Modern Certificate Design Elements for Success

Whether you’re just starting your journey as a certificate maker or have already made your first steps in this field, this article is for you.

Modern Certificate Design Elements for Success cover image


Sergey Butko

Updated: February 26, 2024

15 min read

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Creating certificates to reward people like students or employees is a great way to recognize and confirm all their hard work. 

But it takes time, skills, and (as later you’ll find out) tools to create memorable and effective – simply speaking modern certificates today.

We share with you 9 essential elements modern certificates should include.

Read on to find out what they are.

What is a modern certificate?

Modern certificates are no different from regular certificates regarding their purpose. They are designed to confirm the successful completion of a specific course or study. However, they differ in one fundamental aspect – the creative design.

They are smart, well-thought-out, and usually digital (with the help of online certificate makers like Certifier). The modern certificate has all the necessary elements, with a twist of creativity for the best possible experience for certificate recipients.

Why should you pay attention to certificate designs?

Modern and eye-catching certificates are often used as a reward for completing a task or achieving something, and they can also be used to show that someone has gained new skills. 

A vital part of them that certificate makers should take good care of is their contemporary design.

Why is it important?

Certificate modern designs are crucial today because they can: 

Improve your brand reputation and authority

An effectively created certificate design can go a long way in making your brand look more professional in your field. 

On the other hand, a poorly prepared certificate will do the opposite. Many spelling and formatting mistakes will leave you with nothing other than:

  • a bad impression

  • a negative perception of you

  • damaged authority

For this reason, it’s vital that you pay close attention to what your award certificate designs look like, as well as what they include.

Ensure excellent readability

Moving on, caring about the looks of your simple certificates have another added benefit: excellent readability. 

And why is it a benefit?

If you make your beautiful certificates clear and easy to read, your certificate recipients will love you for it. So will your brand image.

Who knows which one of the recipients will take a picture of the cool certificate design and post it on their Facebook or Instagram, giving your brand or institution a (maybe even not so little) awareness boost?

The more visual your certificates are – the better. That’s because people process visual data 60.000 times faster than text.

So keep this in mind and use it as an advantage.

Show care and interest for your certificate holders

Lastly, amazing certificate designs that look good will simply make your certificate holders satisfied with their achievements even more. 

Essentially, certificates are a way of recognizing excellence. They define the organization's standards and set the tone for expectations.

Because of that, it’s important that your certificates are visually appealing. They work as little cherries on top of a cake – being the achievement on its own. 

And no one likes old, moldy cherries, right?

To make sure your cherries are always fresh and juicy – take good care of the simple design (Certifier can help!).

9 Modern parts of a certificate design to cover

A brush with the palette of colors.

Now that you know why a well-thought-out certificate design is important, it’s time for us to spill the main tea you’re waiting for. Below you will find our recipe for the perfect modern certificates you need to create in 2024. Find out what your favorite certificate design template should contain.

#1 Title

Typically positioned on the top of the certificate design template, the title refers to the type of document you are issuing.

When it comes to titles, it’s up to you how formal or creative you want to get.

It may be as simple as the “Award” or “Certificate of Achievement''. 

You can also use longer titles incorporating your organization's name, together with something catchy. A good example is the “Award to Master Cook – Certificate of Participation.”

Example: “Participation Certificate”

Orange modern certificate template with sharp design elements.

[Download free creative certificate template]

#2 Presentation line

This part of a minimalist certificate design usually follows the title and may say things like:

  • is awarded to

  • is given to

  • is hereby presented to

or some other variation, followed by the full name of a recipient.

As an alternative, it could read as follows: The certificate is presented by [FROM] to [RECIPIENT] on [DATE].

Example: “This certificate is presented by the Certifier Company to Max Maxwell on the 19th of August 2024.”.

#3 Recipient & Issuer

Moving on, let’s focus on certificate issuers and recipients. 

If you haven’t included information about these 2 in the presentation line, now’s the perfect chance to do it. 

Recipients are the people who receive certificates, like employees and students. A recipient or recipients can be one person, several persons, or even a group of people.

On the other hand, issuers are companies, organizations, institutions, high-positioned people and other authorities. They create and hand out certificates to the people who earn them.

These 2 are essential elements that you need to include, so don’t forget about them.

Example: “For: Max Maxwell

                 From: the Certifier Company”

#4 Description

Next comes the certificate description. 

What’s the certificate for? What skills were needed to achieve it? What’s the course or event called?

The statement could be as simple as “a high score in a tennis tournament” or as long as a paragraph outlining specific achievements and skills.

The best modern certificates are always personalized to reflect exactly why the recipient is receiving the recognition.

Example: “For showing excellent soft and hard skills in project management, leading to a successful close of a deal that will benefit the whole company. The importance of project management has truly been understood and acted upon."

#5 Date

This one may seem obvious, but don’t forget to include a date on the certificate!

Depending on the type of certificate you want to give to people, as well as the amount of space you’ve got, here are some ways you can write the date:

A table with American vs. British dates formats.

#6 Signature

Finally, it’s vital that you sign the elegant certificate with the right signature. A signature can include things like:

  • issuer’s first and last name written on a computer

  • issuer’s department/organization name

  • hand-written signature

#7 Border

After preparing all the text information you wish to include in your customizable certificates, it’s time for some graphic elements. 

