digital badges education

Design a Badge with Virtualbadge.io (3 steps to create digital badges)

Giovanna Pergher
Inês Oliveira

Marketing Manager

Jul 14, 2021
8 min

We created this guide to help you navigate through our new updated badge creator, and successfully implement a badge campaign. You’ll find tips, advice, and much more.

What you can expect from this guide:

  1. How to issue digital certificates and digital badges online.
  1. What is new on Virtualbadge.io badge software.
  1. Best practices to design a badge.
  1. Design a badge with Virtualbadge.io software (the 3 steps).

Issuing digital certificates and digital badges online

With the upcoming demand for digital courses and events that have been felt since last year, the demand for digital certificates rose with it as well. After examining Google’s 73 billion results (or at least the relevant ones), we found that most badges currently take the following format:

These follow the Open Badges format, a standard that ensures the authority of the organization issuing badges, making them open and free to anyone who wants to create and issue digital open badges.

Despite the practicality of this standard, and the inclusiveness of different industries, the Open Badges format brings some issues to the digital modern area:

  1. Same format across different companies and industries (as we see in the image above).
  1. Lack of design differentiation.
  1. Short space to share more information on the accomplishments.
  1. No personalization for the one who earns the badge.

When we consider the endless number of competitors out there, it’s only right to be looking for a differentiation strategy that positions us ahead of them. And these factors can heavily impact the effectiveness, and even diminish the potential behind digital badges.  

To defeat these difficulties, Virtualbadge.io offers a different solution that answers all the points mentioned above.

Here’s what an example badge from Virtualbagde.io looks like:

digital badge from Virtualbadge.io example

Comparing to the previous issues we stated, we can clearly note down the differences now:

  1. The badge is personalized with the participant’s name and photo (and even with the option for added text input “My added value”).
  1. Format and design adapted to the issuer preferences.
  1. More information about the participant’s accomplishments can be added to the badge.
  1. A format that’s social media native, meant to be shared with the participant’s network.

We also created a solution to provide our users the option to verify and validate their certificates 24/7: our Unique Certificates Pages.

unique certificate pages Virtualbadge.io

The Certificate Validation allows participants (and everyone else) to verify their own certificates from anywhere, anytime.

After receiving the certificate, the participant can add it to their LinkedIn profile and verify it.

The Certificate will be customized according to the organization’s needs, with the option to add their own LinkedIn ID, link to their website, and a short description of the certification (which skills were developed, level of training, etc.).

This feature allows the certificate to be authenticated by anyone that finds the certificate, conferring its credibility, while driving traffic to the issuer’s website at the same time.

This means that if a potential customer sees the shared badge on LinkedIn, they will be taken to the issuer’s website, increasing the company’s exposure.

To get started on issuing certificates with Virtualbadge.io, you can click here and start your trial period.

Now, let’s look at the case of Virtualbadge.io software.

What is new on Virtualbadge.io?

Over the past few months, we have been adding new features to our certification software, aiming to create the perfect experience for you.  

We want to introduce you to our badge design template gallery!

With this new update, the user has a set of templates to choose from, minimizing the hassle of having to come up with a design from scratch or having to search for a background first.

Previous functionalities, such as uploading text and images, are still available.

We have a special section to address this option ahead, where we’ll give you tips on how to do it and the best practices too.

Here is the new look of the badge creator, specifically, the “General Layout” section.

badge creator software

This new interface includes the option of choosing a template from our template gallery:

digital badges template gallery

Opening the gallery, there are different thumbnails to show you how the templates will look like when implemented.

Note that, when you add the template, only the background will be added to the main design.

This feature ensures that you are still left with the total freedom to decide the remaining design and which custom fields to add to the badge.  

Let’s select a template and see how it looks like:

badge creator template design

The background of the chosen template was added from our gallery, and we can now set up the rest of the fields (shapes, images, and text).

Essentially, this background works as a guideline to help you create the badge, still leaving endless options to construct the remaining design according to your needs.

To help you navigate through badge design and how to create it, we have set up a list of best practices that you can find in the next chapter.

Badge Design Best Practices  

Now that we know the steps to create your badge, let’s discuss what are some of the best practices to create a successful badge design using Virtualbadge.io software.

We divided this section into 2 options:

  1. Creating a template from scratch.
  1. Starting with one of our pre-made templates.

Creating a template from zero

If you’re building your own template, we recommend using Canva, a designing software that lets you choose different elements, templates, and add as many text and image as you’d like.  

