Designing for Badges
Download our template
The best way to design for plastic badges is to download the templates from the Grandstand website on the product page for each badge size. If you cannot find them here, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to get the most recent version. Since these templates are the ones we use in production, designing within them will give you the most creative control. Once complete, you can simply resave the pdf and send it to either of the emails listed above. Let's run through the elements that make up our badge templates.
To preserve as much clarity as possible, we recommend submitting vector documents(PDF, AI, or EPS) or 300dpi rastered bitmap images(JPEG, PNG, or TIF). Our templates are built in PDF format, this allows you to simply drop them into Adobe Illustrator and have immediate access to the production structure of the template, organized in separate layers. These templates are also editable in other software, but Illustrator is recommended as the ideal print design software.
The Guide Layers
The guide layer contains sublayers that allow you to see the blueprint of the badges. This layer and its sublayers will be removed in pre-production. Hide or remove them before saving and submitting bitmap images(JPEG, PNG, TIF), simply leave them alone if resaving and submitting as a PDF or AI file.
Designing a bleed zone ensures the design runs to the edge of the badge after the cutting stage. The solid red and outermost line, outside of the artboard, is the bleed. The bleed range extends the design of the badge so that the cut will be made inside of the space you control. We use the standard .125 inch on all sides, this adds .25 inch to both the width and height of your badges. If you purchase 3x4 inch badges, designing with a bleed space results in a design sized 3.25x4.25 inch, be mindful of this when submitting your own design.
The Cut Mark
The dotted red line found in the guides layer is the approximate cut mark. This line has rounded corners, all badges have rounded corners unless requested without corner rounding.
The solid blue line you will see on the template is the safety zone. This line will not print, it's there to make sure important images and information don't get cut out in the cutting process. Due to slight variability in the cutting process, any part of the design outside this line might not end up in the finished product. When designing, keep all important information and images within this blue rectangle.
Hole or Slot Punch
The hole punch, slot punch, double hole punch, and double slot punch options are options found on the website when selecting items for your order. These layers in the template are also there only for reference purposes, and will not be in the final production design. They are there so you can place important design elements accordingly and prevent them from being punched through. Hide or delete these layers before saving a raster bitmap image, like JPEG and PNG. These will automatically be omitted when designed and submitted in the production PDF template made by Grandstand.
The Variable Printing Layer
The variable printing layer acts as a placeholder for the variable printing information that will be automatically generated in production. The information will be automatically pulled from a spreadsheet, otherwise known as your variable printing manifest. Due to variability, ie character length and size, the end product is often different than the proofed version. To prevent words from being cut off, base your designs on the input object(ie name) with the most characters.
The Design and Background Layers
This is where all the design elements for your badge should be placed. This is the stage for your information, images, and creativity. Both Design and Background layers are functionally the same, a few of our templates omit the background layer, both are underneath the guide and variable printing layers. Everything in these layers will be imposed onto the final print file.
For any further design questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.