Time and time again I see companies requesting to have their logo embroidered on products, on thin fabrics, or overly-complicated designs crammed into tiny areas. If a little fore-thought was put into designing for both print and embroidery a lot of time explaining and re-designing could be saved. It’s possible these artists just want to make the company ask for a redesign later once they realize it needs modification in order to make a buck, but I’d like to think they’re not that shiesty.
I think it’s more so a matter of mutual ignorance on the matter; the designer is focused on producing a work of art that is acceptable and loved by the client and not thinking about the end use, and the client is thinking about running their business while trying to communicate a concept they have in their head (in most cases clients have zero artistic skill so this can be a ‘tad’ challenging) and they aren’t thinking about the end use or that there’s even a difference between print and embroidery.
Designing A Logo: Think beyond print. Think of the End Use. Think of the client!
Lets face it, most companies that want a logo created have too much on their plate balancing their own business to worry about or even take into consideration the process of embroidery because it’s likely not even on their radar. They just need something for their website and printed materials such as stationary, business cards, and advertisements, but it’s our responsibility as artists to take care of our clients and do the thinking for them.
A simple explanation to your client saying, “if you want to consider having your logo embroidered in the future, it would be a good idea to create a more simplified version for that purpose because logos designed for print don’t always translate nicely to embroidery.” And explain this up-front. If you do round after round of designing a beautiful logo and then afterward say, “Oh by the way this won’t work well for embroidery. Allow me to take some more of your money creating another logo for you. . . :D”
Obviously if a client wants a really epic logo with gradations and fine detail we don’t want to tell them “no, do this ‘blah,’ simple version.” By all means use that gorgeous logo for print, but make sure they know UP FRONT that a complicated logo won’t translate well to embroidery so if embroidery is something they’d consider down the line, why not simultaneously design an equally beautiful, well-thought out, simplified design for embroidery.
There are some embroidery companies that when they are faced with a complex logo, will try to cram all that detail into the logo. Sometimes it’s because they don’t want to take the time to explain the situation or don’t want to modify a logo without being paid for that service (or perhaps they can’t due to restrictions on logo modifications). Either way I can guarantee the design will wind up looking look like a blob, be incredibly dense, or have hard-to-read, sloppy text.
We might as well save the client the aggravation they’ll have later and just plan ahead. Don’t just get your money and run. If there’s anything I’ve learned from doing freelance and contract work it’s go out of your way to plan for the benefit of the client and they will be incredibly appreciative, likely come back to you for any more needs that arise in the future, and potentially recommend you to others they know looking for your services.
Thanks for reading and subscribe to make sure you catch the next piece in this series on embroidery: Tips to making your logos embroidery friendly
Oh, and in case you missed the previous post in this series, here it is: Embroidery: a medium often overlooked by artists