Tips for Designing Your Own Patches with Patch Superstore (+ How to Get a Free One)

This month, we are all about patches, as we are giving away incredible Arsenal patches to our current Arsenal subscribers and anyone who subscribes to the Arsenal membership in May ’18.

If you don’t know about the Arsenal Membership, it’s a beautiful thing – this subscription gives you access to Go Media’s world-renowned design resources (every single one of our mockups, royalty-free vectors, textures, tutorials, fonts and more), plus every product we have yet to release, in addition to our exclusive community – for only $15/mth. No strings attached, cancel anytime.

Go ahead and join now – so that you can grab your patch and wear it proudly. After all, our Arsenal crew is pretty tight and proud to be part of this revolution.

We owe our friends at Patch Superstore a huge thank you for partnering with us on this month’s member goodies. We had a moment to talk with Bill Stevens of Patch Superstore to gain some insight about designing these popular accessories

Bill, can you tell us a little about yourself?

All my life I have loved being near the ocean, you could call me a classic Thalassophile. Growing up I was always drawn to bright, eye-catching art. This lead me to creating my own art and eventually majoring in Graphic Design at University Of Florida. I began working with Adobe Products and Photoshop 3, eventually mastering them. I loved the program so much that I ended up getting my MFA in 2004.

I began working with PatchSuperstore in 2003 and during that time I’ve designed tons of patches and pins. During the past 15+ years I’ve worked my way up in the company, starting from entry level designer, moving to digitizer, then to art director. After that, I began working in sales and I’m now the master of all our products.

Working in design has afforded me such incredible opportunities – I get to live my dream doing exactly what I love to do, and that is to create art every day. Not only do I get to pursue my own creative endeavors but I get to help bring beautiful art into the world, by assisting customers with their own designs. Design is such a rewarding field for any creative to be in – if I could do it again, I would not change a thing.

Can you give designers some quick tips on setting up their design files specifically for patches?

Awesome looking patches start with excellent artwork and very experienced digitizers. The digitizer converts your design by retracing it in a file that tells the embroidery machine how and where to lay the stitches.

At Patch Superstore we have multiple digitizers on staff with a minimum of 7 years’ experience and the master digitizer has over 25 years. Designing patches, you have to think about it like drawing a design at actual size with crayons. You can get lots of detail at 12″ but at 2-3″ that same design in a crayon drawing would look really bad. Embroidery can’t produce really fine details like regular printing can. This is because the thread thickness and needle size are a set diameter, so we can’t go smaller than what it is. This is also because the fabric is less stable and precise.

Things to avoid are:
Thin lines with light color threads
Lots of thin lines like cross hatching
Small text under 0.08″  tall
Too much detail for the size (think drawing with a crayon)
Narrow Spacing
Over 12 thread colors
And gradients.
Thin lines will produce what we call a running stitch (as seen below)

It is a single stitch that will look dotted with light color threads as it shows the shadow of each pin hole. To avoid this we recommend removing them or making them dark like a Black or Navy. It is a cool effect though if your looking to give that appearance on something.

What file size and type do you prefer?

Ones that are editable are always best. File sizes matter when emailing. If it’s over 10mg put it in Dropbox. Here is a basic guideline for the best file types we like, but we also take hand-drawn images on napkins that are send from a phone:

RASTER DESIGNS

Photoshop, PNG, JPEG and PDF files
Artwork must be the exact size you wish to embroider or larger
300 DPI or higher resolution
0.13″ or larger text (10 pt.)
No fine detail

VECTOR DESIGNS

AI, and EPS files
Linked images must be embedded or provided as a separate file
Fonts may be outlined or provided as a separate font file
No fine detail
0.13″ of larger text (10 pt.)

What mistakes do you see designers make when designing for patches or submitting files to you?

Forgetting to convert fonts to outlines, missing linked images, adding way too much text or details to small designs, using over 12 colors.

What should designers keep in mind when designing for patches vs a sticker or button?

Gradients can be achieved but unlike print we have to run the colors into each other to give it a blended effect. We recommend the gradient area is 1″ or larger and no more than 2-3 colors per inch. Text outlines in like colors like white around black text and 3″. It will have a dotted effect going around the text and not look solid.

Patches are a really popular item among the design and creative community right now. What kind of patches are most popular on your store? What patches do you recommend designers create if they want to hit a home run for swag bags or to sell to other designers, at trade shows, etc.?

