering on credentials to add to the ceremonial nature of the document.

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It is important to remember that the certificate design should be attractive, clear, elegant and relevant to the award; for example, you want to avoid creating a colourful funny certificate for students graduating from a prestigious business course. 

Certificate designs can also create brand awareness for your business, so ensure you are consistent with fonts, imagery and logo. Your plan should look like an integrated part of your marketing and correspond to the visual authenticity of your brand.

The main content of the certificate:

  • Title: diploma, sporting event, an employee of the week
  • Reason for issuing: graduation, achievement, participation
  • Full name
  • The date awarded
  • Where the certificate is issued
  • Issuing organization or company

Extra elements to help make your design stand out from the rest:

  • Signatures of persons who issued the certificate
  • QR code with a link to the certificate
  • Site and details of the issuing organization
  • Icons of organizations, badges of standards

If the certificates are designed for certain levels of completing a course or sporting event, then you can keep consistent colour schemes for specific levels. 

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You’ve almost finished designing your certificate. Look at it. Are you happy to receive this award? Does it fit its purpose?

Proofread and Check

  • Are all of the elements in line with each other?
  • Does it make sense?
  • Do all of the fonts and colours match?

Have you made any of these mistakes?

  • Blank certificate – not enough detail
  • Clumsy and overloaded design – too much detail
  • Styles do not fit – odd fonts and colours
  • Crumpled and shattered achievement – does it look brilliant?


Make certificate design step by step, avoid the most common mistakes, and you will be surprised at the results. Whether you create a certificate for a few kids in a school or conduct a mass certification program for thousands of people does not matter. You should make a practical design that will get results. If you’re still struggling, don’t hesitate to contact us at Bunji at 01926 283222 or find us online at http://bunji.online, and any member of our team would be more than happy to help you design your perfect certificate.