February 27, 2022

This is the Ideal Certificate Size (+Examples and Templates)

Business people often use various ways to recognize and congratulate people on their achievements.

A great way to do so is by creating memorable, unique, and often digital certificates, which is what we’re focused on today.

Speaking of the creation process, one of the most important decisions you'll have to make is the perfect certificate size. This decision will impact everything from the overall design to the amount of text you can include on the certificate and more.

In this blog post, we'll discuss the ideal certificate size and provide some examples of templates to help get you started.

What factors should you consider when choosing your perfect certificate size?

Designing, building, issuing, and sending online certificates may sound scary if you’ve never done it before. Indeed, there are some aspects you’ll need to keep in mind in order to make sure everything works out well.

1. The type of certificate you want to create

Graduation ceremonies, city events, competitions, and more all require a different approach in terms of what default certificate key size will fit best.

This is where templates come in handy – you have the chance to try different variations out and, as a result, come up with the best solution for you on all levels. Certifier has many to choose from.

2. The amount of information you need to include

Another factor that will require work from you is figuring out the amount of information you want your certificates to include. It’s all about figuring out the perfect settings.

Is there a lot of text? Do you want to include any graphics or photographs? All of this is important in determining your perfect certificate size, so make sure you know these details well in advance.

3. Vertical vs. horizontal orientation

Once you know what you want to include in your beautiful certificate, you have to decide whether you want to have it horizontally or vertically.

The first one may work well in digital, the other in print. The choice is yours.

4. Paper size

This is especially important if you want to create certificates that are ready to be printed. There are two classic certificate paper sizes, depending on the side of the globe – European A4 and American Letter. If you want your certificates to look right, you need to keep that in mind when creating them.

5. Whether or not the certificate will be framed

The certificates you create may get printed and framed by your employees or students as a tangible memory of achievement or for some other reason. If your certificate is too small, it could potentially affect printed copies. And the same goes for certificates that are too large.

Learn more about how to design the perfect certificate ➡️ How to design a certificate? Step-by-step guide

What are the different available certificate sizes, and what are their benefits?

There are three popular sizes to choose from: 8.5x11, 11x14, and 16x20 inches.

8.5x11 certificate

8.5x11 inch (220x280 mm) certificates are the most common. They’re quite small but still provide some space for graphics and short texts. These certificates will be the perfect fit for occasions and events such as:

  • awards (e.g., graduation)

  • personal messages

  • brief updates

They're also a good choice for documents that will be faxed or scanned and sent electronically. One possible example of this is when delivering a physical certificate personally is not possible.

While it’s a common size used to create this type of document, you might have to use a slightly bigger one if you want to include more text and visual certificate content. If that’s ever the case, then you might want to consider creating a...

11x14 certificate

11x14 inch certificates are bigger in size and therefore simply allow you to put more content on them, no matter if it's text or graphics. If you want to know when it’s best to use this type of certificate, here are a few suggestions:

  • announcements (especially those with a lot of details)

  • invitations (to ceremonies, events, galleries, and more)

  • more detailed messages (from a boss, manager, city counselor, or other people)

16x20 certificate

This is the largest of all the certificate types, and it gives you the most possibilities. Long descriptions, images, various graphics - all of these will fit onto a 16x20 inch (US Legal) or 420x594 mm (A2) certificate without any problems.

The possibilities for using this certificate size are endless: from important announcements through formal presentations all the way up to occasions that involve large groups of people or classes.

In fact, it’s up to you to decide what to use it for. One thing is for certain, though - you won’t need to worry about having too little space since everything will fit perfectly.

Check out how the size looks:paper-size-us-ideal-cetificate-size-certifier-blog.png

What should you pay attention to when choosing your certificate size?

The size that you choose will heavily depend on factors like:

  • the purpose of the certificate

  • the amount of information you want to include

  • the number of recipients

  • your desired certificate design (e.g., would you like to add a certificate background image?)

  • possible limitations (e.g., will you be sending the certificate by mail?)

  • and others

All these play a significant role in deciding on your perfect certificate size, so do keep them in mind.

Benefits of different certificate sizes 

The ability to print high-quality photos and images on a larger scale

Larger sizes will allow your certificates to be of very high quality. When printed, your images won’t become blurred, and all the included text will be easily readable.

The ability to capture more detail and clarity with each photo or image

Keep in mind that there won’t be a need to print every single certificate you issue!

In that case, it’s worth ensuring that your certificates look great online - on computer screens, mobiles, and other devices. If you correctly adjust the right certificate size to your needs, you’ll quickly notice that your certificates are detailed and clear, without a single photo or letter being difficult to see.

Increased space for text or important information on the certificate

Sometimes you’ll need to include many details on your certificate. Dates, descriptions, images, names, signatures, and more. All of this can take quite a bit of space.

There’s nothing to worry about, though. Various certificate sizes will allow you to adjust your needs and make sure your content looks great. For certificates with large chunks of information, we recommend using a size of 16x20 inches.

All of these benefits allow for a better, more professional-looking certificate that can be used for a variety of purposes.

How does the size of a certificate affect its usability?

The size of a certificate can affect its usability in a few ways.

First of all, if the certificate file size is too large, then it will most likely take longer for the recipient to open and view it. That’s simply what usually happens with larger files.

It will also take up more memory and space on users’ devices, which, while perhaps not being a huge issue, could still stop people from downloading it. This could quickly turn an active certificate into an expired one.

Moving on, if you have to issue, let’s say, 10,000 certificates and you don’t necessarily have the newest computer or laptop to use, the whole process could be very laborious. You could even end up with your device freezing from the amount of data being generated.

Finally, if the certificate details are quite lengthy, then it may be difficult to print or store. This could cause issues not only for the issuer but also for the receiver of a certificate.

Which size is ideal for your needs?

After reading the above, you’re now probably wondering, “which size should I choose then?”

Well, there isn’t one answer to this question. The ideal, perfect certificate size will be completely dependent on your individual needs, as well as whether or not you want to be considered as an advanced organization. Because of this, you’ll quickly notice that what works for one person won’t necessarily work for you and vice versa.

The best way to figure out what size you should pick is by playing around and testing different certificate templates. Such templates allow you to not only look for inspiration but also adjust your needs to the solutions available out there.

The more you try out the various options, the easier it’ll be for you to pick the right one for that special event or celebration.

How do you choose the right certificate tool?

Choosing the right certificate size can be a difficult and confusing task because there are so many different sizes and custom styles available these days. But it doesn’t have to be, as long as you choose a reliable solution to help you with it.

The answer here is Certifier, an online certificate creator with lots of interesting features. It’s a solution that allows you to have a smooth certificate creation experience, all while using simple yet very functional tools.

From rich certificate templates through various customization options all the way up to email and management tools, Certifier is perfect for anyone who’s ready to start enjoying creating certificates quickly and effortlessly.

Become a pro at creating certificates

Just because a lot goes into creating certificates, that doesn’t mean you have to struggle with it. Certifier is here to ensure that.

Making a custom certificate can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, so make sure you do enough preparation to take advantage of it fully. And sign up to start creating them today.

If you’d like to learn more about certificates, do make sure to check the rest of our articles.


Sergey Butko

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