For The Best In Custom Patch Designs, Keep It Simple

For The Best In Custom Patch Designs, Keep It Simple

Published Jul 12, 2022 by Rick Cundiff

Happy Simplicity Day!

Yes, July 12, is designated as National Simplicity Day. It’s the birthday of writer/philosopher Henry David Thoreau, a leading proponent of living the simple life (which gets easier when your mom does your laundry, as his did). It’s a good time to assess things and think of ways to live more simply.

Granted, that’s often easier said than done. We’ve read all the articles about decluttering, minimalism and the life-changing magic involved in thanking your socks as you put them away. But life still gets complicated and messy.

That doesn’t mean your custom patches need to be. That’s one area where simplicity can be both easy and rewarding. When it comes to creating patches to promote your brand, less really can be more.

A well-designed patch always conveys its message in the simplest, most direct way possible. There are both physical and artistic reasons to do so.

Let’s start with the basics of embroidered patches. The factor that limits the amount of detail a patch can contain is the width of the embroidery thread. There’s only so much thread that can fit in a given size patch. Try to exceed that and you’ll get a muddled design that won’t convey what you want.

For that reason, embroidered patches are best for an uncluttered design that doesn’t include lots of intricate detail. Keep patch size in mind too. A design that might be too crowded on a smaller patch could look fine on a larger one.

From a design standpoint, a simple, clean design with your logo, emblem or text is easy to read, and easy for the person seeing it to grasp what it’s about. That should be the goal of any good design – clear communication.

That’s not to say additional details are not a good thing. They can add meaning and depth to your design. You might, however, need to switch to a different patch type.

Woven patches allow for significantly more detail and realism than embroidered patches. That’s because they use a thinner thread, allowing more stitches per inch.

If you want or need photorealistic designs, PVC patches are your best bet. Because they’re imprinted, not made with thread, they allow a tremendous amount of detailed information in the same amount of space.

With both woven and PVC patches, you do lose the raised 3-D effect of embroidered patches. That will be a deciding factor in the design for some patches. The bottom line is, the simpler you keep your design, the more it will spark joy. (No thanks to the socks.)

When it comes to designing patches, your creativity is the most important ingredient. If you have an idea, we can turn it into a patch. For more examples of patch types, see the gallery page.