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Designing Your ID Cards: Here’s What to Avoid

Designing Your ID Cards: Here's What to AvoidAs you may know Fullidentity provides a variety of quality, pre-designs ID card templates for free to all of our customers. However, many clients have the resources to come up with their own design and prefer to go in that direction. That’s great! However, though most graphic design professionals are well versed in general print and web, they may not be quite as experienced in terms of creating an effective design for ID cards.

Design Tips for Your ID Cards

Here are a few things to avoid when designing your ID cards:

Dark Colors – Yes, it’s true that darker colors can create better contrast. However, one of the goals is to be pleasing to the eye and put customers at ease. Lighter and brighter colors are often better for setting that tone. I’m not saying that you can’t or shouldn’t EVER use a dark color, its just a good idea to not lean too heavily on a dark emphasis.

For some, the most important thing is information legibility and there is no concern for a welcoming color scheme. In that case, do whatever is the most functional for your company’s needs.

Flat Colors – Flat designs have become quite popular over the last few years, however, they may not serve you best when it comes to ID cards. You can certainly do a flat design if you prefer, but adding a little texture of gradient can actually make your badges maintain a newer look for a longer period of time. The exception to this would be if you are using a lot of different colors. In that case, card wear wouldn’t be as readily visible.

Unusual Fonts – I have come across a number of ID cards that use different font types to make things a little more interesting. Though the design looked awesome, it didn’t serve to be very functional in the end. One of the priorities of an ID card is to be able to easily identify someone. Making the design too artistically expressive can lead to a loss of effectiveness.

Straight Lines – Straight lines aren’t wrong, but if you want to make your ID cards look great, try to avoid them. Everything about your ID leans on straight lines. The card itself and the photo are both in rectangular form so a little added curvature in the design can really bring it to life and help it to not feel to blah.

In conclusion, you can do whatever  you want with your ID cards. Sometimes design rules can be broken and still look fantastic, but these guidelines are simply a great place to start and will help you to develop a design that works well for your purposes.

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