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9 Tips to Design Your Own Patch to Perfection

If you’ve decided that custom patches are the perfect addition to your product lineup or merch store, you’ve made a great choice. Custom patches are a versatile and popular accessory that you can use on clothing, bags, hats, and more to add a bit of fun and flair.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why it’s a great idea to design your own patch and our top tips for creating the perfect custom patch design.

Why Design Your Own Patch

Why Design Your Own Patch?

Custom patches have been around since the early 1800s and they’ve never really gone out of style. From bikers to sports fanatics and alternative fashion lovers, fans of patches span across all ages and cultures. And for sellers, they’re not only a fun way to express your creativity but they also make for great merchandise or promotional items for your brand.

Here are a few more reasons why deciding to create your own patch is an awesome idea:

  • Affordable. Patches are a cost-effective way to add unique designs or branding to your products without spending a ton on manufacturing costs.
  • Easily personalized. You have total creative control over the design, allowing you to create a completely unique product (unlike, for example, a basic printed t-shirt).
  • Marketing tool. Patches are a really fun way to promote your brand or business. They can be easily attached to clothing, bags, and hats for increased visibility, and your customers will love wearing them too.
  • Lightweight. Unlike other accessories, custom patches are lightweight and you can ship and deliver them cheaply. This makes them a convenient option for both sellers and buyers. 

Tips for Creating the Perfect Custom Patch Design

If you’re ready to get started on designing your own patch, here are nine tips to help you create the perfect design.

1. Consider Different Backing Options

Your backing is nearly as important as your design itself. Think about how your patch is likely to be used. Who are you selling to? Will it be attached to clothing or bags? Will it need to be removable? At The/Studio, we can help you make custom patches for clothing and other items – with 18 different backing options! Here are a few examples:

Iron-on Backing

Iron-on backing is super easy to use. It comes with heat-activated adhesive on the back of the patch, so your customers can simply attach it to a clothing item of their choice.

Velcro Hook Backing

Velcro hook backing allows the wearer to easily stick and unstick your patches. This is perfect for patches that people might want to remove and reposition frequently. You’ll often find it on military and tactical patches.

Adhesive Backing

Adhesive backing has a sticky layer on the back of the patch, so you can attach it to surfaces temporarily. It’s great for things like sticking patches to laptops, notebooks, or walls.

Thin Plastic Backing

Thin plastic backing keeps your patches stable without making them bulky. It’s perfect when you want your patches to maintain a slim profile. You can either sew it onto clothing or stick it using adhesive.

Magnetic Backing

This type of backing uses magnets on the back of the patch, so you people can easily reposition it without any adhesive. People often use it for decorative patches on items like refrigerators or metal boards.

Custom Patch Mock-Up

2. Spend Time Mocking Up Your Design

Mock-ups also give you the opportunity to see how different colors and elements will work together in your design. Don’t rush this step. Take the time to experiment with various options until you have a design that you’re happy with.

You can use online mock-up tools or create your own physical mock-up using materials like paper and markers. This will help you visualize the final product and make any necessary tweaks before ordering your custom patches online. It will really help the design process if you can get feedback from friends or colleagues on your mock-up design too. They may point out things that you haven’t considered and offer valuable suggestions.

The patch manufacturer will be in a much better position to recreate your design if you provide them with a clear and detailed mock-up. This includes the size, colors, placement of elements, and any other specific details that you want to be included in the final product.

You can use design software such as Adobe Illustrator or Canva to create a digital mock-up, which you can easily share with the manufacturer.

3. Take Inspiration from Everywhere

When it comes to designing your own patch, the sky’s the limit! Take inspiration from everywhere – fashion trends, pop culture references, personal interests, and more. You can also look at existing patches online for ideas or to get a sense of what works well.

Here are some ideas for where you can find inspiration:

  • Pinterest is an amazing resource for design inspiration. You can create boards with different themes or colors and save images that catch your eye.
  • Instagram is another great platform to follow artists, designers, and influencers who constantly share their work and creative process.
  • Take a look at what other patch makers are doing and see if you can incorporate any elements or techniques into your own designs.
  • Think about who will be buying or wearing your patch and what they may be interested in. Would you wear your patch? If not, then it may be time to rethink the design.

4. Keep the Design Simple

This advice holds particularly true for custom embroidered patches. The more intricate and complicated your design, the tougher it becomes to recreate it through embroidery. With complex designs, you’re dealing with tiny details, numerous colors, and intricate patterns.

While embroidery machines are incredibly precise, nailing every detail can be a real challenge. Opting for a clear and bold design not only looks fantastic but also makes it easier for the manufacturer to create your custom embroidered patches accurately.

However, if you’re set on a highly detailed design, don’t fret. There are patch types like printed or woven patches that are better at capturing intricate details. Printed patches, for instance, use advanced printing techniques to reproduce more complex artwork or even photorealistic designs with gradients and a wide range of colors. Woven patches, on the other hand, use woven threads to create fine details and can accurately replicate small text and intricate patterns.

Design Your Own Patch With Borders

5. Don’t Forget the Edges and Borders

It’s easy to overlook the edging of your patch but it can greatly impact the overall look and feel of your custom patch design, so make sure to choose wisely!

