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Design tips for embroidery | Design tips for screen imprinting

Graphic design tips for embroidery

Logos on apparel are not the same as in print. The artist needs to make alterations to compensate for the embroidery process which includes height, width, and texture, or depth. The third dimension is achieved by using thread.


Despite what most people think, to embroider a design, we don't just take your logo image, press a few buttons on the computer and sew a perfect replica of the original. In fact the DIGITIZING process can take many hours of sweat, tears and coffee. A scanned logo is used purely as a background image on the screen. The long stitch building process can then begin.


  • jpeg file at the actual size of final embroidery. For shirts, you might even print the image, cut out, and put on a shirt to see the sizing.
  • PMS colors - we will try to match, but threads and computers are a bit different so it may not be exact
  • If submitting a .dst file, an exclusive embroidery file format, we will produce at the same size as your last project. If your .dst file was produced by another embroiderer, you may get different results because not all machines are the same and the .dst file will always be optimized for the equipment where work is going to be done.
  • Multi-color or complicated logo's, please also submit a .TIF or .EPS file.
  • TIP: no graphic file can be converted to .dst because the file format contains a 3rd dimension, texture.

TURNAROUND TIME: Allow one week for most digitizing. Most apparel is then completed in production within 5 business days, again sometimes sooner.

The most common solved:

Type: no smaller than 1/4 inch tall. In general, capital letters should be at least 6.4 mm high. If your design has both capital and small letters (that is, regular sentence or title case), the minimum height should be 5 mm. If using all caps, which are easier to read, you can have the letters smaller, though no smaller than 3.8 mm. The minimum column width (width of each bar in a letter) should be 0.8 mm.

Space within Letters: Letters that have closed loops (such as d, p, q, etc.) can be tricky to embroider. If the letter is too thick or you donít account for enough space within the loop, you're left with something like the dís in this one.

Embroidery Digitizing Sample:

Open Space in Letters - Before

Iogo embroidery sample

Open Space in Letters - After with .9 mm in loop diameter.

embroidery sample 2

See the difference?

Thicken lines: Most logos require that type be thickened. A good rule of thumb is to fatten everything from 1/64" to 1/16" depending on the fabric type, the overall size of the logo itself, etc. Since not all fabrics are the same, your logo may need to be adjusted for various pieces. For circular areas of designs, draw past the point they would normally end up due to the push and the pull of the thread. It is much easier for a puncher to digitize a design after the artist has changed these things first, than for the puncher to try to compensate blindly.

Fill-in: Depending on whether you are printing on a solid or a design print, you may need to add additional colors. Fills Areas are usually thicker than about 3/8". Create a border, or column, all the way around the shape. Draw the columns at least 1/4" wide (@ 4X enlargement), again using dividers, so that they end up sewing at 1/16". These column borders help keep the fill edges more stable and give the design a nice, clean look.

Knockouts: Save on stitches for areas that need no color by allowing the fabric to show through

Details and features: May be lost, flattened or dull. For a pique polo you need to greatly exaggerate features such as silhouettes of people's faces.


We archive your file to embroider any number of garments in the future. However, we may have to make changes to accomodate different materials you embroider.



CEOgolfshop Located at Lighthouse Point, FL 33064. Phone: 800-236-1899. .

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