Gift Card Design: The Ultimate Guide

Designing the perfect gift card for your brand should be a vivid experience. Gift cards are one of the best ways to win referrals, to reward your loyal customers, and to celebrate special events with your audience. Your gift card design should make the cardholder feel special. The card should feel like it holds real fungible value, whether that's because it looks like a glistening rare steak or a richly wrapped present, gift cards are always best when they make the cardholder smile with anticipation every time they see your design.

Gift card design is a great place to let your branding shine with a simple yet evocative image that makes the cardholder want to flash and then spend the card, and maybe keep it as a souvenir. With the CorelDRAW graphic design suite and a little inspiration, you can design your next batch of gift cards to pop from the plane and inspire customers at first glance.

Traits for good gift card design

The gift card basics

  • Dimensions
  • Front of Card
    • Eye-catching graphic design
  • Back of Card
    • Magnetic strip
    • Validity dates
    • Offer information
  • Edge of Card
    • Decorative color or shine

What makes a good gift card design?

  • Vivid and attention-grabbing design
  • Two-sided graphic theme
  • Immediately brand recognizable
  • Makes a great gift

What makes a great gift card? You need a comprehensive design that is at once both functional and delectable. The first step is to lay out a two-sided design. Set two rounded-edged rectangles at 3.375 x 2.125 inches or a matching ratio to start your two-sided design. Visualize how your design will flow from one side to the other.

The front side is your canvas while the back side of a gift card holds the printed information and/or magnetic strip. Carry the color and one design element over to the back of the card to make even flipping your gift card into an immersive experience.

Your design should immediately bring your brand to mind. Some gift cards look best with the logo front-and-center, while others use a rich canvas of brand colors to convey their recognizability.

Lastly, the card should look sumptuous, making the cardholder want to pick it up and carry it. A heavy or luxurious-looking card will feel more important giving it as a gift, and more rewarding to receive.

Gift card design ideas

Every great designer needs inspiration. Here are a few great starting ideas to help you think of great new designs for this year's gift cards.

Printed texture

A subtle woodgrain or a rich velvety texture can be printed to look real enough to touch. Give your cards the appearance of being something other than plastic.

Inspire the senses

Design your gift card to make customers crave something when they see the card. Sumptuous foods, the open sky, and the deep ocean inspire the senses and your gift card will remind cardholders of what they really want most; ideally something your card can provide.

Decor-worthy design

Make gift cards that are small table decorations in their own right. Beautiful and artistic cards that look great in-hand and on the coffee table also make the cardholders look good. Not only will customers enjoy carrying around the card for its beauty, but others will wonder about the card's value when they see it flashed or out on the table.

Inspire a laugh

Does your audience like a good joke? Your gift card is a great opportunity for some genius visual humor. Mark your brand as edgy and fun with humorous gift cards that make cardholders feel cool and funny just to carry.

Gift-wrapping design

Gift cards are often given as gifts (as a self-treat and for loved ones). You want that gift to feel special on that day, "wrap" your gift cards in a design of luxurious wrapping paper and ribbon bows. This is a classic yet undefeated approach to holiday and birthday gift card design.

Rechargeable utility card

Last but not least, you can make a rechargeable gift card that appeals to the practical audience: a card that looks like a tool or a simple logo that lets users know they have the right card.


Every gift card can be a compelling and rewarding asset to your brand. Let the card's purpose and the taste of your audience guide your design inspiration. Give your audience a card they enjoy holding onto, and a card that feels special to give as a gift. This is the best way to both reward your existing audience and encourage gift card referrals this year.

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