How To Design the Perfect Gift Card

2022-03-09T17:16:24-04:00January 19th, 2022|Blog, Gift Card & Loyalty Programs, Product Features|

Ready to create an attractive, eye-catching gift card or rewards card that perfectly reflects your business? One that customers will love to see in their wallets?

The Ackroo Card Portal gives you all the tools you need to complete your card order, including creating new artwork.

We’ve pulled together some tips on how to use the Ackroo Card Portal, and how to create the perfect card design! Read on!


  1. Why Design Matters
  2. Designing Your Card In The Portal – Design Tips
  3. Using Artwork Designed In Another Program

1. Why Does Design Matter?

The best designs are invisible. They work so well to show off your company’s personality and brand, that when your customer views your marketing materials, they automatically feel a connection. They understand who you are and what you’re all about, all through the visual design medium. It is essential to put lots of thought, time, and effort into good design to succeed at this branding and build your company reputation.

Gift cards and rewards cards travel with your customer, live in their personal wallets or on their phones. It’s an incredible opportunity to make a lasting, positive impression on them about your brand, inviting them to come back to visit and spend with you.

Here are some examples of popular gift card and rewards card designs. They’re instantly recognizable, cleanly branded and on-theme for the companies they represent, and elicit a happy emotional response as you view them.

With this in mind, we hope you’ll take advantage of the Ackroo Card Portal to come up with a truly special design for your cards. And don’t worry, we’re here to help if you need us! Simply email with your questions.

2. Designing Your Card in the Portal – Design Tips

To design beautiful cards, there are some basic things to keep in mind. These tips will help you to position and align your key elements to areas in your design or picture where they will draw the most attention. This allows for a clean and pleasant-looking design.

  • Use grid lines to align text and center your images
  • Find the best typeface for your brand: Use your brand fonts for the cards to make them cohesive to the rest of your company style. Make sure the font(s) you use are easy to read.
  • Logo/text must be big enough to be read. Keep in mind that your cards are only 3.25″ so the text must be large enough to be read properly at that size. The text size should never be below 4 pt.
  • Leave white space around any design: if there are too many elements on the card. they’ll all compete with viewer’s attention and nothing will stand out. A little white, or empty, space is easier on the eyes … and it can help draw attention to the most important details.
Colour Combinations

When designing a card, choosing the right colour combinations plays a crucial role in making your card stand out in the way you want it to! Colours can affect us in ways you might not have thought of.

  •  A vibrant red colour has been found to grab a viewer’s attention faster than any other colour.
  •  A yellow will generate happiness in the viewer.
  •  A blue colour has more of a calming effect on the viewer.

Using a proper balance and mix of colours can deliver a message in and of itself, just always be sure to use a colour harmony that matches your brand well! Below are some great colour combinations to try:

Removing A Background

Have you uploaded your logo into the Ackroo Card Portal, but there’s a box appearing around your logo or other graphic you’ve uploaded that you would like to get rid of? Watch this video to see how to remove that background colour!

3. Using Artwork Designed In Another Program

If you’ve designed your card artwork outside of the Ackroo Card Portal, such as in an Adobe design program, follow these tips.

a. Accepted Formats

Final files must be in a PDF format with embedded source files, if possible.

  • PDF: Save as a PDFX/4 with the following settings:
    Editing capabilities disabled, compression set at 360dpi for all items above 360dpi, convert all fonts to outlines, embed all images, no colour conversion, no security, no marks or bleed and preserve transparency.
  • Adobe Photoshop: All files must be submitted at 360 dpi resolution.
  • Adobe Illustrator: AI or EPS. Convert fonts to outlines. Ensure that “Document Raster Effects Settings…” has the colour mode set to CMYK and resolution of raster objects set to 360dpi.
  • Ensure you are working in an 8-bit CMYK: U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2 colour space
  • Use CMYK values of C=50, M=50, Y=50, K=100 for all BLACK colours
  • Custom colour matching is available
  • BACK artwork can only be 100% black & white (no greyscale), unless quoted as CMYK
b. Specs & Measurements
  • File Size: File must be designed 86.5mm x 55mm with a resolution of exactly 360dpi.
  • PDF: There is a tiny bleed included in the file size specified above. Please ensure items that are to bleed reach right to the edge of the document. Note that cards have 1/8” radius corners.
  • Font Size:Recommended minimum font size is 5 pt or, for reversed-out type, 7 pt. Absolutely no fonts smaller than 3pt.
  • All important type and images (i.e. logos) must be a minimum of 1/16” inside dieline (edges) of card and 1/16” from the magnetic stripe.
c. FAQ
What size is the standard card design?2022-01-18T17:09:53-04:00

86.5mm x 55mm.

What is the best format to upload my art?2022-01-18T17:05:54-04:00

The best format to upload your card art is a print-ready, high-resolution PDF.

I have specific brand colours. Can you match my Pantone colours?2022-01-18T17:11:33-04:00

Yes! Our system matches PMS colours or you can provide us with the closest CMYK match to your Pantone shade.

I have designed my cards in a Word document. Can I submit it in that format?2022-01-18T17:16:23-04:00

No. Unfortunately, Word (.docx) is an unsupported format for card printing.

I don’t have a logo. What can I do?2022-01-18T17:17:15-04:00

No logo, No problem! You can simply write your business name in a font that reflects your brand (ie. the font used on your website).

How much space is needed between my text and the magnetic stripe?2022-01-18T17:16:47-04:00

During the printing process, a small positional shift to graphics can occur. For this reason, all important type and images must be a minimum of 1/16″ from the magnetic stripe

Help! I don’t have a graphic designer and I don’t know how to design card art! Can Ackroo help me design my cards?2022-01-18T17:08:58-04:00

We can absolutely help! You can access our in-house graphic designers who, for a fee, will help customize your card art to suit your branding. Email us at to get started.

Can I see a proof before my cards go to print?2022-01-18T17:15:47-04:00

Yes! Upon finishing your card design, you will be asked to approve your proof before the cards are sent for printing.

Can I remove the magnetic strip, barcode, Card No:, Batch Info:, or Access Code: on the back of the card?2022-01-18T17:11:05-04:00

No. Unfortunately, the mentioned elements are required for the cards to function. They are locked and cannot be removed from the back of your card.

Can I add colour to the back of the card?2022-01-18T17:10:26-04:00

Yes, you can!  Designing a card back with colour is available at an additional cost. Please contact to quote your custom card back design.

How to Upload Your Art to the Portal:

Still have questions? Get in touch.

We’re happy to help make your cards the best they can be. Email us at for further help.