What is an Award Certificate – 9 Tips to Create Award Certificates

It is not difficult for you to design and create award certificate. This is important to ensure you recognize and present them to deserving winners. However, I know you might be wondering; what is an award certificate?

You can create them for an awards event that would honor either employees or companies. You can then print them for your awards gala ceremony.

Now that you know how important it is to give this document to people who are deserving of them, it would also be very helpful to learn how to make your own Certificate of Achievement Template.

What is an award certificate?

An award certificate is a piece of paper which has an award inscription. These certificates are aimed at celebrating achievements. An award certificate is given to winners of awards that include employees, companies, students, sports and also includes award certificates of participation.

In your efforts to create an award certificate, there are a number of things you should do. This is to ensure what you develop or create is something presentable.

Award certificate requirements

When creating an award certificate, certain information should be included. You should follow the procedure as outlined here.

Title of the Award

This is an important part of the certificate and it is found at the top, usually with a bigger font than all the rest of the information. You can also use different colors and formatting on the text when making the title line.

It can be curved, straight, bold or with a shadow. It all depends on how you would like to present it. Just make sure that the text is centered for it to look official. Here, you can use words like: Achievement Certificate, Certificate of Achievement, Achievement Award or other wordings which you think would fit the most.

Presentation Tag Line

This line of text comes directly below the title and it can be worded in different ways. Some of those ways can be:  “This certificate is awarded (or hereby awarded) to.” “This certificate is presented (or given) to.” “This certificate is hereby bestowed (or bequeathed) upon.”

This line of text is a lot smaller than the title and the name of the recipient.

Name of the Award Certificate Recipient

This is the most important part of your certificate. No matter who you are giving the award to, make sure that you spell their names right!

You may fill in this part with the names of an individual or the name of a group or organization which the document will be given to or awarded to. This text can be as big as or bigger than the title to emphasize the names of the recipient.

You may use any font, as long as it goes hand-in-hand with the rest of the certificate. Playful fonts can go on school certificates and more formal fonts can be used for more professional ones.

From whom or Awards Giver

This line of text indicates who the certificate is from and it comes directly below the names of the recipient. The texts here do not require being large, as long as it can be read.

Reason for the Award

This text can be a paragraph narrating why the recipient received the award certificate. Since the certificate is for an accomplishment that was achieved, it would be good to describe the circumstances of the accomplishment.

You may begin this paragraph with a phrase such as: In recognition (or achievement) of…For outstanding (or excellent) achievement in…Or whatever similar wordings you may think of.

Then you can continue with the narration or description of the achievement. This text is usually a bit bigger than the presentation line and from text but it should not be the same size or bigger than the title or the names of the recipient.

It would also be advisable to use a “common” font for this text to be more readable. Finally, make sure to center this text so that it looks neat and official.

Date when the Award Certificates is presented

You can either place the date when the certificate was given or will be awarded or the date when achievement was done.

In placing the date, you can use a variety of formats, arranging the day, month and year in whatever order you want and suits your preferences.


A certificate will not be considered official unless it has been signed by someone in authority. For example, in the case of schools, the signatory is usually the principal or the head of the department.

In the professional setting, it is usually signed by the director, manager or immediate supervisor of the employee receiving an achievement award.

It is also very important to include the logo of your company or institution in formatting or designing your template. Having your logo will make your certificate legitimate and it would be proof that it had been given by your organization.

You can place your logo on the left side of the certificate but normally, it is usually placed in the center to give a good flow to the whole format. Be guided by these procedures and make sure to include all these sections in your certificate template so that it will not only be official but comprehensive as well.

The above presents the basic outline, the structure and the wording of the various sections an award certificate should have. You can use this guide when creating your award certificates.

How to Create an Award Certificate in MS Word

You can also create an award certificate using the Microsoft programs such as MS Word. You can do this using this process;

  1. Open Microsoft Word. Its app icon resembles a dark blue box with a white “W” on it.
  2. Click the search bar at the top of the Word window.
  3. Search for gift certificate templates.
  4. Select a template.
  5. Click Create.
  6. Create an awards certificate.
  7. Fill out your gift certificate.
  8. Print your document.
  9. Decorate your gift certificate.

How to create award certificate step by step

Want to know how to make an awards certificate really astounding? Here are the actions you can take step-by-step.

Choose a platform to create certificate

Create certificates for every award under the sun with free drag-and-drop software or paid awards management solutions. You can use the platforms we have mentioned like canva or Microsoft.

However, there are other platforms you can use. Find the ones that works for you depending on your level of skills.

Pick the size

Choose the size of a document as well as its orientation, paper quality, background of your award certificate, etc.

Choose a theme

Whether online or printed, pick a great theme.  Do consider buying a premium theme or design template to make a truly exceptional awards certificate.

Add an image

Add high-quality images and illustrations, and choose from over a hundred fonts with your chosen design software.

Write text

This will insert a text field where you may write text. The text you write will be matched literally (i. e. you do not need to avoid any characters).

Download or print

When your awards certificate is ready, you should download or print the certificates to hand out.

Digital version

Make the certification be used by participants on social media and websites, come up with the digital badges for winners.

5 Steps on How to Design an Award Certificate Using Canva

As you plan to design your award certificates, you might consider using canva. It is a tool that can be helpful. This is why we have put together these five steps which will help you create visually-appealing certificates.

  1. You will need to create a new Canva account to get started with your own award certificate design process.
  2. Choose a template from our library of templates.
  3. Upload your own photos or choose from over 1 million stock images.
  4. Fix your images, edit text or add stunning filters.
  5. Save and share.

Award Certificate Challenges

In the process of creating award certificates, you will face challenges. One of the problems that you will face with printable certificates is that they cannot give you or guarantee security to websites by encrypting sensitive data.

However, you can solve this problem by using digital award certificates.

Certificates are printed and usually delivered in one of two ways: formal presentations and presentation to dozens of people at once.

That is why organizations hold awards-presentation events. Some of these are elaborate and will require wearing certain clothes because they usually have a dress code.


In conclusion, it is worth noting that award certificates do not elaborate formal requirements towards creating them.

You can easily design your own award certificate by looking for the various templates available, and using such tools as canva. You will be able to use your own words and images.

All you need to know is that award certificates have seven sections which you must fill in order for it to be considered official.

Knowing these sections will help you in making a well-organized template.

Having one in your school, company or organization would be very helpful so that whenever you need to award one, all you have to do is to edit the information on it – such as the names, dates and the achievements achieved by you, print it out and award it!