Design Tips

The diploma is a symbolic recognition of academic achievement. It is also one of the last impressions graduates and parents will have of your institution before becoming prospective long-term contributors. Therefore, decisions made concerning change should be carefully weighed. We want the Diplomas on Demand program to provide many years of satisfaction, so please take time to talk with us about the options suggested below. Our customer service team will work with you closely during the design and implementation stages to ensure your transition to Diplomas on Demand is pain free. 

Securing Signatures for the Diploma:

To ensure that the signatures on the diploma appear clear and crisp, we provide a special blue-line signature paper for each signatory. These forms provide the signatory with specific instructions and limits: a box enclosure and a signatory blue line that does not interfere with electronic scanning. Signatures beyond these limitations will add additional programming time and expense to your program.

Selecting Diploma Paper Stock: Weight and Color Tone

Because the paper selected must be compatible with your laser printer, heavier weight papers may not be practical.

As a rule, 80-100 pound text weight papers work with most automatic feeding systems and toner fuses to the paper without additional printer adjustments. Flimsy or lightweight papers should be avoided because they look and feel cheap. If you have doubts, you should test the paper before making your final selection.

Paper selection should also be made with an eye toward the color tones of your seal. Generally, it is desirable to achieve maximum visual contrast between the paper and the foil colors selected for the seal. For example, gold foil should not be paired with dark ivory tone papers. Off-white ivory or soft-white papers will highlight a gold seal and provides suitable contrast.

Selecting Foil Colors:

Many foil colors are not heat resistant, which means that not all colors are compatible for laser printing. Laser printing involves both heat and pressure, which is why thermography, at this time, is not a viable alternative to the use of heat resistant foils. By providing us with two samples of your diploma we can provide compatible foil color options. Our foils are color-coded and sample swatches are available.

Generally, foil colors are high gloss metallic or flat satin finish. This is an aesthetic decision that involves individual taste and preference. As a rule, the flat satin finishes are characterized by a deeper/richer color while the metallic finishes are characterized by higher reflectivity when subjected to different lighting conditions. It should be noted, however, that once the diploma is mounted and framed, reflectivity is less important. There is no price difference between these two foil options.

Seal Design

You may have the seal foil stamped or foil embossed. A stamped seal is less expensive and may allow you to introduce a second color if you forgo having the seal embossed. Generally, only one color of a multicolored seal is actually embossed. It should be noted that when a diploma is mounted and framed there is no visual difference between a flat and an embossed seal. The conflict occurs because tradition seems to demand the "proper feel” for a diploma.

Bottom line: when balancing between cost and design, improving the appearance of the seal by introducing a contrasting second color is an eye-appealing investment.

Header Design

Header design is more complicated and potentially more expensive. The Diplomas on Demand® software allows the printing of a straight-line header that is not arched. While an arched header is theoretically possible, it dramatically slows the printing process. Slow in this case may be 3-4 diplomas per minute rather than 10-15. Allowing the software to print the header permits the flexibility of using the software to print not only diplomas but also other recognition documents.

There are several options for creating a raised or multi-colored header. The header may be straight or arched and printed using a traditional black or another colored foil. In some cases, each of the lead-letters appear as a second color or are outlined in a second color. The entire header can be shadowed in the same or a different color. Regardless which option you select, the entire header can be embossed. Of course, there are always variations to fit special requirements.

Type Face

Because the diploma recognizes individual academic achievement, the design of the document should focus attention on the name and degree of the graduate. This can be accomplished by using larger type or bold text for those items.