Sunday, December 26, 2010

Embroidered Logos: Include Phone?

Deciding whether to include your phone number in your embroidered logo? Don't!

Many new businesses want to include their phone number in their embroidered logo so local customers can contact them. But, heart-sized embroidered logos are too small for this type of detail. Most people don't see chest logos long enough to remember a phone number while the additional text occupies valuable space that could be used for your business name.

Instead of promoting your business adding your number will most likely make your name less readable while giving the impression that your business is "just starting". Is that what you want? Still unsure? Picture the big name logos - Coca Cola, Frito Lay, Sony... Do these logos contain a phone number?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Advertize Inexpensively: Cold Weather Embroidery?

Wearing embroidered polo shirts when its warm outside is a great way to advertise inexpensively but what do you do during the winter months? How do you get the word out about your business when its freezing outside?

Choose embroidered jackets, heavy sweatshirts, vests and polar fleece! Custom embroidered outerwear makes a great gift for employees and customers while being affordable advertising for you. Need less expensive give-away items? Pick scarves, ear warmers and custom embroidered knit caps and beanies. Scarves and caps can usually be embroidered with your polo shirt logo while using just a business name is fine for ear warmers. Want your business name to really standout? Choose a knit cap with a contrasting stripe and have your business name embroidered in the same color!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Custom Embroidery: Order Tips

Your last custom embroidered jackets order was a bust. The thread colors were wrong, the jackets didn't fit, they were received late and the quality of the embroidery was poor. How can you avoid these problems in the future?

1. Order sample jackets to check sizing to insure you receive the right sizes.

2. Have embroidered samples sent so you can check the quality. Concerned about placement or how the fabric looks when embroidered? Have a sample jacket embroidered.

3. Leave plenty of time and request a turnaround time. Although you may be ordering online if you need your own logo its custom work so allow for extra time especially if you will be ordering samples.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Embroidered Logo Update?

Embroidered Logo Update: Does your embroidered logo need a makeover? Is it memorable, distinctive and appropriate for your business? Does it cater to who you market too? Does it represent your business and how you do business? Most important, is your business name readable?

Logo Overload? Don't include too much text in your embroidered logo. Your business name, a simple image and possibly a short tag line work best. Resist the temptation to include extra text like your phone number. It will be too much to read at a glance and most likely your primary text will be made smaller to make space for the additional text.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Advertise Your Business with Custom Embroidery

Winter giveaway: Need an inexpensive winter give-away? Try embroidered ear-warmers. You don't need a detailed logo - just your business name will work. Give embroidered ear warmers to family and friends and they'll advertise for you!

Boost Your Logo Impact: Looking for a unique look for your custom embroidered polo shirts? Pick a shirt with a trim color that's in your logo and watch it pop!

Give Your Embroidered Logo an Update: Give your logo a suble new look by using tone-on-tone thread colors to create a new look.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Embroidered Uniforms: Questions Answered

Will pre-shrunk cotton shrink?

Although a shirt is constructed from a preshrunk cotton it is still is susceptible to shrinkage. Overtime, depending on how the shirt is washed (hot water used, long time in a hot dryer) it may still shrink slightly.

Color Gradients in Embroidery?

Color gradients, gradual color changes from one color to another, can often be realized in embroidery if the design is large enough. Left chest embroidered logos are usually too small to effectively implement color gradations so these areas must be simplified to one color. Although color gradients may be possible in a large designs, using a single thread color is often a less costly option.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Embroidered Uniform Questions Answered

Need some information before placing your next embroidered uniform order? Here are some of the questions we commonly receive:

Q: Will the proportions in our design be maintained?

A: Yes, the proportions will be maintained except sometimes smaller elements such as tag line text must be slightly enlarged to be readable.

Q: Can you embroider our design using the colors in our artwork?

A: Yes, the colors will be very close if not identical to your artwork. The best way to get the correct colors is to send a sample such as a business card or email your PMS (Pantone Matching System) colors. If neither option is possible we'll mail embroidered samples so you can choose the closest match.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Embroidery Tips: Get The Right Fit!

Have tall employees? They may prefer a tall-sized shirt. Tall sizes are approximately 2-3 inches longer in the sleeves and torso so tall employees can look good, feel comfortable and stay tucked in!

Have female employees who don't feel comfortable in short sleeve polos? Try a 3/4 length polo!

Are your T-shirt necklines too loose? Ask for a T with a tighter cut neck.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Embroidery Tips

Creating your own artwork? Need to name your file? Instead of giving your artwork file a general name such as "logo", "shirts" or "final" call it a specific name such as "Cape Atlantic Cleaning logo" so it can be easily identified.

