Win Over Shoppers with a Charming Gift Certificate [Featuring Free Templates]

If not for a gift certificate, 32% of redeemers would not have gone to the store it came from and made a purchase.

And not only are gift certificates are an effective way of spreading influence, they’re pretty easy and cheap to produce too. Gift givers love them because they’re a hassle-free way of getting something for the impossible to buy for. Recipients like getting them because they’re the next best thing to actual money.

This article features some of the best gift certificate designs we’ve found online. Find the edit this design caption for the Canva templates included in this article.

01. Create Patterns

Easily add visual interest to your gift certificate by creating fun patterns for its design. You can use them as backgrounds, just like Studio Lina Forsgren does above, or as a fill for large text on your gift certificate.

You can create your own patterns by searching for a shape in the Canva library and duplicating it. In the example above, we used random shapes in mild disarray for an animated background simulating the effect of a pattern.

02. Stay on Brand

Year after year, gift cards and certificates top gift request lists during the holiday season. Their popularity makes them powerful marketing and ad vehicles you can use to reach both old and new audiences.

Always align accordingly with your visual integrity and brand your gift certificates accordingly, just like Angie Wimberly does above in her paper alternative to Netflix’s plastic cards.

Treat gift certificates as you would any other customer touchpoint and adhere to your brand guidelines. If your gift certificate is landing in a new customer’s hands, you’ll want to make sure you make an excellent first impression.

The template featured above uses the brand’s text treatment and overall stylistic direction throughout the gift certificates.

03. Build a Template

Gift certificates are unique because they are both a product and marketing vehicle. Keep this duality in mind as you design and build templates to help you accommodate for different product options and messaging associated with each.

Consider the example above for CardNest, offering subscriptions for different lengths of time. The branded template makes it extremely simple to swap out numbers and content without having to rework the design.

You can always build your own gift certificate template in Canva — find out how to do just that in this post. Or you can always just click through any of the professionally designed templates in this article.

04. Timeless in Black & White

Working on a gift certificate you’ll be using for a while? Design it in black and white and render it timeless.

The Bathory goes down this path in the example above. To make sure their gift certificates aren’t only timeless but also beautiful, they draw inspiration from vintage styles.

If you use the black and white template above, you won’t have to worry about colors falling out of season or color trends fading.

05. Keep Your Palette Simple

If your gift certificate won’t live long and needs to be designed quickly, keep things simple by limiting your color palette.

Use the tried and true color solution showcased above: black, white, and a bright accent color. Highlight important details with the accent color to make sure your audience doesn’t miss them.

When working with 3 colors it’s easiest to design with them if you assign a role to each (dominant, supporting, and accent) or use them all in the same proportion.

Experience the technique in action by clicking through the above Canva template.

06. Go Retro

Take a look at vintage tickets and let it inform the design of your gift certificate. Above, we showcase one of our favorite examples by Old Faithful Shop.

If you’re not crazy about the style, check out our post on going retro. In it, we share four of our favorite styles and key features you can work into your gift certificate for a retro feel.

07. Spotlight Your Logo

Looking for a quick and simple design strategy that will yield beautiful results? Try the following.

Design using both sides of your gift certificate. Reserve one side for information only. On it, forget about complex design elements–design around your content.

On the other side, place your logo front and center. This alone will make for a beautiful layout that spotlights your logo. You can, however, add design elements to it as showcased above.

Experience it in action by trying the “Authentic Wiggins” template featured here.

08. Feature Big, Bold Type

Make sure your message is loud and clear by setting it in big, bold type. You can use any bit of content you’d like to spotlight or use a clever quote, as showcased above and below, for a fun touch.

09. Make It Interactive

One of my favorite parts of receiving a gift is unwrapping it. There is just something fun about discovering what’s beneath brightly colored paper by ripping it off.

Add some of this fun back into your gift certificates by making them interactive. You don’t have to create something as complex as the Topman Boxers example above. Fun folds or anything that adds an element of discovery to an otherwise flat card is always a win.

10. Try a Minimalist Approach

Steer clear of design elements and design using only what is essential for a minimalist feel. To do so, focus on skillfully setting your content first using a grid. 

If your layout feels stark, work in subtle details, like the lines used both in the example and featured templates.

