Look at any police officer, firefighter, or EMT, and you’ll see they all have one thing in common: they proudly wear badges. Not only do these show the person’s information, but also the department they come from.
While badges are used for official purposes, you can get custom ones for award ceremonies too. Custom badges are a nice touch that allows service people to show off their achievements and commitment to the force. So you can’t go wrong with designing your own!
For some help, read on for seven tips for designing customized badges that are beautiful to display.
1. Think About the Purpose
Before you start brainstorming designs, you need to determine the purpose of the custom badges first. You can come up with something beautiful, but if it misses the mark, then it’s a wasted effort.
So sit down and think of the basics first. For example:
- What organization is it for?
- Who are the awards for?
- What are you recognizing them for?
- What is the event, and who’s holding it?
Knowing the answers to these questions can help shape your badge design in the right direction.
2. Consider the Badge Size
Usually, there are standard sizes for department badges. However, you’re allowed to take some liberties with custom badges used for awards, so feel free to take them!
You’ll probably want a badge that’s large enough to be visible from a distance. But you don’t want something so large that it’s clunky and heavy.
The badge creator will have some badge heights and widths to pick out. So it might be worth exploring these choices to see what dimensions look good for your design.
3. Pair the Shape and Curvature
When you think of badges, you probably think of the standard shapes; the most popular shape is the eagle top. But there are so many possibilities when you make custom badges! Other available options include oval, star, sunburst, or Maltese.
Make sure the shape looks good with a curvature. This can accentuate certain features on the badge itself as well.
Otherwise, you’ll want to opt for a flat badge. This can be better for showing off all the details clearly too.
4. Select Appropriate Graphics
Remember how you were supposed to determine what the purpose of the badge is? This is where it’ll come in handy, as it’ll help you select graphics that’ll make an impression.
For instance, if you’re giving out awards on behalf of an organization, then it’s smart to use their logo. Or if you’re recognizing some firemen for rescuing a cat out of a tree, then an image of a cat is appropriate here.
Make sure you don’t go overboard though. Keeping things simple is key to keeping your badge focused; it’ll allow your key message or purpose to stand out.
When uploading these graphics to the badge maker’s website, only use high-quality images. If you don’t, they can come out blurry and pixelated on the final product, which doesn’t look very professional.
5. Choose a Flattering Color Scheme
Now that you know what graphics you’re going to put on your customized badge, the next thing to determine is its color scheme. Don’t just pick colors you like, especially if organizations are involved. You’ll need to ensure that the color scheme matches their branding or the theme of the event.
If you don’t have an artistic eye and have no clue which colors go together, then try a color wheel. There are many online ones that will help you pair shades together so they’re pleasing to the eye.
You should also select hues that stand out and catch people’s attention. That way, your custom badge will be a sensation!
Now that the elements are coming together, you can decide what text you want to put on your badge. Again, you’ll want to keep it simple so things don’t become too busy and chaotic.
Not only should you pick succinct text, but you’ll want to choose the optimal font and colors too. These can be varied throughout the badge to draw the eye to certain text, such as the person’s name or what they’re awarded for.
At this point, you should tweak your graphics if needed. Find a perfect balance between text and images.
7. Metal and Plating
The type of metal you can use for your badges will depend on if you want color on them. If so, then you won’t be able to order die stuck badges, as those are pretty basic.
Otherwise, you can choose between soft and hard enamel. The main difference is that soft enamel is textured, while hard enamel is smooth. They both have their own pros and cons, so think about the effect you wish to achieve, as well as the elements you have planned.
If you’re still not sure about things, then you can view custom badges other people have already made. Of course, never steal their ideas; use them as inspiration.
Design the Perfect Custom Badges
If you want to recognize some police officers, firefighters, EMTs, or other law enforcement professionals, then custom badges are the way to do it. These will look just like professional badges, but with an extra personal touch.
By using our above tips, you’ll be able to design badges that everyone will love. They’ll be talking about how well they were done and will be more than happy to wear or display them in their homes.
Did you find this article on badge ideas helpful? Then browse our other blog posts for more law enforcement awards ideas.