We do a lot of add-ons like putting the patches on backing cards, making them retail ready, patch key-chains, die cut aka “hot cut” borders. Iron on patches are the way to go. No one wants to have to sew these on, plus it gives the patches a stiffer feel, so the patches aren’t limp. No one likes limp patches.

Guide to Freelancing for Beginners

A Beginner’s Guide to Freelancing

What to Consider Before Jumping Headfirst into the Gig Economy: A Guide to Freelancing

So you’ve been living that full-time, nine-to-five life for awhile now. You’ve got some solidly marketable skills, an entrepreneurial spirit, and you’re craving a new challenge, so you’re seriously thinking about getting out of the grind and going for it on your own.

Gulp.

It’s a big step! Many people crave the stability of working the same job for the same company year in and year out. But increasingly, freelancing is becoming the popular choice when it comes to earning an income. And why not? Freelancers make their own schedules, choose which projects they want to work on, and can often work from anywhere in the world, all while earning a livable income. Sounds too good to be true, right?

It’s not, but freelancing comes with its own unique set of challenges and considerations, so we put together a list of factors to consider if you’re thinking about going freelancing full time.

Download this Guide to Freelancing for Beginners – it’s free!

Some things you’ll learn about in this PDF:

  • Contracts
  • Deciding what kind of entity you’ll be
  • Dealing with unhappy customers
  • Bookkeeping
  • Working from home vs remote
  • Time management
  • and more

Free Download: FreelanceGuideV2

Enjoy and happy freelancing and to learn more about Freelancing, check out Go Media’s Freelance Survival Guide.

Free Feminist Vector Pack on Go Media's Zine by Shelby Criswell

Celebrating International Women’s Day with our Free Feminist Vector Pack!

Download our Free Feminist Vector Pack!

It’s International Women’s Day, which means it’s time to “celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women” – which we should be doing every day if you ask us. But the fact that women get this extra special day is pretty awesome anyway, so we’ll take it! We wanted to do something special today, so we are releasing a Free Feminist Vector Pack by one of our favorite female designers!

This pack is totally free and totally awesome, so we hope you enjoy it.

The Feminism Vector pack was created by Shelby Criswell, an independent comic book maker, trouble starter, freelance illustrator, and bluegrass lovin’ dork (her words!) straight outta San Antonio, TX that loves to play around with funky linework and strange fonts. Shelby is an artist who creates a lot of cool products for us for our Arsenal, home of the best vectors, textures, mockups, and tutorials in town.

Hey, speaking of awesome women, do us a favor and give Shelby credit for being a kick-ass female…

[Tweet “Hey @shelby_criswell, You’re the coolest! Thanks for the Feminist Vector Pack!”]

Now, onto Shelby’s Feminist Vector Pack – go download and do great things!

Download >> Go Media’s Feminist Freebie Pack

Free Feminist Vector Pack

free slime textures

Download: Free Slime Textures

Presenting Free Slime Textures

Introducing the Slime Texture Pack, created by young creative BearCubSlimes. The eight free slime textures included in this pack are high-resolution photography of homemade slime, some of which are available on her shop on Etsy. These textures give photography or design work an extra edge, so download them and see what you can create with them today.

Slime Textures 1
Slime Textures 2

For more awesome textures like these, head to our eCommerce site, the Arsenal.

Free iPhone 7 Mockup

Download our Free iPhone 7 Mockup Templates Pack!

Yep, a totally free iPhone 7 Mockup Templates Pack

We just launched a free iPhone 7 Mockup Templates Pack, so what are you waiting for? Go download it now over on the Arsenal, the home of the World’s Best Mockup Templates, Vectors, Textures and more.

This Free iPhone 7 mockup templates pack includes two mockup templates that will help you show off your website/app in a realistic way. The pack includes an iPhone 7 in both flat and angled versions and includes the different options listed below. These mockups have assisted us in pulling our portfolio together and hope they will do the same for you.

Take me to the free pack!

Here are the various options our iPhone 7 Mockup Templates Pack give you:

  • iPhone 7 Flat
  • iPhone 7 Flat (with hand)
  • iPhone 7 with backgrounds (with or without hand) with backgrounds – modern office space, desktop workspace, coffee shop, park outside
  • iPhone 7 Angled
  • iPhone 7 Angled (with hand)
  • iPhone 7 Angled (with or without hand) with backgrounds – modern office space, desktop workspace, coffee shop, park outside

Obsessed with our mockups and want more? Become a member for only $15 a month and access them all, plus the rest of our library, instantly! Learn all about that now.