When choosing from the endless Canva templates, remind yourself of your organization’s current design outlines (speak to your designers to get an accurate depiction if possible) and what the purpose of your certificate is.

If you are not familiar with graphic design, we recommend sticking to one of the pre-made templates Canva has. This will make your life easier, and more importantly, save you the time of having to come up with a full certificate design from scratch.  

You’ll find plenty of options included in the free plan. Navigate through different categories until you find one that resonates with your brand. You can delete the elements that you don’t like and just keep the background as a starting point.

Depending on the size of your design, Canva will give you different template options. However, if you like a specific design (the colors, style, and elements), you can base your design on that one.  

Let’s see an example:

This is a presentation template, but the design colors, shapes, and fonts can be used to construct a certificate template. Simply create a separate custom design on Canva with the size we recommend (1431 x 1908px) from scratch and then copy all the elements you liked from the template.  

After the overall design is chosen, it’s time to organize the other elements. When building the remaining design, organize your certificate in a way that leaves space to add your participants’ photo and name, your logo, and some other text you might want.

Here’s our set of pre-made templates to get some inspiration from (you’ll also have access to them from the template gallery in our badge creator):

Above we see 2 different optimal designs: one with the photo and personal information centered, and the other with the photo placed on the left side with the personal information on the right.

To ensure easiness of use, we recommend using either one of these designs.

After the design is done, make sure to resize it to an aspect ratio of 3:4 (size of 1431 x 1908px) if you haven’t already. This will help keep your design in place, fitting our badge creator canvas perfectly.  

As the resizing feature is a part of Canva’s pro plan, you can use Adobe’s free service to do so.  

Choosing a pre-made template from the badge creator software

If you are choosing from our template gallery, the process is even simpler. You can create the full design using our software, by adding the remaining elements you want in there.

In this case, we recommend following the same logic we mentioned in the topic above:

  1. Consider the brand’s tone of voice and overall design outlines.
  1. Choose a template that makes sense for your certificate’s purpose.
  1. Opt for a font that resonates with your company.
  1. Follow one of the two organization settings we suggest (align photo to the left and follow with the rest, or center everything).
  1. Choose colors that match your brand and the template you chose.

Design a Badge with Virtualbadge.io (the 3 steps to make your badge)

To create a badge, we have set up a process of 3 simple steps in our badge software.

badge design 3 steps to do it

General Layout

This is the first step where you can choose the background of your badge and add other elements. This is the backbone of your design, so we recommend spending some time here before moving forward.

Following our advice from the previous section, you now know that you can opt for one of our templates or upload an image and make it your background.

If you need our help, you can also book a demo with us.

After setting up the background, you are ready to add all images/text that will be equal for all your issued badges. You can play around with some shapes as well, which will help complement your design.

In the template gallery, you’ll find our suggestions on how to display the additional elements in your badge.

User Information

Now it’s time to add your participant’s photo and username and decide where to place them on the badge.

Your participants will have the opportunity to personalize their badge by adding their photo and name, when connecting to a social network (or uploading the photo themselves). However, you still get to decide where to place these elements inside the badge.

Simply click on “Profile Picture”, as seen below, and a photo will pop up to give you an idea how your participants’ photo will look like when they add it. This photo won’t be the one used for the badges; it’s just placed here to help you visualize the final design.

If you want to add shadow to the photo circle, there’s also an option to play with the shadow color and the amount of blur you prefer.

badge creator software - adding participants' information

The next step is to click on “User Name” and decide where the name of your participants will be. You can see in the image above that we opted to have the main information centered, and the name right below the photo. In other templates, you’ll also have the option of adding the name on the side of the photo.

For both elements (photo and name), we have the “Alignment” button to help you centralize the elements in the exact middle of the badge.

Custom Inputs

The last step on our badge creator software is also the best one: we’re taking your participants’ experience to the next level.  

You can give your participants the option to add their own text or choose from a dropdown menu. Below you can see the example of our demo badge.  

We added some options that will show up in a dropdown menu when the user goes to the landing page. From there, they can select the preferred option and share the badge like that.

This is a way to make your participants’ experience fun and highly personalized.

badge creator software - adding custom inputs

The next steps

Now that you know how to operate our badge creator software, you can learn more about the sharing options and how it works for you and your participants. We created an article that shows you how this experience will play out, and what you can expect from it.

If you want to give our software a try, click here to sign up for free today! No credit card required.

Let us know how you like it! Happy badging!

* You can find the organisation ID in the URL when you access your LinkedIn Company page as an admin.

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