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Articles on designing your own custom merch, growing your brand, and managing manufacturing as a small business.

Patches 101: the Printed Patch

The printed patch is a reliable, affordable go-to patch type that makes up in versatility what it lacks in flashiness.  Capable of any design or image on its flat surface, the printed patch keeps a low profile in fashion — but it’s the perfect solution for groups on a budget looking to make something great without breaking the bank. If you’re looking for something a little more specialized, we suggest you check out our rundown on all seven styles.

The Advantages

•  Affordable— printed patches are the easiest way to get from Design A to apparel item B. They’re one the easiest to manufacture in large quantities, too, meaning savings get even steeper once you’re past a hundred or so. But considering their price points, they’re still incredibly…

•  Versatile —  as printed patches rely on ink for their vibrancy, your color choices are almost infinite. From simple lettering or designs to a full-on photo, a printed patch can accommodate anything your home printer could put on paper, with nearly as much fidelity.  In fact, they’re the best option for those wanting photo-realistic images.

From corporate giveaways to convention swag, club gear to summer camp giveaways, printed patches make sense for hundred of applications. And they’re compatible with any attachment method: velcro, basic iron-on, super iron-on adhesive and even magnets.

•  Washable  — don’t be afraid to wash sports gear and uniforms with printed patches. Just make sure you’ve sown them on or had them made with an extra-strong iron-on adhesive. The ink stays on well like any printed t-shirt — softer detergents do help increase their lifespan, though.

•  Fast turnaround — great for last-minute projects due to the ease of manufacturing them. Our trusty printing machines love big quantities.

The Disadvantages

•  Not textured — printed patches are two-dimensional and don’t provide the “pop” of embroidered patches or the “authentic” feel of woven patches.

•  Not waterproof — while able to put up with rain and snow, printed patches are ultimately thread and ink, and shouldn’t be used in situations where they’ll be submerged often and could mold — and after frequent washing, the ink is susceptible to fading. They’ll also retain paint from paintball matches.  PVC patches, on the other hand, can go swimming and paintballing all day long with no permanent effects.

The Takeaway

Printed patches shine in their ability to take on any image or design, no matter how precise or photorealistic. This, plus their raw affordability, make them a popular option for band swag, corporate giveaways and more situations where bang-to-buck ratio needs to be particularly high.

Whether you want just one or one thousand, The/Studio is the premier destination for custom printed patches. Check out our showroom and get a FREE quote or visit see what other patch styles we offer in our introductory lesson, The 7 Kinds of Patches




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