Take me to the free pack!

Free Vintage Starburst Vectors

Freebie of the Day: Free Vintage Starburst Vectors

Free Vintage Starburst Vectors

We’ve really been in a retro kind of mood lately, as inspired by a trip to a local vintage shop. What really caught our eye were the starbursts that decorated so many of 1950’s fabrics and bakeware. So, we were inspired to create some free vintage starburst vectors for you. We hope the pack serves you well and gets your motivated to create something fun and dynamic.

To give your work some extra oomph, head over to our Arsenal, where you can have access to our entire library, including all of our vector files for only $15 per month.

The Arsenal subscription includes some of our other vintage packs (roughly $10 to $12 each), like:

Download our:

>>>Vintage-Starburst-Freebie

Free Vintage Starburst Vectors

Valentines Day Icons Free

Download of the Day: Valentine’s Day Icons

Join us every Thursday, when your friends here at the Arsenal take over the Go Media blog to share insights, tips, freebies or other fun to brighten your work day.

Today we’re releasing Valentine’s Day vector freebies for your use in any personal project. This includes four icons as seen below. Enjoy!

Love our products? Access our huge product library ($11k in resources) and exclusive content for only $15/mth. Yes, seriously. Learn more now.

Valentines Day Icons Free

Download it now:  GoMedia_Vector_Valentine Icons

Watercolor Vector Freebie

Download of the Day: Abstract Watercolor Circle Vectors

Free Abstract Watercolor Vector Freebie

Join us every Thursday, when your friends here at the Arsenal take over the Go Media blog to share insights, tips, freebies or other fun to brighten your work day.

Today we’re releasing abstract watercolor circle vector freebies for your use in any personal project. This includes three abstract watercolor vectors as seen below. Enjoy!

Love our products? Access our huge product library ($11k in resources) and exclusive content for only $15/mth. Yes, seriously. Learn more now.

Download it now:  http://tinyurl.com/hdcfbro

Watercolor Vector Freebie

If you are looking for more watercolor elements, you may enjoy our:

Snowflake Brush Freebie

Download of the Day: Snowflake Brush Freebie

Free Snowflake Brush Freebie

Join us every Thursday, when your friends here at the Arsenal take over the Go Media blog to share insights, tips, freebies or other fun to brighten your work day.

Today we’re releasing snowflake brushes free for your use in any personal project. In order to use your new brushes, open PS, then head to Edit > Preset Manage > Load. Next, navigate to your new brush file. Open a new document, select one of your new snowflake brushes and get to work! Enjoy!

Love our products? Access our huge product library ($11k in resources) and exclusive content for only $15/mth. Yes, seriously. Learn more now.

Download it now: Go Media Snowflake Brush Freebie

Snowflake Brush Freebie

Free Constellation Vectors

Download of the Day: Free Constellation Vectors

Free Constellation Vectors

Join us every Thursday, when your friends here at the Arsenal take over the Go Media blog to share insights, tips, freebies or other fun to brighten your work day.

Today we’re releasing a pack which includes free constellation vectors.

Love our products? Access our huge product library ($11k in resources) and exclusive content for only $15/mth. Yes, seriously. Learn more now.

The Download: Free Constellation Vectors from Go Media’s Arsenal

Free Constellation Vectors

Log Vectors Free

Download of the Day: Log Vectors Free for the Taking!

Free Log Vector Mini Pack

Join us every Thursday, when your friends here at the Arsenal take over the Go Media blog to share insights, tips, freebies or other fun to brighten your work day.

Today we’re offering log vectors free for your downloading pleasure. These freebies are straight from our Arsenal library, known world-wide for having the world’s greatest vectors.

Love our products? Access our huge product library ($11k in resources) and exclusive content for only $15/mth. Yes, seriously. Learn more now.

Here’s what you get with today’s download:

Log Vectors Free

Here you go, guys! Download away >> Log Vector Freebie by Go Media

Have a great day, everyone!

Scatter Brush Free

Download of the Day: The Birds Scatter Brush Freebie

The Birds Scatter Brush Free

Join us every Thursday, when your friends here at the Arsenal take over the Go Media blog to share insights, tips, freebies or other fun to brighten your work day.

