Sunday, June 11, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Larger Hat Design?

Wish your embroidered hat design looked bigger? Its 2.25" high but not as wide.  Your embroiderer says it can't be any larger so it doesn't occupy much space on the front of the hat.  Can you make it look better?

Hat designs look best when they are approximately 2" high and 4" wide. This area covers the space on the front of a hat. If your hat design is vertically orientated its size is limited by the 2.25" height restriction for hats.

What can you do? Consider editing the design so it has a horizontal orientation.  This may involve rearranging and /or adjusting the spacing and sizing of different design elements. Or, simplify the design and focus on one element so it doesn't look too detailed and center it on one of the front panels rather then in the center of the cap.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Embroidery or Screen Printing?

You need to order a large quantity of polo shirts with a left chest design.  Should the polos be embroidered or screen printed?

Most polo shirts are embroidered because screen printing is a more casual look that can downgrade the appearance of a nice polo shirt. But, you have a limited budget so you must consider both methods. Screen printing a large quantity of shirts is usually cheaper but you must use a shirt style with a tight weave to obtain a clean print. A jersey knit fabric (looks like T-shirt material) will most likely be the cheapest option but if you want a shirt with a more athletic look and performance features then you can choose a slightly more expensive 100% polyester polo. Screen printing can recreate design features like drop shadows, outlining and small text better than embroidery but the sheen of embroidery thread can give an embroidered design its own unique appeal.

But, if your design has multiple colors and you prefer the look of embroidery then you may want to have your shirts embroidered.  Most likely you'll avoid any set-up fees because of the large quantity, you won't be charged for multiple design colors and you can use any polo shirt style.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Best Decoration Method con't

Lets say you want to purchase twenty-five sweatshirts to give away to good customers. You want a small design on the front and a large design on the back. What are your options?

Sweatshirts can either be embroidered or screen printed. Printing will create a more casual look. Embroidery will work fine for a small front design but may be expensive for a large back design especially if you need a custom set-up. But, if you're okay with using stock embroidery text that will lower the cost.

You decide you want a more athletic appearance so screen printing may be a better choice as long as you don't have many colors in your design. If you have multiple colors you should consider direct-to-garment printing especially since the total number of garments (25) is small. But, you decide to limit your cost and have a two-color front and a one-color back design so screen printing seems like a good option.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Best Decoration Method?

Need a large design on the back of a few sweatshirts? A large quantity of polos with a left chest design? A multi-color print on T's? Wondering what type of decoration is best for your job?

Decorating methods range from traditional embroidery to newer methods like direct-to-garment printing and sublimation.  How do you decide which method will produce the look you want at the most cost effective price? Define your artwork, the type and quantity of the apparel and who will be wearing it.

Artwork - What size is it? Left chest sized, full back or in between? How many colors? Will there be more than one design per garment? The amount of detail may determine the size of the design.  If you want to include lots of information like your location, phone number and web address you'll need a back-sized design.

Apparel - What type of garment will be decorated?  T's, polos, button down shirts? Who will wear the items? Where will the garments be worn? What is the desired "look"? Casual, formal, athletic, hi-tech? What is your budget? What are your options?

To be continued...

Monday, February 27, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Increase Cap Design Size?

Wish your embroidered cap design looked bigger? Its 2.25" high x 2" wide so it looks small when embroidered on a hat. You'd like to increase the size but your embroiderer says it can't be larger because its the maximum height for cap designs.  But, because its a vertically-orientated design, it doesn't take up much space on the front of the hat. Is there anything you can do?

To start, keep in mind that an ideal cap design is 2" - 2.5" high and 4" wide. If your design fits that area it won't look small when embroidered on a cap.

First, consider editing your design so it has a horizontal orientation.  This may involve rearranging the design elements.  For example, if you previously had a centered image with text below try placing the image to the left of the text so your design fills more of the available space.

Second, consider eliminating lesser elements such as small text. These elements can be located on the back of the hat if necessary.

Third, try adjusting the spacing within your design. For example, if you have a large gap between design elements that are stacked vertically, lessen that space so you have more vertical room to increase the size of those elements.

If the above suggestions don't work well then consider using just text and arrange it so it occupies the most space with the 2.25" high x 4" wide area.

Finally, consider using an abbreviated form of your design such as the image or a shortened version of your business name (a simple, favicon-like image) and locate this design in the center of one of the front panels. This look is popular now and its off-set appearance will attract extra attention for #YourEmbroideredLogo.