Unsure what thread color(s) to use for your embroidered logo? Request embroidered samples using different colors. This is an especially helpful if you have PMS (Pantone Matching System) colors for your logo so you'll get the best color match!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Get an Accuate Printing Quote

How do you get an accurate screen printing quote? Know:

1. Type of item printed (nylon jacket, athletic shirts, pocket print, sleeve print?)

2. Quantity of items to be printed

3. Item a light or dark color?

4. Number of prints (designs) per item

5. Number of colors per design

6. Artwork printable? (at least 300 dpi - not clipart off the internet or a docx file!)

Remember that screenprinting pricing is usually based on the number of items printed, it costs more to print dark items, the number of colors in a design increases the cost and printing just one letter/word in a different location counts as another print.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Embroidery Tips

Have an usual custom embroidery project that needs special consideration? Want "multi-media" shirts with printing, embroidery and rhinestones? Need pants embroidered with full leg designs? Look for a decorator who specializes in the desired technique and leave extra time for projects that require additional set-up and running time.

Want a polo that's "different" for your embroidered business logo? Did you locate a designer polo that's perfect but the price tag doesn't fit your budget? Ask your embroiderer for a cheaper alternative!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Embroidered Shirt Tips

Are the cheapest embroidered shirts necessarily the best buy? There are lots of fairly inexpensive styles provided by well-known manufacturers that might have the lowest price tag but aren't necessarily the best buy. Often by the time you add embroidery to these shirts you've invested more into the embroidery then the shirt and you get shirts that don't last long. That's fine if the shirts are part of a promotional give-away but don't expect them to work for everyday wear. Instead, invest in a style that costs a few more dollars and you'll have a shirt that lasts. Not sure what style is a good buy? Ask your embroiderer!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Logo Embroidery Tips - Find Your Fit!

Not sure if a style works for you? Undecided about a shirt color? Uncertain what sizes to order for your group? Order samples to check out styles, colors and sizing. If you think you'll need a range of sizes you may be okay with ordering garments in alternate sizes. For example, order a M, XL and possibly a 3X (if needed) for men and S,L and possibly a 2X for women.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Commercial Embroidery Tips: Camo Colors?

Picking camo style baseball caps was the natural choice for your hunt club but what about the thread colors and font? What thread colors and font types look best on camouflage material? While camo patterns range from earth tones to shades of blue or pink the reasoning for making the correct design choice is the same. If you want a subtle look, choose a less prominent shade in the camo pattern. If a high contrast look is preferred, choose a color that contrasts well with the colors in the pattern.

When considering fonts pick a font with wide columns for readable text. Fonts with narrow columns and fine serifs will be hard to read against a multi-colored background. Make sure your design is big and bold. A finely-detailed logo will tend to be lost against a multi-colored background especially if the thread colors don't contrast well with the camo background.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ordering Embroidery: Fast. Fast. Fast!

Its 2010. We want everything fast, fast, FAST! Ordering products online has never been easier. But wait, what about customized items such as embroidered shirts and screen printed T's? Can we expect those products as quickly? It depends...

While production time is partially dependant on the current workload, staff and equipment in the shop the particular job requirements play a large role in determining how long it will take to finish a custom job. Unlike ordering blank clothes from an online vendor, customized items such as embroidered polo shirts and screen printed T's can't just be pulled, boxed and shipped. Questions such as determining the correct size, colors and decorating process come into play and delay the procedure. Yes, there are exceptions. Its fairly easy to "design" a customized item with software such as an online designer tool but these simplified systems are only capable of allowing users to construct basic images rather than create logo quality designs.

What are some of the additional steps involved when customizing something? Deciding the appropriate colors and size; proofing artwork and production time are some of the elements in the process. Can you "streamline" your order to facilitate production? Yes. These steps can be taken to decrease production time:

1. Finalize your artwork. That includes all text. If you don't have the capability to add your own text have an idea of the color, type of font, size and placement of the text. Many people will say "Just put the text below the image". But is that what you really want? Will that text stand out and help create a unique design?

2. Provide the highest resolution artwork you have. Some people hesitate to do this because they feel their artwork many be stolen but the chance of someone finding your artwork so unique that they would steal it is extremely unlikely. Instead, your poor grade artwork may cost you a higher set-up charge.