Today we’re sharing a birds scatter brush freebie inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds and using goods from our Horror Vector Pack! Check out the Arsenal for more design elements known the ’round the world for being the best of the best.

Love our products? Access our huge product library ($11k in resources) and exclusive content for only $15/mth. Yes, seriously. Learn more now.

Here’s what you get:

  • 8 Bird Scatter Brushes for AI
  • Instructions for opening brushes (text file)

Birds Scatter Brush Freebie

Here’s your download >> The Birds Scatter Brush Freebie

Have a great day, everyone!

Hero Image Photo Credit: Mark Sebastian: One Crow Left of a Murder on Flickr

Download of the Day: Abstract Grunge Vector Box Freebie

Abstract Grunge Vector Box Freebie

Join us every Thursday, when your friends here at the Arsenal take over the Go Media blog to share insights, tips, freebies or other fun to brighten your work day.

Today we’re sharing some hand drawn, abstract grunge vector box freebies for downloading and enjoying immediately! Check out the Arsenal for more vectors known the ’round the world for being the best of the best.

Abstract-Black-Box-Preview

Did you know that all of Go Media’s vectors are royalty free? We have thousands of hand-crafted illustrations like these you can use in your work, so definitely head over to the Arsenal to check them out.

Love our products? Access our huge product library ($11k in resources) and exclusive content for only $15/mth. Yes, seriously. Learn more now.

Here’s your download >> Abstract Grunge Vector Box Freebie

Have a great day, everyone!

Free Star Vector Pack

Download of the Day: Star Vector Pack

Free Star Vector Pack

Join us every Thursday, when your friends here at the Arsenal take over the Go Media blog to share insights, tips, freebies or other fun to brighten your work day.

Today we’re sharing some gold star elements we created exclusively for you. Check out the Arsenal for more vectors known the ’round the world for being the best of the best.

Here’s what you’ll get with today’s download:

Free Star Vector Pack

Did you know that all of Go Media’s vectors are royalty free? We have thousands of hand-crafted illustrations like these you can use in your work, so definitely head over to the Arsenal to check them out.

Love our products? Access our huge product library ($11k in resources) and exclusive content for only $15/mth. Yes, seriously. Learn more now.

Here’s your download >> Star Vector Pack from Go Media’s Arsenal

Have a great day, everyone!

Download of the Day: Texture Sample Pack

A Free Texture Pack to Make Your Thursday

Join us every Thursday, when your friends here at the Arsenal take over the Go Media blog to share insights, tips, freebies or other fun to brighten your work day.

Today we’re sharing ten textures we created exclusively for you. Check out the Arsenal for more textures known the ’round the world for being the best of the best.

Here’s what you’ll get with today’s download:

Free Texture Pack

These texture samples are from the following categories: dust, motion blur, paper, smoke, paint and fur.

We truly believe that you can never have too many textures. If you’re like us, then head over to our Arsenal, home of the world’s best design resources, where you can soak up thousands of textures (and counting) you can’t find anywhere else.

Love our products? Access our huge product library ($11k in resources) and exclusive content for only $15/mth. Yes, seriously. Learn more now.

Download it now: 

Go Media Texture Samples 1 – 3
Go Media Texture Samples 4 – 5
Go Media Texture Samples 6 – 10

free vintage sunbeam vectors

Download of the Day: Vintage Sunbeam Vectors

Download of the Day: Free Vintage Sunbeam Vectors

Join us every Thursday, when your friends here at the Arsenal take over the Go Media blog to share insights, tips, freebies or other fun to brighten your work day.

Today we’re sharing four vintage sunbeam vectors we created exclusively for you!

free vintage sunbeam vectors

Download them now, enjoy them forever.

Here you go: Vintage Sunbeam Vectors

—–

For the World’s Best Design Weaponry, head to Go Media’s Arsenal.

The Arsenal is a collection of design resources created and curated by the design team at Go Media. Go Media started releasing its collection of royalty free stock vectors in 2006 and has since expanded into providing a variety of different resources for the graphic designer, illustrator, and entrepreneur.

To put it simply, every designer has an Arsenal of goodies they stash on their hard drive. These goodies might include several gigabytes worth of textures, vector illustrations, mockup templates, fonts, ebooks, etc. A personal library of go-to resources to aid in a creative and efficient design process.

Customers who use our products enjoy saving time and money while still looking good. We are OBSESSED with helping out our fellow designers and will stop at nothing to provide you with the tools you need to make design fun.