Design Tips

A-B Emblem has been designing and manufacturing high quality Custom Emblems since 1941. From NASA to Boy Scouts, A-B Emblem guarantees customer satisfaction with every purchase. Our experienced Designers can help you create the perfect Custom Emblem at a competitive price. To make sure you get the best Custom Embroidered Emblem here are some design tips to get you started!

Bold is better

Bold letters and design elements are more visible and look better embroidered.

Strong Color Contrast is Ideal

Strong color contrast is better than light on light or dark on dark colors. If visibility is an issue with your intricate design please consider this. There is one exception – black on white, or white on black sometimes results in poor quality embroidery coverage.

Lettering – Minimum Size ⅛″

Lettering smaller than ⅛″ of an inch compromises the legibility of the lettering. If upper and lower case lettering is used the minimum size is based on the lower case letters.

Open Block Lettering is More Legible

Narrow and condensed type styles do not embroider well. Tall and skinny font styles are should be avoided as well. Squat and bold (not extra bold) are preferable. Other type styles that embroider well are, simple script, bold font styles with serif’s, free hand styles, and other styles that conform to this concept. If you want to use a stylized font then make sure you have designed the lettering large enough so the small details (like the inside of a lower case “a”) do not risk “closing up”.

Blank Spaces are Boring!

Effective use of space is important. Enlarging graphic elements, extending or enlarging text, and introducing other graphic elements are ways to better use blank space.

Choose a Complimenting Border

The Classic

For the most classic patch look—use an overlock. Most simple patch shapes (circles, ovals, rectangles, triangles, rhomboid, trapezoidal, egg shapes, pill shapes, tombstone shapes, and simple shields) can have our classic Merrow® ravel-proof overlocked border applied to the edge after the patch is die cut. An overlocked edge is ⅛ inch thick. For the best results keep your embroidered detail at least ¹⁄₁₆ of an inch away from the Overlock.

The Contour Seal

Any patch can have a border that is embroidered with the design, not added later like a sewn Overlock. A Contour Sealed patch on a garment has a lower edge profile, and many times is used as an alternative to Direct Embroidery (embroidering the garment directly). The minimum Contour Seal can be as small as ¹⁄₁₆ inch along the outer edge of the patch. For success try to leave ¹⁄₁₆″ of space between concentric elements or lettering running parallel to the border.

Specialty Borders

Laser Contour which leaves a small margin of non-embroidered material around the entire patch.
Handcut or Diecut with a Raw Edge, for a vintage look.
variegated Overlocks, which give you a rainbow of colors
Glow in Dark Overlock

While planning your design remember backgrounds fills, landscapes, bars, clouds, etc. can extend to the border.

Beware Thin Black Lines!

Does your design have a lot of black lines separating elements? Are they necessary to the graphic? If they can be reduced or removed the finished product will look better.

Capture lines (thin black lines defining graphic details) are difficult to register when embroidering. Capture lines have to be embroidered in Stepstitch – a series of short straight stitches going from one needle entry point to another resulting in a line that is not the straightest or the smoothest looking.

A good idea is to think about Paint-by-Number paintings. The original design has no color, it only has shapes contained by Capture Lines. When it’s painted the Capture Lines are gone and all that’s left are the colors. Patch Design works well if you keep this in mind.

When Capture Lines are essential to the graphic, as is usual in cartoon graphics, consideration should be given to thickening the capture lines to the point where they can be accomplished in Stiehl Stitch (an embroidered border style stitch). A Stiehl Stitch is a reciprocal stitch (back and forth) that binds the edge of a graphic element in a smooth and continuous manner. The thickness of a Stiehl Stitch can be varied for added emphasis and effect.

Embroidery Friendly Element Positioning

The placement of your design elements and fonts matters a lot! In the embroidery process the needle must travel from one element to another. Having elements touching or very close allows them to be connected. Having elements that are spaced apart does not allow them to be connected. For example if your design has a star field: if the stars are spaced too far apart the embroidery machine must stop, trim, move slowly to the next position, and resume stitching. This process increases the chance of embroidery defects.

Is your design ready? If so, contact us directly to get a price and place your order.

Call 1-800-438-4285 or email us at sales@abemblem.com