3. Finalize your colors ahead of time. This includes considering the background or color of the item being decorated. This is one of the most common mistakes. Customers associate the color of their business name with their business so they pick shirts that are the same or a very close to the color of the text in their logo. Instead of choosing the same color, choose a contrasting col0r that works with the colors in your logo.

4. Know how many designs will be included on the items. This includes text in all locations such as the back and sleeves.

5. Carefully proof your set-up. You should receive some type of proof before your items are customized. Take time to check spelling and ask questions if you are uncertain about an element such as the size.

Finally, leave extra time for possible set-up edits, production problems and shipping. Artwork changes and production mistakes can slow down the process so its good to have an extra day or two to handle these issues. Shipping across the county will add a week so leave additional time for that unless you want to pay for expedited shipping. The bottom line - purchasing custom logo clothing isn't the same as "off the rack" buying. If you want the best job that meets your expectations leave extra time when ordering custom embroidered or screen printed clothing.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Your Embroidered Logo: Get the Gold!

Have gold in your logo? Having a unique, memorable logo will go a long way toward branding your business. But, in this case I'm referring to the color "gold". If you do have gold in your embroidered logo, do you have trouble getting the right shade of gold? Is it too light, too dark, too yellow?

If so you're in good company. Gold is one of the most popular shades used in business logos but getting the correct shade of gold thread in your embroidered logo can be difficult. It may look okay in your digital proof but not in person. How can you obtain the right "gold"? Request embroidered samples that show different shades of gold. Then you can pick the shade that looks best to you!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Business Branding Tips: Business Name Font

Using your business name in a block font just below your embroidered logo doesn't say much about your business other than the fact that you provide a basic service. But, choosing a particular font in the right size, thickness, spacing and placement describes more about your individual business and the unique services you provide. Even though you may not be involved in a "creative" business, if you don't distinguish yourself from your competitors how will you effectively compete against them?

The choice is yours. The logo on your embroidered shirts will be seen wherever you go. With it you have the chance to gain the interest and possibly the business of new customers. Do you think a logo that is unique and memorable is more likely to help you acquire new business?

So, pass on the unedited clipart images and the basic block font. Instead, spend time thinking about how you can develop a unique presence that identifies your business and how you serve your customers!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Custom Logo or Generic Clip Art?

Have I mentioned how many times customers have said they have a logo and can I just embroider their name below it? Sometimes they have custom logo that includes their business or group name and they want to reinforce that name below the logo. That's fine. What I question is when their "logo" isn't a unique design but is instead a generic clip art image. Does adding a business name below such an image create a business logo? No!

Your business logo is a custom design that describes what you do and how you do it. It brands your image. It should be readable, unique and memorable. In less than four square inches of space it can say who you market to, what type of product you sell and the quality of services you provide. So, will your business logo consist of a commonly seen generic clipart image or will it promote your custom brand?

And what about placing your business name below the image in a common font? Is that the best marketing move for your company? What does that say about the unique services you provide your customers so they'll choose your business over your competitors?

More coming... -jd

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Embroidered Business Apparel: Need a Color Change?

Tired of wearing the same navy/black/red embroidered shirts every day? Swap colors and breath new life into your corporate apparel. If your shirts are white and your logo is embroidered in red and black thread try red shirts with a white and black embroidery or black shirts with white and red embroidery. You get the idea...

Ready for a bolder change? Instead of staying in your usual color family, use an updated, "greener" pallet. Choose a polo in a new shade of green such as spring green or green oasis and have your business logo embroidered in shades of gold, burnt orange, royal and (you fill in the blank) to create a totally new impression. You'll refresh your image while your logo will have more impact with its bright, new appearance!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Embroidered Business Logos: Best Ladies Sizing?

Had problems in the past ordering the correct embroidered shirt sizes for the women in your group? With the relatively new "Ladies Companion Styles" gone are the days when women were forced to wear an embroidered polo cut for men. But, even with shorter hems, contoured shaping and ladies plus sizes, women's sizing can be difficult especially when some people prefer a snug fit while others want a roomier look. What's the solution? Instead of guessing, order a sample in each size so everyone can try on a shirt and choose the best fit!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Embroidered Business Apparel: Finding What You Need?

What are your embroidered business apparel needs? Eco-friendly, wrinkle-free or stain-resistant golf shirts? A hi-tech computer backpack? A moisture-wicking color block sport shirt in your team colors? Do your performance wear shirts meet your expectations? Can you find the right styles such as pocket, contrast trim and slim fit polos?

We love to know about our customer's needs so we can locate items and notify vendors of new trends. So, tell us if you're having trouble finding a particular style, color or detail and we'll try to help satisfy your decorated apparel needs!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Tips For Finding The Perfect Embroidered Polo: a "No-Curl" Collar?

