Guidelines to designing your own PVC Vinyl patch




The PVC vinyl patches are new, so we are getting many questions about them.  Here are a few guidelines to creating your own custom vinyl pvc patches.

Size:  as you are creating your patch design, try and make the size of the design close to the size of the final patch.  You can design the patch in any software that you are comfortable using:  Photoshop, AI or any other photo editor that allows you to edit photographs. 

No limitations:  Try and remember that there are no limitations to your PVC vinyl patch designs.  You can add as many colors as you need, you can add special effects such as gradients, drop shadows or any other effects that you want.  You can make your pvc vinyl patch a work of art.  The sky is the limit - create your vinyl patch exactly how you want it to look in final form.

Shape:  for best practices, you should aim to have your patch in a regular shape such as a circle, square or triangle.  You can do different shapes, but the more basic you get with shapes, the better the patch will turn out in its final form.  We will merrow the patch and add velcro and if you have an odd shaped patch, it will be difficult to add the velcro and make it look good.  

Size:  while there are not many size limiations in creating your own pvc vinyl patches, you probably want to keep to standard sizes to make sure that the patches will fit on your gear.  Remember that the velcro real estate that you have may be limited.  The size of the velcro on uniforms is generally 4 x 4 inches, so that is the space that you have to work with.  If you are designing pvc vinyl patches for an operator's cap, the velcro real estate there is 2 x 3.  The standard flag size patches are generally 2 x 3 in size or sometimes they can be 2.5 x 3.5, but make sure you have enough room for that size patch.  Round patches are generally 3.5 inches in size so that they can fit properly in the 4 x 4 velcro that is available.  You can go bigger and do a 4 inch patch, but we have not done many of those.  The standard size is 3.5 inches round and it will fit properly on most gear.  Of course if you want a smaller patch, you can go as small as 2 inch round, but that is generally pretty small.  A 2 inch round pvc vinyl patch would be good for a symbol with details or something simple.  You can do writing at that small size, and it will be readable when the pvc vinyl patches are completed, but you have to realize that the writing will be small and you will have to be pretty close to read it properly. That might be the goal, but i would suggest going to a bigger patch for that.  Again, you can do patches that are 2.5 inches round, but thats pretty small to be able to appreciate all the details in the patch design.  I would suggest that if you have writing and want a patch on the smaller side, you should go with a 3 inch round patch.  Normally, it will be big enough so that your writing and design will be able to be read without being too close.  

Add a border:  its a great idea to add in the stroke border to your patch, to make sure that you leave enough room for the merrowed edge.  The merrowing takes up a bit of space on your custom designed morale patch, so we want to make sure there is enough space to do the merrowing without risking covering up your patch design or lettering that is too close to the edges.  A stroked edge of around 20px is a good start for leaving enough room for merrowing.  A merrowed edge is a thick edge of stitching that completes the patch, so I highly recommend getting merrowing on every custom PVC  vinyl patch that you create.   Merrowing on any custom pvc vinyl patch is completely free of charge, and merrowing will give your vinyl patch a finished professional look.  You might as well design your patch to have room for merrowing.  There are some limiations to merrowing - the merrow machine is limited to what it can do.  The merrow machine cannot do complicated shapes or sharp points on any patch as the machine can't work around them and it will make a thick thread mess.  So again, design your patches with a simple shape and the merrowing will look amazing on the final product. 

Balance: This may seem like an odd thing to mention, but we have been creating patches for more than 11 years and one of the things that we always notice in a patch design is the balance.  A balanced patch looks the best.  What I mean about balance is on a few levels:  there is a balance in the detail work for example - meaning that if there is way too much detail in the custom patch design, the patch will be confusing and perhaps the onlooker will miss the point of the patch.  Another part of a balanced patch is where the elements of the patch are located.  If the patch has small lettering and then a big void area on one side of the patch, then the patch will become unbalanced and not look quite right.  Its better to spread out the main elements on the patch so there are no large spaces left over. 

Background:  Make sure that your custom PVC vinyl patches have a background, otherwise a white background will be added to the design automatically.  You can add just about any background that you want to - even a camo background in the camo of your choice - all you have to do is add a picture of the camo to your patch design.  As a general guideline and to make the background camo material look realistic, you should make sure that you have a large picture of the camo so you can scale it down to be the right size of the design.  If you simply take your patch design (a skull for example) and plop the camo behind it, the whole design will look out of proportion because the camo design will be way too small.  Take a look at some of your other patches on camo material - the camo patterin is quite large when you put the patch on it.  That is what you are looking for when you are adding a camo background - make the background the right size for the patch.  If you can't visually figure this out, then you can print out a draft of your patch design with a white background and cut it out and place it on the camo for guidance.  That will give you some idea of the right size for the camo background.  If you don't start off with a large picture, when you zoom in on the camo, it may become pixelated and look awful.  Start big and then go small and get the right size. 

Try your pvc vinyl patch design:  if you followed the guidelines set out above, you should have your design in a simple shape, with a border for merrowing and set at the size that you want your final patch to be created.  I would suggest that you print out your patch design in color and cut the design out.  Ok, it may not look the greatest printed out on paper, but it will give you a good idea as to how the final patch will look.  Once you have the draft of your custom patch cut out, then you can see if you have your camo background in the right perspective, or if you have to make changes.  If you can print the draft custom patch out in color, you can see how the colors look with your uniform or tactical gear. 

The above is a simple guideline on how to create your own custom pvc vinyl patches.  Once you have your draft going on, all you have to do us upload your pic and order your patches.  You can leave the rest to us, and we will finalize your custom pvc patches for you and get them out the door.