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Create Traditional Style Certificates of Appreciation, Recognition, Achievement


1 of 2

Using PNG Templates
AI Traditional Certificate Frames

Build your own certificate using any of these frame colors and titles. Lower right is close-up of frame detail.

© Jacci Howard Bear; licensed to About.com
You may need: desktop publishing software | certificate templates | fonts | parchment paper
You need to know: how to uncompress zip files | parts of a certificate
You need to know these terms: png | text frame (box) | letter size | landscape | centered text | justified text

There is no right or wrong way to design a certificate. The certificates for this project use a fairly simple frame with a bit of a traditional look. Just choose the color of frame you like and type of certificate, open it in the desktop publishing, word processing, or graphics software of your choice, personalize it with a name and a description, then print it on plain or specialty paper.

If you use Adobe Illustrator or other vector drawing software, download the AI or EPS templates on page 2. Otherwise, you can use the PNG templates on this page.

Create a Certificate

  1. Download one or all of these files. Each ZIP file contains 3 PNG images, one of each certificate type (Appreciation, Recognition, and Achievement) in the specified color.


    Each PNG is an image of the certificate frame, the title of the certificate (arched) and the presentation line "is hereby awarded to" plus a signature line. The blank space in the middle is for your own descriptive text.


  2. After uncompressing the ZIP file, open one of the PNG images in the software of your choice. You could create the certificate in a graphics program such as Photoshop by simply editing the image (adding text layers) or insert/import/place the image in a page layout program such as Microsoft Publisher or Adobe InDesign.
    Microsoft Word Users: If you insert the template in a new document it will re-size automatically to fit your page size/orientation and margins. To use at full-size do this:
    • Before inserting the PNG graphic, set your document to letter size, landscape orientation, with .25 inch margins on all sides.


    • Insert the image you want to use then set Text Wrap to Behind Text


  3. Personalize the certificate with the name of the award recipient and some descriptive text and a date. Create text boxes over the top of the PNG image and type your information in the font of your choice. If your software supports layers, put your text on a separate layer from the PNG template to make editing easier. For some wording suggestions, see Certificate Wording.
    Certificates are one of those types of documents where centered text is appropriate. If you have a large block of text describing the reason for awarding the certificate, you might want to consider fully-justified text alignment.


  4. Save the completed certificate with a new name then print it.
    This template is designed for printing on 8.5 x 11 inch letter size paper in landscape mode. You can resize it but do a test print to make sure it still looks good. If you want to resize it a great deal, consider using the AI or EPS templates on page 2 instead. They are vector images and don't distort significantly when re-sized the way most bitmap images do.

Pages in This Tutorial

  1. This page Using PNG Templates
  2. Using Layered AI Template

What's Next

  1. Identify All the Parts of a Certificate
  2. Choose Your Wording
  3. Pick the Perfect Fonts
  4. Select a Template for a Traditional Certificate (this page)
  5. Choose Paper for Your Certificate
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