August 11, 2022

Creating A Modern Certificate: Design Elements for Success

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?

A certificate is a document that confirms the successful completion of a specific course or study. They are issued by an institution, such as a school or company, to people who have completed the requirements and have passed all the necessary tests.

Certificates are usually issued in paper format, but they can also be issued electronically with the help of online certificate makers like Certifier.

But what are modern certificates?

Modern certificates are no different from regular certificates when it comes to their purpose. However, they differ in one fundamental aspect - the design.

A modern certificate is smart, well-thought-out, and intuitive. It 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?

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 design.

Why is it important?

Certificate designs are crucial today because they can: 

Improve your brand/organization 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 certificates look like, as well as what they include.

Ensure excellent readability

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

And why is it a benefit?

If you make your 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 certificate 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, certificates 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 certificate design (Certifier can help!)

9 Modern certificate design elements for success:

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 be creating in 2022.

We’ve divided it into 2 categories: text and graphic elements. 

Find out what they are now:

#1 Title

Typically positioned on the top of the certificate, 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.”

Tip: Check our “5 Easiest Ways to Create a Certificate of Participation” article here.

Example: “Certificate of Achievement.”

#2 Presentation line

This part of a certificate 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 2022.”.

#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:

Tip: See our ➡️ This is the Ideal Certificate Size (+Examples and Templates) article.

#6 Signature

Finally, it’s vital that you sign the 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.

Essential graphic elements

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

Anything visual on your certificates can go a long way in making the final certificate look:

  • professional, 

  • well-put together and 

  • memorable.

What visual elements do we have in mind here?

#7 Border

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 predefined 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!

#9 Logo

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 it all?

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!

Does your certificate have a…

  • 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 2022?

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:

📚 See our “How To Make a Certificate in Word (And Why It’s a Bad Idea)” article

  • Paint

  • Google Docs

But we’re certain that none of them offers what Certifier does - all in 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 300 certificate templates,

  • 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?

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:


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 essential elements your certificates should have in 2022. 

If you’re looking to only 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 2022 - 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 is a modern certificate?

Modern certificates are no different from regular certificates when it comes to their purpose. However, they differ in one fundamental aspect - the design. A modern certificate is smart, well thought-out, and intuitive. It has all the necessary elements, with a twist of creativity for the best possible experience for certificate recipients.

Why should I pay attention to certificate designs?

The way your certificates look is important for many reasons. One, a good design can improve your brand’s or organization’s reputation and authority. Two, the well design will give you perfect readability. That can even result in a nice awareness boost. Lastly, your credibility rises in certificate recipients’ eyes when you give out certificates that are good-looking.

What elements should my modern certificate include?

Your certificates should include the following elements: title, presentation line, the recipient and issuer details, description, date, signature, border, seal, and a logo. While some of these elements can be ignored,

How can I create modern certificates in 2022?

To start creating modern certificates in 2022, we highly recommend that you reach out for the helping hand of certificate makers. While there are many to choose from, our suggestion is that you check Certifier out - one of the most reliable and solid certificate makers out there.

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


Sergey Butko

Tech entrepreneur. Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe. Digital Marketer.