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Radio-frequency identification technology, based on the reader/tag paradigm, is quickly permeating several aspects of everyday life. The electromagnetic research mainly concerns the design of tag antennas having high efficiency and small size, and suited to complex impedance matching to the embedded electronics. Starting from the available but fragmented open literature, this paper presents a homogeneous survey of relevant methodologies for the design of UHF passive tag antennas. Particular care is taken to illustrate, within a common framework, the basic concepts of the most-used design layouts. The design techniques are illustrated by means of many noncommercial examples.