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ID card design

ID card design


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ID card design

inCard: ID card software

ID cards are becoming a very valuable asset for any business in our days.

They are used to recognize employees of the company, personnel in the medical centers, bank clients, sport and fitness center visitors, university and school students, participators of the exhibitions, conferences, or sport events, and other categories of people. They are used to define the access zones for above card holders, privileges granted and other appropriate information. Company ID cards are also useful to ensure that any employee privileges, such as discounted goods, are not unjustly used by persons not entitled to such advantage.

ID cards are particularly useful when the company employs temporary workers. They can also enable you to improve your customer service by allowing your customers to know with which member of staff they are dealing. In short, for most organizations in our days using ID cards is absolutely indispensable.

A typical ID cards design is very simple – easy to produce and visually functional.

If you are in charge of providing photo ID cards for your company, there are many solutions that allow you to print “home made” ID cards. For example, inCard software provides an ability to create very simple ID card designs using the design tools available. You can just add:

the company name selecting font type, color and size for it,
lines if necessary to separate the card areas visually,
graphics (rectangles),
corporate logo,
and all cardholder’s data fields (name, position, photo, etc.)

Such a simple ID card design has both advantages and disadvantages. The benefit is that one does not need to spend a lot of time to create it and does not have to possess special skills (the design creation process is straightforward). Still the disadvantages of simple card design are more essential. The cards with too simple design looks less professional and may work against the reputation of your company, moreover they are easier to forge. ID card represents your company image, and it is worth to spend some time on its design.

ID card design
ID card design

Simple ID card design ID card layout with pre-created background

That is why we recommend using more complicated and elaborate card designs. Just ask your in-house designer to create nice 3.37 x 2.13 inches (most popular CR-80 card format) card template including company logo, name, and all other required elements or place the order with a design studio to create it for you. Then use this template as background for your ID card and place on it all necessary data fields and photo related to the card holder. Our recommendation: try to avoid too dark background and saturated colors. On the one hand, the card holder photos will be less visible and recognizable on such background. On the other hand, your card printer may have problems printing ID cards with too saturated background. Also, card printing defects will be better visible on it.

So, let’s assume that you have created ID card design either using design tools of your ID card software or using the pre-designed card layout as ID card background. Now it is necessary to place the card holder data and photo on it.


When you create an ID card incorporating the card holder photo, one of the most important factors is ensuring that the portrait is large enough to be identified clearly in the circumstances in which the card is to be used.

For "hand held" identification applications like a drivers license, portraits of around one inch square are likely to be adequate. However if viewing at a distance, or in poor light is required, then portraits should be as large as practicable: 2 inches square will work reliably at viewing distances of up to fifteen feet, for example.

Also, it is preferable that the card holder portrait on the photograph is made on the light background for better visibility.


ID card design
ID card design


ID card design with white text backgrounds Ready to print ID card

Card Orientation.

Another design issue is whether to use a "portrait" or "landscape" card format.

"Portrait" orientation in most cases is better for photo ID badges (student badges, badges of the sales staff in the shops, badges of exhibition and other different events visitors).

"Landscape" orientation is preferred for cards which are carried in a purse or pocket (e.g. bank cards).

Data fields.

It is obvious that well readable card holder information on the ID card is very important. When you think over which information is necessary to have on your card and where exactly to place the data fields remember not to have too many textual data on your card. It is a small piece of paper (3.37 x 2.13 inches), do not try to fill it entirely with the text. Select only essential information.

Select sufficiently large font for your text. Place text fields at a proper distance from each other for better readability and visibility. Do not place text fields on a dark or color saturated background. If you have elaborated card layout, draw rectangle white backgrounds for the text fields for better text visibility on the card layout.

For crisp text and barcodes use black panel, or K panel, for clear black typing on the card. If you use mixed colors to print in black, the resulting “black text” will be a bit “blurry”.

If there is more data than can conveniently fit on one side of a CR-80 card, or which is not normally required for public display, then create double-sided card design and print on the reverse of the card. The most economic double-sided card would use full color and black resin on the front, with black resin only on the reverse.



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