How To Prepare Artwork For Custom Embroidered Patches

How To Prepare Artwork For Custom Embroidered Patches

This article covers artwork requirements for getting great results for your custom embroidered patches.

Patch & Artwork Sizes

The size of your artwork will be determined by the size of patch you want to create. You will need to pick the correct patch size to work from.
  1. Extra Small Patches - Can be up to 1" wide x 1" high.
  2. Small Patches - Can be up to 2" wide and 2" high.
  3. Medium Patches - Can be up to 4" wide and 2" high
  4. Large Patches - Can be up to 4" wide and 3" high
  5. Extra Large Patches - Any size larger than 4" x 3"
While these sizes may seem interesting, they are set with great intent to ensure the patches can be used on as many products and in as many placements as possible!

File Resolution

It's important to provide high resolution artwork to ensure your patches are made correctly.
  1. Recommend: 300 dpi
  2. Acceptable: 150 dpi
  3. Not acceptable: less than 150 dpi

File Types

We recommend using .png files to submit your artwork via the website design experience; however, the website also accepts .jpg files.  For patch orders, we are happy to accept vector and other hi-res artwork file formats as well by emailing

Patch Templates

We've created some templates (to scale) of some very common patch shapes. Feel free to use our templates, but they are not required and you can set your own patch sizes and shapes. Enjoy.
  1. Patch Templates Guide.AI (2.5mb)
  2. Patch Templates Guide Small.psd (8.9mb)
  3. Patch Templates Guide Small.png (.5mb)
  4. Patch Templates Guide Medium.psd (7.8mb)
  5. Patch Templates Guide Medium.png (.6mb)
  6. Patch Templates Guide Large.psd (8.0 mb)
  7. Patch Templates Guide Large.png (.6mb)

Files Size

Files must be provided at the size you need embroidered on your patches. If you want a 2" x 2" embroidered patch, your artwork should also be set to 2" x 2". If you are unsure what size patch to select, we recommend you checkout the patch placement options, to choose the best patch for how you intend to use them.

Files Size & Resolution Examples

  1. A 1" X 1" patch @ 300 dpi is a 300 X 300 pixel image
  2. A 2" X 2" patch @ 300 dpi is a 600 X 600 pixel image
  3. A 3" X 3" patch @ 300 dpi is a 900 X 900 pixel image

Setting Your Patch Shapes

It is required for your artwork to have a contiguous shape. This means that all of the artwork must be connected together. This is easily achieved by setting a background color for your artwork. Some common patch shapes are circles, squares, rectangles, or badge shapes.

non contiguous patch, needs a background.

simply add a background color to clearly show shape and color.

add a border by stroking shape

Patch Border

All patches will contain a finished embroidered border. You can set the finished border in your artwork file by stroking the exterior of your artwork with the border you'd like.

Level Of Detail Within Artwork

Embroidery can be used to create detailed shapes, text, and artwork. However, because custom embroidery creates your artwork by stitching threads, there are physical limits to how intricate details can be within your artwork. The smallest a single stitch can be is 2mm or ~.07". This means that the smallest level of detail within your artwork must be at least 2mm. If your artwork contains details smaller than 2mm our artist will update your file to ensure your artwork can be created as embroidery, this may alter the look of your embroidery.

Guidance For Fonts & Text

Remember, your text and fonts will be created out of thread so you want to take precautions to ensure your text is legible.

Font Height

In order for text to be legible it must have a minimum height:
  1. Recommended Minimum Height: 1/2"
  2. Acceptable Minimum Height: 1/4"
  3. Not Acceptable Height: Less than 1/4"
Please note that different fonts may have different height requirements.

Letter Spacing

You should also give additional thought and care to letter spacing, or tracking, to ensure your text is legible. Generally speaking, the best fonts for embroidery are cursive letters where each letter is connected in script. The thread will continue between each letter and be more legible. The next best fonts are san-serif fonts because there are less pieces to each letter and are more easily legible. Serif fonts are not recommended at small scales, but if you intend to use one, we recommend adding additional space between each letter for visibility and clarity around each letter.

Embroidery Colors

We offer a variety of thread colors to achieve the most accurate color representation for embroidery. When you upload your artwork and select embroidery, the website will automatically detect and display colors in your artwork that match our available thread colors. The apliiq color chart shows our available thread colors. If your art requires specific thread colors, please send an email them to to request a quote for custom embroidery colors.

Disclaimer: When images are embroidered the colors may not match exactly what you see on your screen. Unfortunately, there are differences between how colors are rendered on a computer or phone screen.

Maximum number of colors

Orders placed online can contain up to 5 thread colors. If your artwork requires more than 5 colors you can request an estimate by emailing

What to do if your file is too small

Sometimes you may need to use existing design element to create your artwork. If your file is too small you still have options to make amazing happen:
  1. Try locating a larger version of your file.
  2. Our artists can vectorize your artwork for you so it can be properly scaled up. We are happy to do this free of charge, in most cases the artwork will be altered slightly.
Please Note: In most cases you cannot simply "resize" an existing small file to increase it's size. You need to find the original larger file or recreate the artwork at the appropriate size.

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