Digitizing & Vectorizing
What Is Digitizing?
Embroidery Digitizing is the process used to turn your graphic logo into a file that directs the operation of our commercial embroidery machines. Our staff digitizers use special software that generates the codes our Embroidery machines can read and translate to things like, Needle up, Needle Down, Change color, Trim thread, Move up, Move down, Sew Filled area, Sew text, Sew underlay etc. Everything the Embroidery machines DO, the digitizer has programmed within the design of your logo. Even thickness of letters, spacing, direction of thread stitches is all done exactly through computer programming. For best results, it all starts with clean and high resolution images.
Sometimes we can work with photographs, but prefer clean graphic art when possible. 300dpi or greater is best and 1200 pixels wide is also suggested. We generally say 4X the original size of the finished product is helpful.
Digitizing is really an art form - we are actually “painting” your logo with individual stitches just as a painter does with brush strokes.
As a result, you will get different versions of your logo with every embroidery digitizer you might use.
What Is Vectorization? Vectorizing also known as tracing, is the process of converting a bitmap image to a vector image. It can be done by hand ("hand-tracing"), or by a computer program ("auto-tracing"). We use a combination of both techniques by auto-tracing and then cleaning up the results by hand.
What Exactly Are Vector Images?
Vector images are images described by shapes such as lines, circles and squares, as opposed to bitmap images which are described by pixels - squares of color arranged in a grid.
The shapes are precise mathematical descriptions of the image and can be scaled without becoming blurry or "pixelated" (that blocky look that bitmap/raster images so often get when scaled up). So a vector image of a line at an angle will still look like a line when you zoom in to a high magnification, but a bitmap image of the same angled line will look like a staircase at the same magnification.
Why Use Vector Images?
Vector images are used in most aspects of graphic design and are the preferred format for printing, both on paper and on clothes. The reason for this is that while a bitmap image can look great on the screen, which usually has a resolution of about 72 pixels/dots per inch (DPI), it will normally have to be scaled by a factor of 8 or more when printed since modern printers routinely produce resolutions of 600 pixels/dots per inch. (Commercial printers often use much higher resolution.) Vector images can handle this type of scaling without any problems while bitmap images struggle with quality issues at higher resolution