The Art of Digitizing:  Ready Art for Manual Digitizing

Published: June 4, 2024

The Art of Digitizing:  Ready Art for Manual Digitizing

There are many ways to approach and execute your artistic ideas in any creative project. Art is an interpretation of creative thought, and like any art project, will only perfectly match the idea in the eyes of the artist.

Digitizing is no different. If you give five digitizers one design to digitize, you will get five different interpretations of that design. These interpretations can be most contrasting when a digitizer has to adjust the original art to accommodate the nature of machine embroidery. One way to reduce the variation in an embroidery design from the original art is to ensure your original art is ready for embroidery digitizing.

Here at PRO digitizing, we take pride in manually creating all digitized designs. What this means is, we use the designs provided by our customers and draw directly on top of them using our digitizing software. When creating embroidery files, it is essential to ensure that the movement of the design is compatible with the movement of the thread. As embroiderers, we know thread only moves one way, which is straight. Everything else we see in an embroidery design that includes curves is an illusion. The art of digitizing means that our digitizers take all aspects of a design and interpret it in the best way possible to a file compatible with machine embroidery. This skill takes time to perfect, and along the way, there are many times trial and error proves some things are just not possible with thread. For this reason, we have set guidelines for our digitizing to ensure that the files we provide to our customers are set up in the best way possible for a clean and crisp sew-out. We would like to introduce you to some of these guidelines so you can aid us in providing ready art for machine embroidery to maximize the outcome of your expectations.

What is Ready Art and Why is it Important for Manual Digitizing?

Ready art for embroidery digitizing is artwork that does not need to be adjusted, re-proportioned, or manipulated in any way. Our digitizers can draw over your design to the exact measurements and specifications of your design without having to change anything in your original art. This is most important for a service like ours because it allows our digitizers to capture your design in the most authentic state as it was provided to us. This also allows us to reduce the cost of our service to you due to the straightforward approach to digitizing the design. It also allows for fewer changes that need to be made to your file, as there is less interpretation of your original art.

Common Issues with NOT Ready Art

We regularly see a few common issues with artwork that is not ready for embroidery digitizing. The most common problem is text that is too small. The majority of designs that are requested to be digitized include text, and most times, our instructions for orders include a note to “increase the text as needed.” To have a clean and crisp sew-out of your text, we recommend creating your original artwork with text measuring at a minimum of .20” H, with each letter’s column measuring at a minimum of 1mm wide. This will ensure that the satin stitches used in creating the letters will sew nicely and be legible. We also recommend refraining from using fonts with different widths throughout the individual letters or those with serifs when requesting a smaller-sized font.


Other common issues with artwork not being ready for digitizing include changing the text on a design, simplifying small details, changing the design’s appearance from a gradient image to a solid image, and adjusting thin lines to be thicker to create a cleaner sew-out. All of these examples create more possibilities for open interpretation from our digitizers because we must adjust the original artwork to comply with the restrictions of machine embroidery.

For more information on how to create your artwork as “Ready Art,” please see the guidelines listed below or contact our customer service department at 800-777-4510.


Ready Art Requirements:

The original artwork should be free from sketches, pen marks, and grain. Handwritten notes and memos should not be present.


Image Quality:
The edges of the art are clearly defined, unpixellated, and ideally digitally created. The artwork is not skewed, tilted, or distorted from photography. It should also be sent in its actual size or larger.

The text needs to display precisely what is needed to be read in the final production, free of punctuation errors, grammatical errors, and typos.  The correct font needs to be displayed as it is intended to appear in the produced product.

The colors intended for the final product are in the art file and do not need to be changed. If white is present in the artwork, ensure that it is set visibly to an off-white and give explicit instructions to your digitizer or decorator on what needs to be white and what is intended to be transparent.  Be very careful with this if you have white text in your design!


File Format:
The file format in which you submit your artwork is also crucial to how it will be displayed to the team using it. A high-quality .JPG will suffice, but if you have free-floating white text in your artwork, make sure you send it in a .PNG or a .PDF so that transparent information can be saved and white areas of your artwork can be differentiated from a non-existent background.

Designed for Intended Use:
Most importantly, the artwork needs to be designed for its intended use. No matter what decoration process you choose, the design must be effective in that medium. For example, text needs to be large enough to be legible, textures must be removed, and gradients must be kept to a minimum for designs that will be embroidered.

By following these guidelines for ready art, we can guarantee you will be more satisfied with the outcome of your digitized file. Your final digitized file will precisely match your original art, providing a better experience for your customer or the recipient of your embroidery project. This will also allow us to offer our new lowered price tier for ready art designs starting at $15.

Contact our sales team today to start your new design with ready art!!


My name is Kenna. I have been in the apparel decoration industry for over twenty years. During these years, I have developed and managed production teams and artists specializing in embroidery and screen printing. In my free time, I enjoy spending as much quality time as possible with my family, traveling to new places, and experiencing new things.






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