Ah, the mysterious art of digitizing. How is it done? Why does it cost so much? What is a reasonable design to have done? And what do you get out of it? So many questions, so little time. Well, at least I know that you don't have the time to read a big book about this. So here's the long and the short of it all.
Digitizing is the art (well, sometimes), of putting a standard logo or design into a form that can be embroidery. Often, it's still known as 'making a tape' since designs used to be read by tape readers. Remember those enormous rolls of telex tape that used to be made? Yup, that's what was done. Of course, back then, embroidery moved a little slower. Now we make a file that can be saved to a diskette, read by an embroidery machine and saved for a long time without worry that a mouse would take the middle as nesting material.
Here's a graphic demonstration of the beginning and the end. At Team Mates, we use Wilcom digitizing software. It costs a lot of money, but that's one of the reasons for the charge for setup.
We start with a picture. It's easy to send one. Naturally, the better the picture, the easier it is to do the digitizing. Clean lines and so forth help.
How to get the image to us? The easy way is to send an image. 200 dpi .bmp, .gif, .cdr, .eps or .jpg is always good. If you just have a business card, that's okay, too. And to tell the truth, usually, we just get drawings. Sometimes it takes a couple of tries to make something out of them, be we do try.
Basically, the picture gets put onto the screen. Then we trace around it using a variety of sewing techniques, including satin stitches, fill stitches and something not seen in this design, a run stitch. Altogether, the design is supposed to give a relative three dimensional picture. Hopefully it works most of the time.
Oh, and the colors you see here aren't necessarily the ones that will actually be sewn. These are just the ones generated by the digitizing program in order to tell us where color changes will be made. Simple enough.
As far as finding out how much it would cost, the best thing to do is to send us a request for quote. We'll look at the design, maybe make some suggestions and give you an overall estimate. Our goal is to show you the highest quality and we'll work with your design to provide you exactly that.