How do I place an order for embroidered goods? Seems like a simple question, but with words like digitizing, conversion software, custom logos, typeset logos & stock designs it can be a bit confusing. Hopefully after reading this article you will fully understand how this process works.
The first thing anyone should do is secure their logo and or design. This could mean many things. Do you have a company logo? If so is it in vector format? Is it on a business card or a website? As discussed in a previous article vector is by far the best format. But, if you only have a bitmap image this will work as well, provided a couple of things are adhered to. If your logo is on a business card or a website try to provide as large of an image as possible. This image will have to be remade to work with the digitizing software. Also try to provide the best quality image as possible. If you already have your art work digitized then that will save you a step, but has this artwork been tested with a sample and sew out? Many digitizers do things differently so it is our suggestion that you get your digitizing done at the same place you get your embroidery done. This will ensure a great finished product without any complications. The third option here is to use a “stock design”. This does not mean any old image you find on the Internet or clip art found in many pieces of software available for web design or print work. Stock designs like the ones from http://www.dakotacollectibles.com/ are made with embroidery in mind. These designs are pretested and sewn out to ensure their compatibility with digitizing software and embroidery machines.
With any of the three options above it is essential that we understand the differences in print work and embroidery work. Artwork that is to complicated or with small lettering will simply not turn out well in an embroidery design. This should be thought of when working with a logo anyways. I firmly believe in the K.I.S.S. method, keep it simple stupid. What you are trying to accomplish is logo recognition. You really don’t need to have all the information about your company within a logo. When you see the McDonald’s arches do you need to be told within the logo that its McDonald’s logo? Of course not. This is advertising in one of it’s simplest forms, logo recognition. So keep your logo as simple as possible, as it will be small on a shirt or hat and will be hard to read at a glance. Also text that is smaller then 1/4 inch in height will not look good at all in your finished product. Bottom line is artwork that may look good on a computer screen may not look as good in the sewn format. So think about this as you are designing your logo.
The second step is to determine what type of apparel this embroidery work will be applied to. This in my opinion is just as important as determining your logo. By selecting your apparel and logo you will be starting your corporate identity, so it is of the utmost importance to begin this on the right foot. First question to ask is what type of business am I running? This will determine what type of apparel your employees will be wearing to show off your new logo.
Colors are also of great importance. I cannot say how many times I have seen a great logo that turned out horrible because of the color or style of apparel it was embroidered on. Thats right its time to get the old color wheel out. Remember this from grade school? We have contrasting colors, complimenting colors and one of the newest trends tone on tone. Of course there are many other design possibilities in fact to many to mention in this article. Tone on tone seems to be very popular for a subtle corporate look. This style is done with a solid color shirt or other apparel with the logo being the same color with a slightly different tint. This may seem like it would not show up very well. In all reality the slightest difference in the colors can make the logo stand out. This will provide a very professional look.
OK so now we have our apparel and our logo. The next step will be taking your logo and your apparel to your embroiderer (eg Contract Embroidery by Nu Emage). Depending on who you are using these two steps may be intertwined within the process.
The next big step is to get a sample sew out if this is a first time logo. Most all embroiderers will provide a sample to cover themselves as well as the customer. This sample can be done on a scrap piece of material or on an actual piece of apparel. If this will be done on the actual apparel please remember to provide one extra for this purpose (if you are buying your apparel though the embroiderer then please let them know that you will need a sew out sample. They will more then likely cover the cost of this). There will more then likely be many sew outs while the digitizer is attempting to make your logo work. The final one will be the one needed to be approved.
Once your sew out is approved the job can begin production. Production can take days to weeks depending on the size of the order and the complexity of the logo. Please allow adequate time to allow for a quality product.
And that’s it! This is not a simple process but that if professionally handled can be as painless as possible.