Most business logos can be faithfully reproduced using custom embroidery and/or screen printing, but occasionally adaptations are needed to ensure the best results.  Here’s an overview of the things we consider when evaluating a logo and what methods can best be used to reproduce it:  

Overall Complexity
Whatever imprint method you’re considering, simple logos are the easiest to reproduce. If your logo is “busy” with lots of colors, elements, and effects, then it rates high in complexity, and will take longer, require more labor, and therefore be more expensive to reproduce. Depending on the quantities, materials, and decorating methods involved, reproducing a highly complex logo may be impractical, or maybe just more expensive. If you have a complex logo, being open to using a simplified version of your logo can open up more options – or make your project more affordable.

Number of Colors
Custom embroidery pricing is typically not affected by the number of colors in your logo, but most screen printing methods are. If your logo will be reproduced by printing, we must count the number of colors in your logo – and black and white do count! Blends and gradients between colors may also count. As far as embroidery is concerned, if you have less than 8-12 colors in a design, no problem – it’s all the same price. If you only need your logo on a few items, and have lots of colors in your logo, custom embroidery is likely the most cost effective way to go, rather than screen printing.

Font Size, Style, and Weight
Most of us are used to looking at logos on computer screens and on printed collateral material. However, if you are considering embroidering a logo, some adaptations may be needed for the transition from print to embroidery. If the text portions of your logo are small and have thin lines and sharp points (serifs), this makes it more difficult to reproduce with custom embroidery. For best results, we generally recommend not attempting to embroider text smaller than ¼” in height. If tiny text is absolutely critical, then it can best be sewn in block lettering, with all capital letters.

Special Effects

vividwaysSpecial effects are easy to print, but often don’t translate faithfully to custom embroidery. The most common special effect we see is a gradient, or fade, from one color to another. The logo at left is an example of a gradient effect that looks great when printed or displayed on a computer screen, but it will not translate well to embroidery -- at least not as a traditional "pocket sized" logo. Because the resolution of thread is very different from the resolution of printers & monitors, the gradual blend can't be achieved with thread in a small area - the transitions between colors will appear very abrupt. The degree to which gradients can be reproduced in custom embroidery depend on the colors involved, and how big the area is that’s being embroidered. Consult with your embroiderer for advice on whether gradients can be reproduced in your particular situation.

Other effects that sometimes don’t translate well to embroidery include shadows and outlines. If tiny details or special effects are critical to your logo identity, then screen printing may be a better choice than embroidery.


The good news is that there are usually multiple options for reproducing any logo, no matter how complex. Because we here at EmbroidMe San Diego are experienced in methods ranging from custom embroidery to screen printing, digital printing, pad printing, and more, we’re sure to be able to find some way to get you what you need!