What visual elements do we have in mind here?

Although not all certificates have frames or borders, they are a common addition. Borders or frames can have any shape or pattern that you decide to give them – the choice belongs completely to you.

You can either design them on your own or use some professional templates that online certificate makers have to offer.

#8 Seal 

Some certificates might have a seal affixed, for example a stick-on gold starburst seal. In other cases, it might just be an image of a seal printed directly on the certificate.

Depending on your certificate type, such a seal can make the certificate look very professional and valuable. Thus, do consider it as an addition!

Blue modern certificate template with QR code.

Last but not least - time to wrap the whole design up with your logo. Use a picture cleanup tool if the quality of the logo is not ideal.

It’s up to you where you want to place it. You may decide to apply it as a watermark all over the certificate or in one of the corners. 

Alternatively, the middle section in the lower part can also be a good spot.

As long as everything creates a nice-looking and cohesive design – you know you’ve done a great job with all the elements.

Checklist - Does your certificate have all modern elements?

Keep our modern certificate checklist for later when you want to create an outstanding certificate. You can add it to this creative processes template where you can manage your certificate creation process from A to Z.

Tip: Print it out and keep it around your desk to make sure your certificates don’t lack any of these elements!

Modern certificate elements to cover:

  • Title

  • Presentation line

  • Recipient

  • Issuer

  • Description

  • Date

  • Signature

  • Border

  • Seal

  • Lines

  • Logo

Once you tick every box off, you can proudly say: “I have created a truly modern and unique certificate.” Well done you!

How to create modern certificates in 2024?

Knowing what your certificates should include isn’t enough. You also need a place, or we should say a tool, to create them.

We’re not going to lie, there's a ton of online certificate makers and other tools out there that you may want to choose, such as:

  • Word

  • Paint

  • Google Docs

  • Figma

But we’re certain that none of them offers what Certifier does – all at once. 

If you’re looking to create certificates that: 

Certifier – the ultimate tool for creating digital credentials – is your choice.

Here’s what it offers:

  • more than 500 perfect certificate templates

  • forever free plan

  • customizable text, objects, and fonts

  • personalized branding, style and color features

  • easily alterable certificate size

  • customizable and dynamic attributes

And that’s just a drop in the sea of great features at highly affordable rates.

With more than 1200 new users signing up for Certifier in just one month - this is your sign to check this tool out. Did we mention you get a free trial AND a free plan too?

If top companies worldwide are using it, why wouldn’t you?

Companies that use Certifier to create modern certificates.

How do I know that Certifier is for me?

Well, you won’t know unless you try. These people took the risk, and here’s what they have to say about our tool:

Certifier reviews about creating modern certificates.


We can’t wait to take you on the best certifier designing journey you’ve ever been on – try our tool out today.

Start creating the best modern certificates now

And that’s a wrap from our side!

We hope you enjoyed this article on the decorative elements your certificates should have in 2024.

If you’re looking only to start your certificate-making journey now, you now know the perfect recipe to kick off with fireworks. Additionally, be sure to make a wise choice and use the help of a reliable certificate maker for an even better experience. Here, again, we recommend Certifier.

Other than that, many thanks for stopping by, and be sure to come back for more, similar releases!

Creating modern certificates in 2024 - FAQ

And now, a special bonus for those extra curious ones of you. Read our Frequently Asked Questions and their answers around modern certificates, design, and certificate making:

What are the key features of modern certificate design?

Creative certificate designs often feature sleek layouts, bright colors, and creative elements. They leverage customization options available through intuitive editor and graphic editor tools like Certifier, offering a range of templates for various purposes, including professional certificates, certificate of achievement template, and stylish certificate options.

What customization options are available for modern certificate design?

Customization options for modest course certificate templates include the ability to modify color palettes, contemporary fonts, and the inclusion of abstract or geometric shapes. Online editors offer tools to personalize templates, ensuring each certificate, whether it's for sports competitions or corporate events, is unique.

Can I design modern certificates for professional settings online?

Yes, you can design cool certificate templates for any occasion you want. Platforms like Certifier offer formal templates, formal recognition certificate templates, formal training certificates, and options for various professional events (even governmental events), corporate certificates for corporate event participants, and educational events.

What templates are available for specific events or achievements in the Certifier library?

There's an array of certificate templates available for specific contemporary events or achievements, including modern achievement certificate templates, modern webinar certificate templates, and certificates tailored for sports competitions. These templates cater to both formal and informal events, from corporate to charity events. Certifier also offers printable certificate templates that you can download to PDF.

Are there eco-friendly options for modern certificate design?

Yes, many online platforms now offer eco-friendly and professional customization options, allowing for the creation of certificates that are not only visually appealing but also environmentally conscious. This includes options for digital certificates, reducing the need for physical materials.

And if you have any questions about Certifier, be sure to check our Certifier FAQ here.

Sergey Butko avatar

Sergey Butko

Tech entrepreneur. Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe. At Certifier, Sergey’s work focused on revolutionizing the way credentials, certificates, and badges are issued and managed through cutting-edge APIs and software infrastructure.

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