myZone’s Crash Course in Ticket Design

Stuck on how to create the perfect event ticket design? We’re here to help.

Amidst the stress of planning an event, ticket design is often something that slips through the cracks.

However, the design of your event ticket is important; your tickets end up directly in the hands of your customers, and they play an important role in how that customer perceives what your event is all about.

In this article, we take a look at the importance of event ticket design, and share some of our top tips on how to create tickets that are both aesthetically pleasing and practical.

We’ll also explain some of the important aspects of ticket design, and provide you with some basic tips to keep in mind next time you step back to the drawing board. Finally, we’ll also show you some of our favorite ticket designs to help get those creative juices flowing, and give you a free ticket design template.

myZone offers high-quality event ticket design and printing services in Vancouver. All our tickets are printed using one color thermal printing technology for security and piece of mind, and we provide free design services with all of our ticket orders. For more information about our products and services, click here.

Why Care About Ticket Design

event ticket design

Let’s be honest; not everyone holds onto their event tickets, and you might be wondering why to bother investing in a great ticket design when you know your tickets will only end up shoved into someone’s pocket and thrown in the bin later.

While we don’t want to make you believe that ticket design is the “be all and end all” of event promotion, we advise all of our clients to treat their tickets just like any other piece of event marketing material, and to spend the extra time creating a powerful ticket design. Here are the main reasons why:

Your Ticket Design Directly Represents You and Your Brand

Think about this: As an event professional, you spend a lot of time, effort, and resources on branding, and you work hard to build an event company with a unique image and personality that perfectly represents you to your target audience.

You also make sure that your brand is represented consistently across ALL of your promotional material: You work with tech teams to design sleek, mobile responsive websites; you invest in white label ticketing; you push your designers to come up with sexy flyers, banners, and posters, and you spend hard-earned cash to secure the perfect talent. Now, do you really want to jeopardize that hard work by slacking on your ticket design?

Your tickets end up directly in the hands of your customers and count as one of the many components of your promotional material that your guests rely on in order to familiarize with your brand. Therefore, they should form a consistent part of your branding strategy.

Your Tickets Directly Represent Your Sponsors

You’re sponsors are a central part of your event, and you worked hard to get them. Just like a great ticket design reflects well on your brand, it does the same for theirs, and they’ll appreciate having their name appear on a well-designed, professional ticket. Plus, featuring their name on your tickets might just get you a few extra “brownie points” for further business relations. We’ll talk more about this in the later parts of this article.

We advise all of our clients to carefully consider how their ticket design represents their event sponsors, and to invest in a design that features them favourably.

Designing Your Own Event Tickets vs. Working With a Designer

Tickets for The Swap Show. Designed by Foreign Policy.

Now that we’ve outlined why having a great ticket design is important, let’s take a look at how you can go about securing a design that benefits both you and your event sponsors.

You basically have two options; you can work with a professional design team, or you can go out on a limb and design your tickets yourself. In this next section, we’ll show you the pros and cons of both, and give you some tips on how to choose one over the other.

DIY Ticket Design

Let’s face it, designers can be expensive. A 2012/2013 study of Salaries and Billing Practices for the Communication Design Industry surveyed 2,890 creative professionals across Canada and found that the average hourly rate for a designer across the country is $74 per hour.

Depending on the complexity of your ticket design project, your existing relationship with a designer, and how urgently you need the job done, this figure may rise or fall; a quick search on Upwork shows that designers can charge up to $150 per hour. Hence, designing event tickets yourself may seem like a feasible, cost-effective solution, and it definitely can be.

If you or one of your team members have basic design skills and a clear understanding of what you want your finished project to look like, creating your own ticket design may save you some cash. Plus, if time is of the essence, designing your own tickets will let you cut through some of the back-and-forth when proofing and editing work with a professional.

As a general rule, we suggest you’ll need basic knowledge of some design principles like color and contrast (which we’ll talk about a bit later), and a solid understanding of software such as Photoshop or InDesign. The internet also has an abundance of free design software that you can use to create your ticket design, and ticketing providers like myZone will often provide you with free templates or online tools to simplify the process.

The main downside to designing your own event tickets is that you may be limited by preset designs and templates, as well as your personal ability. If you’re looking for a detailed, professional ticket design that incorporates a variety of logos, text, and images, we suggest working with a talented design team.