Looking for a "no-curl" collar to help your embroidered polos look great? Many clothing distributors offer polo styles with a "no-curl" collar. Not sure which sport shirt to choose? Ask your embroiderer to suggest what's best for you.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Industrial Polo for Embroidery: Style, Comfort and Performance For Your Staff

Need a hard-working embroidered polo shirt for factory workers? The CS402 (men), CS403(ladies) and CS402P (men's with pocket)is a stain-resistant, 6.8 ounce polo that's designed to withstand at least 50 industrial washings. This shirt not only wears well - it looks and feels good with its open hem sleeves, side vents, ottoman-tipped collar and dyed-to-match buttons.

Need safety yellow shirts from XS to 6X? This IL50 certified polo is available in ten colors including safety orange and yellow in sizes XS - 6XL for men and XS-XXL and plus 1X and plus 2X for women. Everyone will look good and be comfortable because they can get the right fit. Unlike most less expensive styles this soft-feeling pique polo performs like a more expensive shirt. The CS402/CS403 polo will be a hit with your staff!

Embroidered Bamboo Polos: Wear a Style That Performs!

Have you seen the K497 (men's) and L497 (ladies) polos? Yes, shirts made from sustainable bamboo trees. Embroidered bamboo polo shirts are one of our best selling new polo styles. Bamboo shirts are wonderful for keeping you cool and comfortable by helping to regulate your body temperature. Bamboo trees are used to create a miracle fabric known for its moisture-wicking, odor-inhibiting and UV resistant qualities.

Besides winning top ratings as a performance fabric, garments made from bamboo resist wrinkles and are hypoallergenic. Admired for their luxurious, silk-like sheen, unlike shirts made from silk, bamboo polos can be machine washed. In addition to being easy to care for this fabric embroiders well so the small details in your logo embroider cleanly. In addition to looking great you'll feel great when wearing this earth-friendly product!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Embroidery On The Bill?

Can hats be embroidered on the bill and side? Occasionally I receive requests for custom embroidery on the bill and side of caps. Often these inquiries include images of hats with this type of design. We've all seen these designs so it must be doable, right? While its possible to embroider a small logo on the side of a hat its not feasible to embroider on the bill after the hat has been assembled.

Due to embroidery machine limitations, hat front designs must be started approximately ¼ inch above the brim, thus preventing the embroiderer from embroidering to the brim. When embroidered the bill area, the needle must penetrate the bill at a high speed while maintaining consistent thread tension from the upper thread and lower bobbin thread. Because the brim is supported by a heavy piece of cardboard, the needle can't penetrate this thickness to make a stitch. Thus, the bill can only be embroidered before it is assembled.

So, what about the bill designs you've seen? Those hats are from large quantity runs where it was cost effective to have the design embroidered before the caps were assembled. While the embroidered bill look is "cool", most orders aren't large enough to consider having the hats embroidered before they are sewn together.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Embroidered Logo: Get The Right Colors!

How do you get the correct thread colors in your custom embroidered logo? The colors may look right in the digital proof your embroiderer emailed but colors can vary according to your monitor settings. You can request an embroidered sample but sometimes you can't afford the additional time delay. What can you do? As soon as you choose an embroiderer, send a color sample of your logo such as a business card or brochure so your embroiderer can match the thread colors in your logo to your color sample.

When considering minor shade differences, what if matching the exact shades isn't as important as having thread colors that look good (contrast well) against the shirt color? Let your embroiderer pick the best thread shade for each color!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Custom Embroidery: Need New Ideas?

Add New Color! - Need to breakaway from your typical conservative color mode for your next promotional give-away? Try visors in a bright color and attract new attention to your business. Visors are inexpensive, easy to pack and transport and can be worn by anyone.

Logo Update! - Want a quick new look without a redesign? Have your logo embroidered in a tone-on-tone thread color (color that is very close to the shirt color) for a subtle, classic appearance.

Don't Forget Denim! - Need button down shirts for your group? Consider embroidered denim shirts. Denim is easy to care for, looks great on everyone and embroideres well.