Once you decide what works best for you, size your design to 2.5" high x 4" wide or less depending on your choice, print it at that size, tape it to a hat and stand three feet away to see how it looks!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Artwork File to Embroidery File

You're ready to order embroidered long sleeve polos for your crew. You have an artwork file for your business logo but you don't know if it will work for an embroidered logo. How is that determined? How does your artwork become translated into stitches embroidered on shirts?

Once your artwork is received by your embroiderer:
Its correctly sized for a left chest logo (2.5" - 4" wide depending on the design).
The resolution is checked to see if its clear enough to see the detail in the design. 
Adjustments are made if necessary. Changes can include eliminating small text or dividing small text into two lines so the font size can be increased. 
Your artwork file is used as a template to create a stitch file.  Stitches in different types, lengths and directions are assigned to the elements in your design.
Your digitized file (your artwork translated into stitches) is saved into an embroidery software format (so file edits can be made if necessary), an embroidery machine file and a digital proof file (often a jpeg or pdf) are also created. The proof file is sent to you.
Once you approve your digital proof then your order is scheduled to be run on an embroidery machine.

Need changes? The embroidery software file is modified and a new digital proof is created.  Once you approve your embroidery proof a new machine file is created and your custom embroidered long sleeve polo shirts are scheduled to be embroidered.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Production Process

Wondering why it takes a few days to receive your custom embroidered pocket polo shirts? You can order and receive a plain shirt from Amazon in 1-3 days but that isn't a custom item.  What process is involved in producing custom embroidered shirts?

Your pocket polos are ordered and received - Most embroiderers order garments from their apparel supplier on a per-order basis.  Most items are received in 1-2 days but delays can occur.

Your artwork is translated into a stitch file - A digitizer uses your artwork to create a stitch file. A digital proof is also created and sent to you for your approval.  This process usually takes 1-2 days but it can take longer if edits are required.

Embroidery machine time - Machine time is scheduled once your garments are in stock and you've approved your embroidery set-up.  An embroidery machine is prepped with the correct thread colors and stitch file information. Your shirts are embroidered.

Shirts are trimmed - Your shirts are trimmed, steamed and folded.  They are organized by style, size and color.

Shirts are prepped for shipping - Your shirts are counted and packed.  Your shipping label is prepared and tracking information is emailed to you. Your order is shipped.

Yes, ordering custom embroidered pocket polo shirts takes extra time.  But, once you wear your shirts you can maintain a professional uniform appearance while advertising your business!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Use Stock Designs?

You decided to use a stock embroidered design for your business logo when you started your business. Using a stock design provided a quick, inexpensive way to create a logo so you could wear embroidered shirts and present a professional image.

Your first shirts worked out great for a couple of years but now its time for new shirts.  You try calling your embroiderer but...oh realize they're no longer in business!  What happens now? Can another embroiderer use an existing shirt to recreate your logo?

Maybe. If you really like your current design then you can locate the design online, purchase it and have your new embroiderer add text to it. But, is that your best option?

Stock embroidery designs are great.  Many are beautifully designed and can provide an inexpensive option for a business logo.  But, can a stock design be unique, memorable and represent your business? Can it speak for your business and how you do business?

While the intricate detail in stock designs can make them appealing this detail can take up extra room and distract from your business name. The image usually demands most of the attention unlike a business logo where your business name should have the primary focus.

While it takes extra time and thought to have your own logo created, its a great investment in your business. Work carefully with a skilled graphic designer to create a logo that appeals to your customers, says what you do, is simple, memorable and unique and you'll create a great logo that works for you!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Most Common Questions Answered!

Q: Can you remove the white background in my artwork when setting up my logo for embroidery?

A: Yes, the white background can be removed. If there are white design elements that should be embroidered in white thread let your embroiderer know about these items.

Q: Can the colors in my embroidered logo be different than in my artwork?

A: Yes, you can change the colors but you should see a proof with the new colors before having your logo embroidered.

Q: Will my logo work for baseball caps?

A; Possibly. Cap designs are limited to 2.25" high x 4" wide. If your logo meets those size requirements then your design will work for caps. But, your set-up may need to be redone so it works well for caps.

Q: Can a photo be used as artwork to create my embroidery set-up?

A: Possibly.  If your design is simple and the photograph is clear then it might work.  But, if your logo is detailed, the photo isn't clear or the image is distorted you may need to have artwork created before continuing with your embroidery set-up.

Q: How can I make sure the correct thread colors will be used for my embroidered logo?

A; If you provide PMS colors for your logo then your thread colors will match as closely as possible. If you are still unsure you can request to see an embroidered sample before continuing with production.

Q: What is the most common mistake people make when ordering embroidered shirts?

A; People choose a shirt color that's the same or very similar to a color in their logo then their logo doesn't contrast well against their shirt color.