Design Tips

To make sure you get the best custom embroidered patch, here are some design tips to get you started!



  • Bold letters and design elements are more visible and look better embroidered
  • Strong colour contrast is better than light on light or dark on dark colours. There is one exception – large fill areas of black on white, or white on black, can sometimes results in poor quality embroidery coverage
  • While planning your design remember background fill areas can extend right up to the edge of the patch
  • Please remember when using highly detailed lifelike or photographic images the finished design may look cartoonish once embroidered due to the restriction of using thread to reproduce the image 



  • Does your design have a lot of black lines separating elements? Are they necessary to the design? If they can be reduced or removed the finished embroidery will look better
  • Thin Outlines (thin black lines defining graphic details) can be difficult to register when embroidering. Outlines have to be embroidered in run stitch – a series of short straight stitches going from one needle entry point to another resulting in a line that is not always the straightest or the smoothest looking 
  • When Outlines are essential to the graphic, as in cartoon graphics, consideration should be given to thickening the outlines to the point where they can be accomplished in a wider satin type stitch



  • Lettering smaller than 5mm isn’t always legible when embroidered. If upper and lower case lettering is used the minimum size is based on the lower case letters
  • Block and sans serif fonts are more legible at smaller sizes. Narrow and condensed fonts do not always embroider well. Tall and skinny fonts should also be avoided
  • Squat and bold fonts (not extra bold) are preferable. Other type styles that embroider well are; simple script, larger bold fonts with serif’s, free hand styles, and other styles that conform to the above
  • If you want to use a stylized font please make sure the lettering is designed large enough so the small details (like the inside of lower case “a’s & e’s”) do not risk closing up


Patch Borders

  • The majority of patches use an overlocked border. Most simple patch shapes (circles, ovals, rectangles, triangles, egg shapes, pill shapes and simple shields) can have our Merrow® overlocked border applied to the edge after the patch is die cut.
  • An overlocked edge is approximately 3mm wide. For the best results please keep your significant embroidered detail at least 7mm away from the edge of the patch
  • We can also offer patches Handcut or Diecut with Raw Edges, for a vintage look
  • Another edge option is the Contour Heat Cut Edge, this style edge has a lower edge profile, and can be used on a garment as an alternative to Direct Embroidery. *Please note minimum order quantities apply to the Contour Heat Cut Edge


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