One popular option is an embroidered border, which adds a clean and professional finish to the patch. This method involves sewing thread around the edges of the patch, creating a raised border that adds dimension to the design.

Another choice is a merrowed border, which uses a special machine to stitch and wrap thread around the edge of the patch. This creates a smooth and rounded border that works well for more intricate designs. For a more unique and edgy look, you can opt for frayed edges. This involves removing some of the threads from the edges of the patch, resulting in a rough and textured border that adds character to the design.

Or if you prefer a clean and minimalist look, you can choose to have no border at all. This option works well for modern or geometric designs.

6. Consider Different Patch Types

There are more patch types than just custom embroidered patches (although this is a classic and popular choice). Depending on who will likely be buying and wearing your patch, it’s good to consider all your options before jumping into designing. Patches come in multiple different styles. Here are some examples below:

Woven Patches

Woven patches are created by weaving threads together to form the design. They have a smooth and flat texture with intricate details. These patches are durable and perfect for intricate designs and small text.

Different Printed Patches

Printed Patches

Printed patches are made using high-quality printing techniques. They allow for vibrant and detailed designs with a wide range of colors. These patches are great for reproducing complex images, photographs, and artwork.

Chenille Patches

Chenille patches have a unique and textured appearance. They are made by sewing yarn onto a felt or fabric base, creating a 3D effect. These patches are often associated with a vintage or retro aesthetic.

PVC Patches

PVC patches are made of soft rubber-like material. They are highly durable, waterproof, and resistant to fading. PVC patches are perfect for outdoor gear, bags, and items exposed to harsh conditions.

Leather Patches

Leather patches have a more classic and rustic charm. They can be embossed, debossed, or printed on. They’re perfect for giving a premium and high-end look to your design.

Bullion Patches

Bullion patches are more luxurious than your standard patch. They are embroidered with metallic threads, often gold or silver, giving them a rich and elegant appearance. Bullion patches are typically used for military or formal insignia, badges, and crests.

7. Choose Complementary Colors

If you studied art in school, then you probably remember the color wheel. It’s a tool that helps artists choose complementary colors for their designs. These are colors that go well together and create a harmonious effect.

If you want a bold and eye-catching design, choose complementary colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. For a more subtle and cohesive design, choose colors that are next to each other on the color wheel.

Also remember that if you’re trying to make smaller details stand out, you should use a contrasting color. This will make the details pop and add dimension to your design. If the colors are too similar, the details may blend in and get lost.

8. Get Creative with the Size and Shape

At The/Studio, we can help you create custom patches in any size and shape you desire. However, it’s important to think about where your customers will be placing your patch and how it will look on their chosen item.

Of course, you might not necessarily know where and how your customers will use the patch, but it’s helpful to have a general idea in mind. For example, if your patches are likely to be stuck on hats, then you may want to create a round patch that will fit nicely on the front of a cap. You don’t have to stick to a basic shape like a rectangle or oval either. You can create your own patch in any shape you like. Just make sure it’s practical and visually appealing.

9. Choose the Right Manufacturer

Once you have your design concept in mind, it’s time to look for a manufacturer that can bring it to life. The Internet has made it easy to order custom patches online, but you still have to do your due diligence and make sure that the manufacturer is reputable and can deliver high-quality patches.

Look for reviews, ask for a sample before committing to the full order, and make sure they have experience in creating custom patches. A good manufacturer will also be able to offer you advice on design elements such as color selection and patch size. At The/Studio, we have a team of experienced designers who can assist you with any questions or concerns you may have. We have low minimums, so you can test out your design before ordering a larger batch.

Make Different Patches

Ready to Design Your Own Patch?

Hopefully you found these tips and tricks helpful to create the perfect custom patch design. If you’re ready to get designing, then head over and create your own patch today. All you need to do is create an account and then you can place an order using our simple ordering process.

We’ll send you a sample before producing the full order, so you can make sure that your patch design is exactly how you want it. And if you need any assistance along the way, get in touch with our team of patch design experts – we’re always here to help!

FAQs

Can you turn a photo into a patch?

Yes! Our printed patches are perfect for turning a photo or graphic into a patch design. Simply include the image you want to turn into a patch along with your other design specifications and we can provide you with a sample before producing the full order.

How can I make my own patches at home?

It’s not easy to make your own patches at home as it requires specialized equipment and materials. However, with The/Studio’s easy-to-use online ordering system, you can order your own patch in minutes and have it professionally produced and delivered right to your door.

What is the best fabric for patches?

That depends on your design and preference. We offer a variety of fabrics for our custom patches, including twill, nylon, vegan leather, and more. Our team can help you choose the best fabric for your specific design to make sure you get the perfect patch.

How do I make my own embroidered patches?

To make your own embroidered patch, you will need specialized equipment such as an embroidery machine and digitizing software. But if you don’t have access to these tools, The/Studio can help! Our team of experts uses state-of-the-art embroidery machines and the latest digital software to create high-quality embroidered patches for our customers. Simply upload your design on our website and we’ll take care of the rest.

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