Design your own button badges
This is the most common option for people who want to design their own badges. We advise you to use one of our large circle guides which you can download below. You can then open the circle guide with your design software and then follow the instructions and tips below.
If you are unable to use one of our circle guides but still want to design your own badges please scroll down to our Full Design Tips.
25MM CIRCLE GUIDES
Download our 25mm circle guide in JPEG format HERE.
(For use with any image editing / graphic design software)
Download our 25mm circle guide in PSD format HERE.
38MM CIRCLE GUIDES
Download our 38mm circle guide in JPEG format HERE.
(For use with any image editing / graphic design software)
Download our 38mm circle guide in PSD format HERE.
(Internet Explorer users: right click the above link and select 'Save Target As'. Firefox users right click the link and select 'Save Link As').
Diagram of how to use the circle guides
Instructions on how to use the circle guides
1. Download and save the correct size (25mm or 38mm) RGB format circle guide from the links above. Open the template with your favourite design software and follow the instructions below. Our full size templates are much bigger than the example in fig 1 above. Keep the template at its full size throughout the whole process.
2. Please make sure your main design (everything you want to be on the front of your badges) fits well within the inner circle. The inner circle represents the front of your badges (which curves more towards the outer edge). There will always be some slight movement in positioning from badge to badge so please do not make anything you definitely want on the front of the badges (such as text) run right up to the edge of the inner circle or it may slip off the front face when the badges are made. Leave a small gap.
Always extend your background pattern or colour to the outer circle (leaving the outer circle showing if possible as we use it as a cutting guide).
The space in the outer circle is the background 'bleed' area. It may be seen on the sides of your button badges (as this outer circle wraps around the sides and back of your badges in the manufacturing process). Please make sure the inner circle does not show on your final design or it will show up on your finished button badges! Make sure your background colour or pattern extends to fill the outer circle.
3. This is what your final design should look like (fig 3 above). The inner circle is not visible on your final design and the background colour or pattern is extended to the outer circle. Save your design 300dpi resolution (or a high quality setting) as a jpg in its original RGB format and email it to us to check.
FULL DESIGN TIPS for best results (whether using our circle guide or not)
(If you are using one of our circle guides please read the instructions above first)
- Avoid putting circles or rectangles in your design as they usually don't work well on round button badges. These type of designs can accentuate slight movements in the badge making process (that would otherwise be unnoticeable). This can make the design look off centre. If your design must involve either of the above please always email your design before paying to check they will work.
- High resolution and correct size - we prefer 300 dpi. If your design looks fuzzy on your screen it would probably look fuzzy on your badges. An image created at 300dpi is usually perfect. We can often use lower resolution designs but keep in mind this will reduce the quality of the finished badges. Don't send us files over 1MB in size and send a new image for each design (don't combine them into one large file).
- Use contrasting colours and large fairly thick text to make any text stand out and your design clear. Small text on your design will look even smaller on your button badges. Thin text (particularly very thin modern fonts) will not work well and may look broken. We don't suggest adding any effects to the text such as shadows or fonts with coloured borders as they won't work well when condensed down to the badge size. If you are making a black and white design we recommend you use black text against a white background not the other way around for best results. Remember your computer screen is brightly lit, where as your design won't be.
- Colour format -if you are given the option please set up and save your design in the original RGB format of our template. If we have to convert your file from a different format the colours will be less accurate.
- Keep it simple - if you cram too much detail in to a small area (particularly on our 25mm badges) it can all blend into one. Remember our 25mm button badges are roughly the diameter of a 10p piece.
- Our preferred image type is jpg but we can also usually work with a flattened psd file, a gif, png, bmp or pdf. Please do not send your image as a different image type.
Please note that we can sometimes work with Word documents as a last resort but this is not ideal (as any images, text and fonts you position may look and be positioned completely differently on our computers to yours). If you are using Publisher (which we don't recommend as it doesn't produce the highest quality results) save your file as a jpeg NOT a .pub file
Remember colours will look bolder and more vivid on a brightly lit computer screen than when printed. We generally match colours as closely as possible but we don't match exact colour shades. Please keep this in mind when designing your badges. If in doubt go for colours that clearly contrast.
If you are unable to use our circle guide don't worry! - you can alternatively send your badge design as a large square as long as you leave a large background bleed area all around the part of your design you want to show up on the front of your badges. We always prefer you to use our circle guides where possible for more accurate positioning but appreciate this isn't always possible.
When you have your completed design(s) please email them over for us to check. We will get back to you to confirm the design is of a useable size and quality and that you can now pay via our Badge Prices page.