11. Feature Illustrations

Create a set of illustrations to grace the cover of your gift certificate. If you’re offering a product, like Friends of Ham, give sketching it out a shot. If you’re offering a service, sketch out an object that represents it. A duster, for example, might work for a cleaning business.

While a pizza illustration works extremely well for the Canva template featured here.

12. Go Type-Centric

Create your gift certificate using type as your central design element. Play with different fonts and typefaces and size variations. Use these differences to build hierarchy and make it easy for your audience to glean information from your gift certificate and of course, add visual interest.

Not sure what this might look like? Check out the example above. 

Try it out for yourself using the template here. Remember that important elements, like the name of the owner and business location, are set in large type. Others that sit lower hierarchy levels are set in smaller type.

13. Be Monochromatic

Select one of your brand colors and build your gift certificate using it alone. If you use multiple colors, use them to create variations of your gift certificate. Use the single color in one tone only or use a variety in your design.

This approach doesn’t mean you’ll yield boring designs. The example above by Emir Ayouni is anything but!

We’ve previously published an article on designing with monochromatic colors. Some of the lessons we’ve learned have been dutifully applied to the templates above.

14. Sophisticated in Black

We tend to associate black with elegance, exclusivity, and sophistication. If your gift certificate is offering a product that boasts any of these characteristics, consider designing using black.

To push the sophisticated feel even further, consider using black paper and foil stamping. Your gift certificate is bound to feel as special as the one above for Brassneck Brewery.

But a simple design with no special printing techniques applied works just as well too, as exemplified in the template featured above.

15. Use a Frame

Frames offer quick and simple ways to add visual interest to any piece of work, not just gift certificates. You can create a border using your brand’s design elements or you can use a vintage frame, like the one used above for Woods Coffee’s gift card.

If you’re not feeling either option, check out Canva’s library of frames or customize one of the templates below.

16. Use Bright Colors

Make sure your gift certificate doesn’t go unnoticed by designing it with bright, beautiful colors. Above, yellow is used both as a dominant and accent color on a coupon for Film Box.

On the front side, yellow is used as a beautiful, solid background. On the back, it is used to highlight important details. Keen to follow their example? Check out our templates below.

17. Simple & Classic

Some of the most striking design pieces out there are characterized by simplicity. The gift certificate above, for Danh Hien Jewelers, perfectly showcases what we are talking about.

If you want to follow suit, use a grid to create a balanced layout. If you’re of how to do so, simply edit on of the striking templates below.

18. Use Seasonal Colors

Draw inspiration for your color palette from the seasons or even your location, as showcased above. This is especially fitting if you’re designing a gift certificate around special holidays or dates, like the Christmas or your country’s independence.

19. Experiment With Printing Techniques

If you have the time and budget, experiment with printing techniques. I am a huge fan of embossing and debossing (especially blind debossing). However, you can also play around with foil stamping and letterpressing. These techniques give design pieces a special, bespoke touch and are loads of fun to design with.

Foil stamping, used above on the Sestra Store gift card, can make any piece feel special. 

Special printing techniques are great for when you’re designing a gift certificate for an event or a luxury service (check out the classy Catch 22 template above). However, keep in mind that it can quickly eat up your budget!

20. Use Fun Textures

I routinely throw in an example that features texture in most of our showcase articles. They offer an easy way to amp up your designs and can be used by anyone, regardless of their design experience.   

Set your logo over a slick texture to arrive at sweet gift certificate, like the one above for Nasty Gal.

Struggling to build a texture? Remember, you can easily build a texture using your brand elements or even letterforms.

In the template above we used a close-up shot for texture — click through to try it out for yourself.

Over To You

Every occasion is an opportunity to give a gift certificate — you can benefit from its magnetic power all year round.

Or if you’re looking to boost your online engagement, you can even use them as prizes for promos or social media contests. They’re quite cheap and easy to produce, more so if you use the professionally designed templates included in this post.

The only question now is: Are you ready to get more visitors to your shop?

Maria is a professional designer and social media devotee. After a few years of working in boutique agencies in New York and Boston, she decided to trade in her morning runs for morning dives and moved down to the warm Caribbean. She is currently working on becoming a scuba instructor in order to find a way to merge her two loves: design and the ocean.