Making a certificate is a great way to honor a person's hard work and accomplishments. A certificate is a document officially stating that someone has done something, like participated in a training or achieved excellence. They can provide proof that unlocks new opportunities like jobs or memberships.

Showing someone you value their work doesn't have to cost a lot. You don't need expensive software and or a design background. We'll be using Kapwing, a free online image editor and a fully customizable template.

This article walks you through how to use a certificate template and gives you ideas on customizing it. In the end, you can download a JPEG version of a professional, polished document. And, you can duplicate your project to easily make multiple versions.

Steps to making a certificate:

  1. Open the template and update the fields
  2. Customize your certificate
  3. Export your finished piece to download and share

Step 1: Open the template and update the fields

Open the certificate template. Here, you'll notice examples of certificates others have made to give you ideas. When you're ready, click Make it to enter the studio.

Certificate template landing page

Here are the fields you can easily change in the template:

• Type of certificate

• Recipient's name

• Details about their work

• The date

• Name, title / Issuer

• Issuer's signature

Highlighted areas represent text you can change

To edit the text, double click on the word you want to change, and start typing. Some layers are locked, and you can't click on them. See below for more details.

Start by updating the type of certificate; it could be for excellence, participation, authenticity. Next, add the recipient's name. Then, in the following field, give a short and clear description of what they accomplished. Include relevant details like time period, number of hours, location, participating organizations, completed activities, area of expertise, tools mastered, or contributions. Imagine if the recipient showed this as proof of their abilities to someone; what details would they need to convey?

Underneath the signature line, you can change how you'd like to identify the signee. For instance, you may want an individual's name and title or the name of the organization. You can upload a PNG image file for the signature if you have one. Otherwise, add a text box and type the name. Then choose a script-like font like Satisfy or Calligraffitti.

Step 2: Customize your certificate

Beyond the primary fields, you can change any of the standardized text, update colors to match your branding, and even add your logo. Click on the element you want to change and you'll notice a variety of formatting options on the right. You can change colors, fonts, sizes and weight of your text.

Style elements like the border and lines are locked for your convenience, so you don't accidentally click on them. To unlock and edit them:

  1. Click into the gray background area to deselect anything you were working on.
  2. Scroll down on the right-side panel to the list of layers.
  3. Find the layer you want and click the lock icon.

Click the lock icon in the layer panel to unlock and change the template.

Creators have added company names name on top of their certificates or edited the line to read, "This certificate is issued by ____ company to..." In the example below, you can see that the person changed the colors, added a logo, and their company's name at the top.

An Example of a customized template

You can use the image search button in the top menu bar to search Google. Search "certificate, medallion, or stamp graphic,"  and add the word transparent for an image with no background. You can also search for background images or textures to make it more unique. To add your logo, click the Upload button and bring in the file.

Step 4: Export to download and share

When you finish your certificate, click the red Export button in the upper right. After it's processed, you'll see the final version along with options to Download, go back and Edit or Make a Copy of the project. If you give someone a share link, they'll be taken to this same screen.

If you want to make multiple versions of your certificate for different people, click on the Make a copy button. With this duplicated project you'll be able to keep all your existing formatting and change key details each time.

For more content, make sure to subscribe to Kapwing App on YouTube and follow us on Twitter at @KapwingApp. Be sure to tag us so we can see what you create!

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