Working with The Professionals

Most of our clients prefer to work with our inhouse designers to create their ticket design. Working with experienced professionals gives you a certain piece of mind, and allows you to incorporate more complex elements into your project than if you’re doing it yourself.

If you’re not exactly sure of the design you’re looking for, designers will be able to help direct you in the right direction and provide you with various mockups from previous projects they’ve completed. They also use top-of-the-line software and equipment, and will allow you to come up with a more detailed, professional finished product.

myZone offers free design services with all of our ticket orders. Our team of talented professionals have years of experience designing promotional event material and tickets, and will help you come up with the perfect design to make your event tickets stand out. For more information on myZone’s ticket design services, contact us.

Designing the Perfect Ticket

ticket design tips

Matthew Lew’s revamped Ticketmaster ticket design.

Now that you understand the benefits of having a great ticket design and what’s involved when working with designer or designing your tickets, let’s get down to the details.

In the following section, we’ll show some of the most important aspects of ticket design. We’ll show what information to include, the importance of practicality, how to effectively incorporate your sponsor, and give you some specific tips on how to design the perfect ticket for your next event.

What information to include

Your tickets serve as the last point-of-call for your customers to get information about your event, and chances are they’ll use them to know when and where your event is taking place, especially as they’re cramming into an Uber on the way.

While your ticket design should obviously be creative and sexy, they also need to get vital information across to your customers. Make sure your ticket designs include the following:

  • Event Name
  • Event Date
  • Event Time
  • Venue Name
  • Venue Address
  • Event URL

Striking the balance between aesthetics and practicality

When you’re designing event tickets, it’s important to understand that you’re working with a very limited amount of space. Here are the dimensions of all of myZone’s standard tickets:

  • Classic Event Tickets: 2”x5.5”
  • clubZone Event Tickets: 2”x5.5”
  • ticketZone Barcoded Event Tickets: 2”x5.5”

While these sizes might vary among providers, they give you a good picture of the amount of space you’re working with. Within these limited dimensions, you need to strike the perfect balance between creating a design that is sexy and practical.

ticket design tips

Original Ticketmaster design (top), compared with Lew’s new design (bottom).

In 2013, product designer Matthew Lew  took it upon himself to rework Ticketmaster’s outdated ticket design. In his article Dear Ticketmaster, Lew labels the tickets as “impractical,” both for guests and event staff, mainly quoting the following problems:

  • Information overload: Ticketmaster’s design repeated certain information a multitude of times.
  • Printing Limitations and Typography: Ticketmaster’s notorious all caps typeface is a pain to read, especially for event staff working in poorly-lit areas.

You can check out Lew’s process for redesigning Ticketmaster’s ticket design here. What we suggest you take away from the article is this: While tickets are a small part of the entire event planning process, they serve the important purpose of managing your admissions. It’s easy to get caught up in the dream of creating a ticket design that’s bold and unique. However, if your tickets can’t be read or aren’t practical to your guests and staff, then they don’t serve their primary purpose.

Incorporating sponsors

We’ve touched on this before. Your sponsors are a vital part of your event, and it’s a good idea to feature them on your ticket designs. Here’s why.

First of all, it helps your branding. Your sponsors should align with your event theme so that, if you’re hosting a craft beer festival for example, chances are you’re not sponsored by Miller Lite. Featuring the brands that helped your event take place is a good way to reiterate what your event is about to your guests.

Secondly, it can help you get your tickets printed for free. Feature your sponsors on your ticket design and you’ve got a solid sales pitch to get them to cover your design costs. Let them know that all the exposure of your event will get directly transferred to their brand, and that they’ll be one of the first things people see when they get their tickets and lineup at the gate. For more information on how to get your event tickets printed for free, click here.

Ticket Design Tips

Now that you’re clear on what information to include on your ticket design, how to create a design that is practical and sexy, and how to incorporate your sponsors, here are some basic tips to follow when designing your own event tickets:

  • Put the customer first: Think of how your ticket is going to be used, and let that guide your design and what information it includes.
  • Be “on brand:” Your ticket design is one of a thousand tiny details that affect how your brand is perceived by your customers. Treat it that way, and make sure it’s on par with the rest of your branding material.
  • Don’t be afraid of white space: Remember, your tickets are small and can easily get crowded. Leave some space between the various design elements.
  • Keep it simple: As people are sitting in a cab on the way to your event or waiting in line at the gate, chances are they’re not looking at your ticket for an existential crisis brought on by some wack design job. They just want to know when the event is, how to get there, and what time it starts. Give them that.
  • Capture the essence of your event: Your ticket needs to meet your event theme. Hosting a hectic dance festival? Remind people of that. Hosting a sports event or charity fundraiser? Capture that in your ticket design.
  • Think about color: Colors play an important role in design and can be used to evoke various emotions. While color is perception is very subjective, there are basic rules that designers follow on how colors affect viewers. For more information on color, click here.
  • Use contrast: Contrasting colors can be an effective way to make key information or design elements stand out. Click here for more information on color contrast. For specific examples on how to use contrast, click here.
  • Don’t forget about typography: Make sure the fonts you use are on par with your event and brand; don’t use a fancy cursive font as part of a ticket design for a heavy metal festival. Also, make sure that you use different type sizes to communicate the most important information on your ticket first (such as the event name, place, time, etc).
  • Use images: Images can a ticket unique and intriguing. When using images, we always encourage clients to use custom images over stock sources. Using images of faces, such as your headlining act or speaker, can add a personal touch to the ticket. Halftone printing is a great way to incorporate images as the ticket background, and was used by Matthew Lew in his redesign of Ticketmaster tickets.

Ticket Design Examples

Now that you’ve got a clear picture of what makes a great ticket design, check out some of the following examples to help get those creative juices flowing.

DJ Bl3nd, by Twisted Productions

Tanner Ross, by Intimate Productions

Wacken Metal Battle, by The Invisible Orange

Sun Up to Sun Down, by iFeteradio and Teamifete

ticket design ideas


Ticket Printing Options: Thermal Printing vs. Full Color.

When it comes to printing your tickets, you have two main options; black thermal or full color. Here we’ll take a quick look at the two, and what they’re best suited for.

Thermal printing

Direct thermal printing is used for a variety on a variety of commercial products to create barcodes, receipts, and event tickets. It involves embedding paper with colourless ink which is then burned to appear black. It’s a more economical process, and boasts greater security as thermal tickets cannot be reproduced through a laser printer.

Most ticketing providers including myZone will only provide thermal printing in one colour (black). This means that your design options will obviously be limited, but will provide you with the added security of knowing your tickets are harder to fake.

Full color printing for event tickets

Full colour printing is another popular option for event producers. It allows you to incorporate unlimited colours into your ticket design, and recreate detailed logos, images, and other design elements.

It allows your tickets to be more visible, and provides better branding opportunities as you can represent your brand exactly the way you’ve done on your other promotional material. However, full color printed tickets can be reproduced with a laser printer, and hence should include extra security features. We’ll look at some of these next.

Event Ticket Security

If security is of utmost importance to you, make sure you incorporate some of the following security features into your ticket design. If you’re choosing to print full color tickets, these features will help you manage your admission effectively:

  • Holograms: Holographic foil strips or stamps can be incorporated into your ticket design for extra security. They highlight whether a ticket has been tampered with, and cannot be reproduced. All of myZone’s tickets come equipped with holographic foil, and can be customized.
  • Card stock: Using high-quality cardstock will make it harder for fraudsters to print copies of your tickets. All of myZone’s tickets are printed on 300 DPI medium-weight ticket stock.
  • Sequential numbering: All of myZone’s tickets are numbered, allowing you to track your admissions accurately and avoid fraud.
  • Barcodes: Scanning tickets at the gate is a great way to manage admissions quickly, and allows you to rule out the possibility of fraudsters recreating copies of your tickets. myZone’s ticketZone tickets come equipped with barcodes, security foil, and much more.
  • Watermarks: myZone’s clubZone and classic event tickets both feature watermarks embedded directly into your ticket design that are only visible under blacklight.

Free Ticket Design Templates

Now that you’re clear on the importance of ticket design and how to create killer event tickets, feel free to use some of the following templates to get you started.

Where To Print Your Event Tickets

So, now that you’ve got a great ticket design, it’s time to get them to the printers.

myZone Media in Vancouver only offer black thermal printed tickets. Contact us if you have any questions about ticket design or printing, or feel free to place your orders online.

If you’re after full color event tickets, contact the team at PrintPrint in Gastown, Vancouver today. They offer a variety of printing services and specialize in full-color, offset, and and digital printing.

For more information on event ticketing and printing, make sure you check out our blog regularly. For more information on event marketing, click here.