Performance Fabric Polos? - Looking for a performance polo that wicks away moisture, is comfortable to wear, looks great and is easy to care for? Don't forget polos made from bamboo. Bamboo is a sustainable natural fiber that will keep you cool and comfortable without hurting our environment.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Custom Embroidery: Baby Clothes

Embroidered baby clothes - Are they the same as embroidered apparel in larger sizes? Not really. Because babies have sensitive skin, special backing must be used to cover the underside of embroidery to protect the baby's skin from the embroidery backing and thread. Are there better decoration options available for baby items? Direct garment printing is another decoration option that produces results similar to screen printing without the screen costs associated with traditional screen printing. So what if your prefer embroidery for your baby garment? Locate an embroiderer who specializes in baby items so they will treat your garments with the proper care.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Artwork Embroidered: File Types

You're ordering embroidered organic cotton polo shirts. When you inquire about acceptable artwork formats you learn that vector files are best. After checking your artwork you realize that although you don't have a vector file you have access to software that will save files in a vector format. Will that work? No.

Although the file extension should indicate the artwork file type there can be exceptions. For example, if a file extension is ai or cdr the artwork should be a vector or line art image but if a pixel-based image is imported into a vector program and saved as a vector file then the image isn't automatically vectorized. Although this procedure produces a file with the correct extension, it doesn't convert a pixel image into line art. Therefore, it doesn't improve the quality of the artwork.

So what should you do if you want want to supply the best possible artwork for your custom embroidery? Email all your files to your embroiderer so they can choose what will work best. If none of the files are acceptable then your artwork will need to be vectorized or redrawn. Many people don't like the additional cost for vectorization but usually the fee is minimal (approximately $15.00) but the result is artwork that can be easily resized and edited without sacrificing quality. Also, once your artwork is in vector format it can be used for a variety of mediums ranging from embroidery to print advertising to promotional products.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Embroidered Logos: Making Artwork Work For Embroidery

Often a customer will request a quote for a logo created in Word or another word processing program. That's fine but many of these simple logos require similar adjustments before they can be used as artwork. A common problem is the use of text that is too small. Because word processing programs allow the user to create very small text it is temping to use a small font size for secondary text in an embroidered design. But, when the logo is translated into embroidery the small text is too tiny to be embroidered so the size of the text must be enlarged. If its only a small amount then that won't affect the look of the logo too much. But, often the size must be increased so much that the general look of the logo is altered.

Another common request is to ask that the text be outlined. Outlining is especially effective with printed text but is much more difficult to embroider cleanly so it is often eliminated. Usually that can be accomplished without other changes but sometimes the font or background colors must be adjusted so the text is readable. The process of making these changes may seem frustrating especially if you've already spend a considerable amount of time developing your logo or you already have printed items but without these edits, your logo won't work as an effective embroidered logo.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Embroidered Logo: Artwork to Embroidered Design

You web guy designed a great logo for screen printed shirts. Its a four color process design with lots of subtle color gradations. It looks sharp as a full front, T-shirt design but will it work for embroidered polo shirts?

Most likely your artwork will need modifications. Can your embroiderer make these types of changes? Often yes but they may need to ask questions about how your design should be simplified for embroidery. Generally speaking, color gradations and small details must be eliminated. Instead, gradated areas are translated into one area of thread color. If an area must be simplified your embroiderer needs to know what color it should be. If you are unsure how these changes will affect the look of your embroidery then its best to adapt your artwork before starting the embroidery set-up. This way adjustments can be made easily so you can create the look you want for your custom embroidered polo shirts.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Embroidered Designs: Hand Drawn Images

Occasionally I'll receive a hand drawn image as artwork and the artist will request that the logo be embroidered as a multi color image. For example, the customer will submit a one-color drawing and ask that it be embroidered as a three-color design. If the image consists of distinct shapes without outlining the colors can be set-up so each area can be a different thread color. This process will work because it allows the thread colors to be easily changed, added or deleted if necessary.

Problems arise when the artwork is a more complicated design. For example, a logo containing a variety of sections can be very hard to visualize in different colors. If a more detailed logo is digitized with each element as a separate color then that can unnecessarily add to the set-up cost especially if the design is eventually embroidered with a limited number of colors.

How do you handle this situation? Basically you have two options:

1. Have the artwork vectorized (redrawn). There is a minimal charge for vectorization but once your artwork is converted into line art an artist can easily try different color combinations so you can decide how the colors should be before your artwork is set-up for embroidery.

2. Add color to your hand drawn image. Make copies of your original image and use colored pencils to add color to copies of your artwork. This will allow you to visualize your image with color while allowing you to redo your work if you make a mistake or want to try different color combinations.

Experimenting with different color options before having your design embroidered will give you a better understanding of your artwork while alowing you to produce a better embroidered image. One final note - Don't forget the background color! The fabric color of the item to be embroidered must be considered.