How to Design Art for Promotional Embroidery
You probably own some embroidered apparel, like that team cap you wear to ball games, or your company polo shirt with the logo emblazoned on the breast, or if you’re fancy-schmancy, maybe you have monogrammed bath towels … nice! Embroidery is popular because it’s extremely durable, and it has a classier look than other techniques used to apply graphics to textiles. But it also presents a few graphic challenges and limitations, so let’s take a look at how to design art for promotional embroidery.
How is Embroidery Done?
We’ve come a long way from the classical image of a spinster pushing a needle through cloth stretched on a wooden hoop. Commercial embroidery is a complex process executed by industrial machines that can fill entire rooms.
KID (Kansas International Dragway) Embroidered caps to promote the drag racing track
Commercial Embroidery, a Step-by-Step Guide
- 1: Produce your basic design – Every embroidered graphic begins with an idea. This can be a sketch on a napkin or a meticulous drawing on graph paper. Better yet, if you have some expertise with graphic software, you may as well start there because the design may eventually have to be redrawn in Photoshop or Illustrator, anyway. If you don’t do Photoshop, bring your sketches to US Logo, and we’ll put you with a graphic designer who can create the digital files for you. If all you’re doing is putting your logo on a garment, you probably already have a digital version of it; in this case, you’re ready to go.
- 2: Import the digital image into the embroidery machine computer – Once a graphic designer has made sure your image is compatible with embroidery software, the file is imported to the “brain” of the embroidery machine.
- 3: Garments are loaded onto the machine – Technicians place the garments on jigs, then press frames down around them—not unlike the hoop method used by hobbyist embroiderers.
- 4: The machine does its magic – The embroidery machine starts sewing like the big, beautiful robot it is, rapidly stitching one color at a time into the design.
- 5. Textiles are checked and removed – An operator checks the machine’s work, trims the threads, and removes the textile, now adorned with a raised, colorful graphic.
Mel Hambelton Ford embroidered caps for promotional giveaway
Embroidery Design FAQ
Now that you understand how the design will be applied, let’s answer the most common questions about getting the look you’re hoping for.
Q: What fonts work best for embroidery?
A: Larger fonts are better than small ones because embroidery doesn’t render small details well. Spindly and ornate fonts should also be avoided.
Q: Can embroidered designs be complex?
A: Unless your design is huge, it’s best to avoid fine detail in your design, as it may not translate well to stitching.
Q: Can I use gradients in embroidery?
A: Nah. Stitching does a poor job of rendering gradients. Stick with solid colors.
Q: What fabrics are best for promotional embroidered designs?
A: Some textiles do better than others with embroidered patterns. Try to stay with cotton, silk, or neoprene; their smooth surfaces provide the right “canvas” for stitched designs.
Kansas Turn Pike Authority, knows what it means to push their brand with promotional embroidery
Get Help with Your Embroidered Design
The fastest, surest way to come up with the best possible look is to work with a graphic designer early in the process. A skilled artist can guide you through the translation of your idea to a form that looks great when embroidered. Give us a call to discuss your project; let’s do something cool together.
Griswold Roofing embroidered caps
Put the right custom apparel in the right places at the right times, and more people will buy from you. You can explore US Logo’s huge collection of apparel advertising for sale by giving us a call at (316) 264-1321. We’ll get some catalogs into your hands and offer suggestions on how to best utilize custom garment marketing as part of your arsenal.