I’ve had many people ask me how to create badges and in response here is a guide:
1. Borrow Other’s Badges
(No need to invent the wheel!): if author has not explicitly put badge image in public domain or the Creative Commons, MAKE SURE TO ASK PERMISSION! ALSO, ATTRIBUTE THE BADGES BACK TO THE CREATOR. It is my hope that as more and more educators create badges there will be a library of badges we can borrow and pool from. Anyone reading my blog is more than welcome to use the badges that I have created under the Creative Commons license given below. (Attribution to Kari Milton). Honestly, I hope to network with other badge users and creators, so find me on Twitter @miltology.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
2. Find/Create Good Image(s)
Make sure that you either design your images yourself or that your image comes from the public domain. Though you may get images from the Creative Commons, attributing each badge image back to the author is a pretty big task especially if you plan on combining images, so Public Domain images or creating images yourself is recommended. For the most part I used openclipart to find images in the Public Domain, there are a lot of websites that can help you but for the most part, the same images come up in each website.
3. Put together to make a badge
Now comes the fun, artistic part! I used either Pixlr to remix the badge myself or online badge maker which is a great tool to create badges. (I sometimes combined the 2 methods as well) a. Pixlr: Uploaded the image to pixlr and use the program to transform the image into a badge. Pixlr is a free Photoshop-type application, which is perfect for remixing an image and creating a badge. For example the first 2 images from the public domain were put together and recolored using Pixlr to form the 3rd badge
b. OnLIne Badge Maker: Go check out this fabulous resource in which you can change the color of the background, add images, include shapes and play with color effects to create stunning badges. From the public domain image on the left, I easily created the Student Trainer badge on the right: (and yes, I purposely chose the primary color scheme)
Note: if you are not a natural at mixing colors, but seek badges that are pleasing to the eye, here are a few places to check out and explore:
4. A Final Word
There are some excellent examples out there of beautiful themed badges by skilled artists and designers. Haiku Learning badges are some of the best I have seen. You may want to take a lesson from Haiku and keep your badges in a similar matched theme and color scheme. But I believe having badges reflect the character of your classes is great as well. Especially if you plan to have students design and create the badges that you are using. Though for other groups like staff, Professional Development, or a professional conference you may choose to use a unifying theme.
One of the newest badges, students may earn in my computer class is that of BadgeMaker. To earn this badge they must decide on what new badge is needed, write a summary of why this would be a good badge to offer students, and design the badge using the same tools and principles that have been written above. Thus my badges will continue to reflect more and more the character of my students.
Happy Badge Making!!