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How to create a good card design?

If you have been charged with designing ID cards for your organization, you have an important responsibility.

Creating an effective ID card design involves more than meets the eye. However, with a little planning and consideration of the best practices discussed in this guide, it will be an enjoyable experience.

After reviewing this simple step by step overview and our gallery of existing ID cards, you’ll be ready to begin — or enhance — your own design. Creating dynamic, effective and secure ID cards has never been easier.

Creating an effective ID card design involves more than meets the eye.

That’s why this first step is so important. You need to understand the objectives of your organization’s entire ID card program. While designing a visually attractive card is also important, it’s secondary to designing a card that helps:

  • Enhance physical and logical security
  • Increase efficiency and productivity
  • Reduce vulnerability to counterfeiting
  • Reflect the organization’s brand identity

These objectives will later help determine the parameters of your card design.


For maximum effectiveness, explore both portrait and landscape orientations.

There is no one right answer. As you arrange the graphical elements of the card around the technology elements (which usually can’t be moved), ask yourself questions such as:

  • How will the card be best displayed and most used?
  • Where do the electronics on the card fall?
  • Will the card need a hole punch for a clip or lanyard?
  • Is there critical information printed on the card that, over time, might be rubbed off because of swipe abrasion? If so, consider adding a protective overlaminate.


When designing your ID card, keep in mind that it’s more than just a security device and functional tool — it’s also an extension of your organization’s image and brand. An attractive and professional card will reinforce the right message about your organization and its employees. And because a well-designed card is more likely to be worn, it will go a long way toward ensuring the effectiveness of your entire card program.


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