Thursday, December 28, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Order Samples?

Trying out a new embroiderer? Concerned about the quality of your embroidered logo? Unsure if you like a particular shirt style? Want to checkout the sizing of a style?

Ordering custom embroidered pocket polo shirts can be difficult. The quality of the shirts and embroidery along with the service, turnaround time and cost must meet your needs. If you start by ordering a sample you can avoid problems and feel confident when placing your order. But, you'll need extra time to receive your sample and you may pay additional embroidery and shipping fees.

Let's say you decide to order a sample. You'll need to decide if you want a blank sample shirt, an  embroidered swatch or an embroidered shirt. A blank sample shirt (or shirts in different sizes) will allow you to check the style, color and sizing. If you need to determine sizing for a group you may want to order a shirt in every size or possibly every other size.

If you're familiar with the shirt style but want to check the quality of your embroidered logo then an embroidered swatch may be sufficient. Many embroiderers offer this service for free or for a small fee so this may be your cheapest option. But, if you need to see exactly how your embroidered logo looks on a shirt then ordering an embroidered shirt is your best option!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Border Color?

You want to order black custom embroidered polo shirts but you're wondering if your logo will show up well because your design has a black outline. Can the outline be changed to another thread color?

The outline color can be changed but it probably won't look right. Adding a black border to a logo adds emphasis to the design.  Adding a border in a lighter color will most likely change the appearance of the design rather than just highlighting existing elements.

If the colors in your design contrast well against the black border and your design is fairly bold then your logo will look fine when embroidered on black shirts. You'll still see the black outline but it won't be very noticeable.  But, if you want the outline in your logo to help make your design "pop" then choose a lighter shirt color that contrasts with the colors in your embroidered logo.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Add Variety to Your Logo Wear

What makes a good custom embroidered hat design? Keep it simple and bold.  Focus on one element in your logo - possibly an image - enlarge it and center it on one of the front panels.

What makes an effective logo on a heathered shirt fabric? Use a bold, simplified design in a contrasting thread color. Eliminate small detail because it will be especially hard to read against a multi-colored background.

What's a good way to make a one-color logo more interesting? Pick a custom embroidered performance polo shirt that's available in multiple bright colors and have your logo embroidered in contrasting colors.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Branded Image

Want to create a branded business image? Pick a variety of decorated garments that work together to create a unified look that represents your business. Consider wearing embroidered button down shirts, long sleeve polo shirts or turtlenecks paired with sweaters and polar fleece for the cooler months. Choose apparel colors that work with your logo and give variety to your appearance while still maintaining a uniform look. Don't forget to accessorize your outfits with embroidered hats and bags which can also be given to good customers and friends.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Slub T's?

Checking out some of the new T-shirt options?  Wondering what "slub cotton" T's are? Slub cotton contains small lumps of fabric (slubs) and imperfections that give it a textured feel and appearance. This uneven look is created by having the fabric knot or twist or by using fibers of different lengths during the weaving process.

Creating a cotton fabric with a rough, irregular look gives it a unique, casual appearance that's great for custom embroidered T-shirts.  If you're looking for a casual T with a unique, vintage look then slub T's may be a good choice for you!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Collar Design?

You've decided to order embroidered button down shirts. You're considering having your logo embroidered on the left front collar for a change but you're wondering how that will look. Will your current logo work or will you need a modified version?

The collar is limited to a small design space (approximately 2 3/4" wide x 1 1/4") high so you'll most likely need a simplified version of your logo. You can use your business name but you'll want to eliminate any small text. Why can't you just downsize your left chest logo? Most likely you can't decrease the size enough and have it still be readable and look good. What if you have an image in your logo? Using just the image or a simplified version might create the most distinctive design and therefore work best to help advertise your business.  

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Still More Updates!

Are there particular elements in your logo design that don't work? Is the image too large, the text detailed or unreadable? These problems can often be fixed by resizing or eliminating an element. Detailed images can be simplified and downsized and small, hard-to-read text can be eliminated. Why not just increase the size of your logo? If your logo is less than four inches wide that may work. But, don't make it much bigger or your logo will look too large and it may not fit on smaller sized shirts.

When you think your logo is finally ready put it aside for some time and review it again. Get feedback from people who will give their honest opinion. Is your logo unique, balanced, memorable and appropriate for your business? Will it appeal to your potential customers? When its embroidered on your custom embroidered polo shirts will it represent what your business does and how you do it?

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: More Updates!

Is your business name clear? Hard-to-read fonts should be simplified. Is your name long? Using a simple font or possibly shortening your name will make it more readable. Your name should easily seen from three feet away.

