Saturday, August 19, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Match Colors?

Do the thread colors in an embroidered design always match the artwork? Not necessarily.

Thread colors are usually matched to the artwork but there are exceptions. Sometimes an embroidered design looks best when it's a representation of the artwork rather than a duplication of it. If the printed image contains fine detail that detail may need to be simplified so the design works for embroidery. For example, consider a realistic image of a fish. The fish may have many areas of different colors that must be simplified to work for embroidery. In the process, slightly different thread colors may be needed to create an embroidered design that best represents the printed artwork and looks best on your custom embroidered polo shirts!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Add Border?

Want your embroidered logo text outlined with a thin white border so it will "pop" against a black shirt? Having a border may look good in print but how will it look when its embroidered?

Often there isn't enough room to add a satin (traditional stitch type) border without overlapping another element in the design. Satin stitches have a minimum width that is wider than many printed borders so that can make adding a border difficult.

Sometimes a running stitch (stitch with a hand sewn look) is used. Using running stitches will create a thinner border but running stitches can look messy if they are slightly misplaced which can happen easily during the embroidery process. Also, running stitches can draw attention to themselves because of their broken look (they consist of many short "lines" or stitches) that differs from a solid printed line.

Instead of adding a border often the best option is to change the text color to a lighter thread color that contrasts well against a dark shirt. Then your logo will look clean, your text will standout and your custom embroidered polo shirts will look great!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Cheap Shirts But...

You want to order custom embroidered polo shirts with your logo. You have a strict budget so you choose the cheapest embroiderer and place an order. Your order arrives quickly but the embroidery looks terrible! The colors are wrong, your logo is too big and the fonts have been changed. Plus, the shirts look cheap!

After being laundered a few times the shirts have shrunk and the threads in your logo are starting to pull out. You saved a few bucks but now you're wondering if these shirts were worth it.  Their poor quality reflects badly on your company image. What should you have done differently? Invest in a better quality shirt embroidered by a quality-conscious embroiderer.

Buying the cheapest embroidered shirts isn't necessarily the most economical option. Purchasing a quality shirt that fits well, maintains its appearance and is embroidered with a quality logo will help give your business a good image that reflects the quality of the products and services you provide.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: PMS Shirt Colors?

Need to find custom embroidered polo shirts in a certain PMS color? Your boss asked you to find polo shirts in a certain PMS (Pantone matching system) color. Is that possible?

Yes, but it's usually not practical.  If you want a large quantity of shirts you could have them manufactured overseas but you'll need to meet high minimums and have enough time to wait for your order. Ready-to-wear shirts can be purchased in some PMS colors but many fabrics can fade or bleed depending on how they are worn and laundered so the original shirt color may vary after some usage.

If your company is particular about maintaining PMS colors then your best option is to have your logo embroidered in PMS matching thread colors on a white or black shirt. If polyester thread (a common type of thread) is used then your logo should maintain its colors.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Add Text?

It's your companies' 25th anniversary. You're having a big celebration and your boss wants you to order custom embroidered polo shirts to distribute. You have an existing logo but she wants to add "25th Anniversary" and the date. Is that possible?

It depends on the size of your existing logo. Left chest logos are usually 2.5" - 4" wide. If your logo already occupies most of this space then you won't be able to add more text. Most likely you can't decrease the size of your logo to gain extra room because that would make it unreadable. What are your options?

You can have a new logo designed for your anniversary celebration. If your current logo is outdated this may be a good choice if you have plenty of time. But, designing a logo can be a lengthy process so that may not work for you. Another option is to add just text in another location. This text can be embroidered on the right chest, a sleeve or possibly on the collar. You'll pay slightly more per shirt for the additional embroidery location but you should get your embroidered shirts quickly.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: A Shirt For Everyone?

Need to order custom embroidered polo shirts for your group? Jarred wants a tall size, Kaitlin prefers a 3/4 length sleeve, Jim needs a pocket, Jessica loves a shirt that can be worn untucked....

Is there a style that will work for everyone? Ask your embroiderer for suggestions.  Many apparel vendors offer their most popular shirts in a variety of companion styles so you should be able to accommodate everyone.  If one of these shirts doesn't work then consider using different styles for the men and women or offering an additional button down shirt option so everyone is comfortable.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Best Print Type?

Need another option in addition to custom embroidered polo shirts for the summer?  Want to order T's with a multi-color design? Wondering which decoration method is best?  Screen printing, direct garment printing, heat transfer?

First, how many shirts do you need? If its a small quantity then direct garment printing or a heat transfer print may be your best option especially if there are multiple colors in your design. If your design has 2-3 colors, screen printing may be an option if you can find a printer who will print a small quantity.

If you need a large quantity and your design has only a few colors then screen printing may be your best option. But, if your design has lots of colors or color gradations then four-color process may be the most cost effective.

What if the shirts are white and made from 100% polyester? Sublimation printing can be considered.  What if you really like the look of embroidery? Embroidery will work if its a left chest sized design but a larger design will have too many stitches to be supported by T-shirt fabric.

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 no...you 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.