If your organization is honoring someone or a group of individuals for an achievement of some sort, award certificates are a great touch to the occasion. Instead of having custom certificates made and printed up, you can make a nice looking award yourself in MS Word. With the right choice of fonts and some attractive stationery your award certificate will look as professional as anything.
Many of these certificates share common themes and elements in their design. These things include:
Many diplomas and awards are set in an Old English font. If you do not already have one of these fonts installed on your system, they are available online at a number of font sites:
Awards usually have the date written out in full, like so:
… presented on this twenty sixth day of May, two thousand and ten.
Including your organization’s seal or logo is a nice touch to this type of document. If you have a press that you can use to put a raised seal on the paper, go for it. Otherwise, you can insert a graphic of your organization’s logo and print it on the certificate.
No award certificate is complete without the signature of someone certifying that the achievement for which the award is being presented. This is usually done by an executive, president, or other high-ranking individual.
Finally, fancy stationery always looks better than plain white typing paper in a situation such as this. You can buy a pack of certificate stationery from any office supply store. Look for something with a nice texture and an ornate border.
Here are links to a bare-bones award certificate which you are free to download and adapt to your own purposes. I have intentionally left it simple so you can use it as a base to make your own template.