Do you have unnecessary elements in your design? You may love the image in your logo but if it occupies too much space it may detract from your business name. You may hesitate to eliminate items like your phone number or web address but if a potential customer can't read your name then your logo isn't working for you and it's pointless to include anything else in your design. Your custom embroidered polo shirts will look more distinctive if your embroidered logo is clear and concise rather than being overcrowded and muddled.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Logo Update?

Time for a logo update but you don't know what to do? Small changes can give your logo a fresh, updated appearance and make a big difference in how your custom embroidered polo shirts look.

How should you proceed? First, is your business name large enough? Your name should be clearly seen from a three foot distance so someone can easily read it when meeting you. Having too many secondary elements such as detailed images, a tag line or phone number can occupy valuable space and detract from your name. If your business name isn't readable then having secondary design elements won't help advertise your business.

How can you check the size of your business name before its embroidered?  Print your logo to scale, cut out your design, tape the image to a shirt and stand three feet away.  If your business name is barely readable in print it will be too hard to read when its embroidered so you must increase the size of your name.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Hooping?

What is "hooping"? Hooping is using a hoop (usually a two-part circular frame) to secure garments such as custom embroidered pocket polo shirts so they can be placed on an embroidery machine to be embroidered. The hoop stabilizes the item so the fabric is taunt without being stretched. Correctly hooping a garment is essential to producing a quality embroidered logo.

Different sized hoops are used depending on the size of the design. It's usually best to use the smallest size hoop that the design will fit in but there are exceptions. Using a larger hoop can make it easier to hoop the item or give extra room to watch the garment while it's being embroidered.  While most garments are hooped in a standard hoop items such as caps, bags, belts and heavy jackets require specialized hoops, clamps or frames to stabilize the garment or accessory.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Larger Cap Design?

Wondering if the design for your embroidered hats can be bigger? You've seen some fairly large center front designs on the caps of professional sports teams but when you place an order for custom embroidered hats your embroiderer recommends that your logo be much smaller. Why is that?

Embroidered hats that are produced in large quantities can be embroidered before the hat is assembled. These hats are embroidered when the material is flat and easy to embroider.

Small cap orders are embroidered on caps that are already sewn together. The curved surface of the assembled cap limits the height of the design. While having a wide design usually isn't a problem - hat designs can be 4.25" wide - the height is usually restricted to 2.25" high - a size that is smaller than the embroidered hats of many professional sports teams.

Unsure how your hat design will look when embroidered? Print your design so it's 2.25" high, cut it out and hold it up to the front of a hat. If it looks too small then try eliminating unnecessary design elements and focus on your business name and possibly a small image.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Change Up Shirt Colors

Picking a shirt color for everyone on your staff can be an impossible task.  Some people love bold colors like red and black while others prefer neutral shades. Consider letting employees pick their own colors for their custom embroidered polo shirts so they feel comfortable wearing colors they like and they don't have to wear the same shirt color every day.

If you have a one-color embroidered logo you can vary the color of the logo depending on the shirt color or keep it one color and realize that your logo won't be as readable against some shirt colors. If your logo is simple and the text is fairly bold this gives the logo a more subtle look. If your logo is detailed or has small text then it may be difficult to read and therefore not be a good option.

For a distinctive look have lighter colored shirts embroidered in black thread (or another dark color such as charcoal or navy) and darker shirts embroidered in white, cream or another light color. Shirts in the medium color range can be embroidered in either thread color depending on your preference.

Permitting your staff to wear different shirt colors will allow them to feel and look better wearing the colors they want and breakup the monotony of wearing the same shirt color every day so everyone is happier!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Your Embroidered Logo: Higher Resolution File?

What does it mean when your embroiderer asks for a higher resolution artwork file so they can set up your logo for your custom embroidered polo shirts? Your embroiderer is requesting a file with more detail so they can provide you with an accurate embroidery set-up.

If you have your artwork in a few file types and you don't know which type will work best for your set-up then you can either ask your embroiderer what file type they prefer OR, send what you have so your embroiderer can pick the best file.

What if you "grabbed" an image from the internet? It will have a low resolution and you'll need to get a higher quality image from a clip art site or another source.

What if you use an artwork program to save out your low res file into a higher resolution format? Unfortunately that won't work because changing the file extension won't add information to the file.

What if you can't supply a higher resolution file?  As long as your file isn't too pixelated it can be "vectorized" or redrawn as sizable line art and saved out in different high resolution file formats. Having your design vectorized will increase your cost slightly but as long as you keep a copy of your vectorized logo you'll have high quality artwork for your future printing needs.

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 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.