Design Tips

Embroidered logo on vest Pondering some embroidered items for your business, club, school, family, or even yourself?

It may seem overwhelming at first, with so many issues to address and decisions to make, but we’re here to make the process flow much easier. The end result will be garments that you and your group will be proud to wear!

Here are a few tips to get you started to make your next embroidery project a rousing success.


Our first concern is the image quality of the artwork you submit, such as your company logo. It should be the best you can provide. (Of course, if we have already had your logo or artwork digitized for embroidery, this step is already done.)

Crisp line art will reproduce better in embroidery than, say, a photocopy of a logo. Vector art is great. A good, clear photo is also acceptable. We discourage copying a logo or photo from a website due to quality issues, but if that’s the best you have, we can have it improved (a small art fee may apply.)

For submitting artwork, the jpg file format works the best and is what digitizers prefer. We can work with other file formats, however.

We also need to know the intended finished size of the logo—how big do you want it to be on the garment? Embroidery files are not scalable. (Editing fees usually apply to change the output size of a file.) Projects are digitized for a specific output size.


Sometimes people are faced with deciding between embroidery and printing. Printing is superior for fine detail such as small lettering under 1/4 inch. It is also best if you want to cover a large surface area on the garment.

However, embroidery excels over screen printing in durability and in its three dimensional, classy look and feel. An embroidered product will generally look better longer than something screen printed.


Next, if you choose embroidery, we need to know the type of garment or product you wish to embroider. This is particularly true if you’ll ever want hats. If you think you may want both hats and shirts, now or in the future, we’ll have your logo digitized now for both uses. Planning ahead means not having to re-digitize the design later. Doing this saves you money.

Digitizing is what gives the embroidery machine computerized instructions on how to produce the work. A curved hat needs to be produced differently than something flat like a shirt. Different embroidery designs also require different stitching instructions to assure the proper look in the end.


Oval, square, and round-type patch shapes look great on shirts until you start washing them. Then, especially if they’ve been popped into a hot dryer, the shape may begin to curl at the edges. One solution is to iron the logo from the back of the embroidery to flatten it out. Another solution is to design a more curl-resistant abstract shape that will better hold up to laundering. We have over 12 years of experience with this, so please ask if this is a concern.

Lettering in embroidery should be larger that one-quarter inch; otherwise, quality may be compromised.

Embroidery in more than one location on a garment looks very cool. Of course, embroidery in multiple locations does add some labor cost.

It helps us greatly to know something about the personality of your business or organization for which the embroidery is being produced. Some clients want more conservative designs and colors; others like something more flamboyant. Different thread combinations, color choices, and stitching techniques can make striking differences in the final output.

For a particularly elegant, classy look, try color on color. This matches the color of the embroidery thread with the color of the fabric being embroidered on. It renders a raised, textured appearance very pleasing to the eye and to the touch.


Large jacket back designs will be digitized especially for that purpose. Unlike many art programs, you cannot re-size digitized files to make a large design small or vice versa. Large designs are usually more expensive to create and have many more stitches.


Hats require special design care in addition to digitizing (explained above.) Due to size constraints on assembled hats, designs for hats cannot exceed 2.25 inches tall. We also recommend a bolder font choice for hats. Lettering that looks great on shirts may look ill-formed on hats due to hoop curve.

Also on hats, designs with text above and below a logo do not embroider well. It is best to place the text either above, below, or to the side of the logo graphic. (Note: this applies to added text that has not already been digitized within the logo.)


A great option for hats if you can order large quantities (usually 288 or more) is for us to have them made for you. The huge advantage to this process is that you can have larger logos embroidered (more than 2.25 inches tall). You can also have more embroidery stitched all around the hat or on the bill. This versatility is due to the embroidery being done before the hat is constructed, not after.

Hat giveaway programs are a great way to advertise your company. If you think of a hat as a walking advertisement that doesn’t get tossed into the recycle bin, you can see how this could be a great investment for your ad dollar.


Whenever we quote a price, it includes embroidery.


For more information about the steps in the process of acquiring embroidery from Creativity On, visit our Embroidery Process page.


We are eager to help you create a successful embroidery project. We’ll be happy to answer your questions. Contact Jolene at (360) 828-8682 M-F 9am-5pm Pacific time.