We get this question a lot at JohnnyBattle. While most logos are sewn on the Center Front, many others can get pretty creative in their placement. I’ve even had a customer get 6 DIFFERENT signatures embroidered on ONE hat before. (Not recommended by this author) But let’s take a look at some common placements and what type of logo would look best in that area. I’ll also let you know the dimensions we have to work within those spaces.
- Center Front
- Left Panel (when wearing the hat)
- Right Panel (when wearing the hat)
- Left Side
- Right Side
- Center Back (Fitted Hat)
- Center Back (Adjustable)
This is by far the most common area and also the most versatile. Round logos, horizontal logos, text or design. It also has the benefit of the largest sewing area to work in. Typically 4 ½ inches wide by 2 ½ inches tall. It’s also the most visible.
The front left panel (when wearing the hat). This location is a very popular choice. The design would look best if it did not involve text as the sewing field is restricted by size. Text needs to be at minimum ¼ in high for the best results. In this case the logo can only be 2.75 inches wide and 2.25 inches high. An exception being if the hat has 5 panels instead of the more traditional 6. The extra panel does not have a seam down the middle of the hat allowing for more space to work with.
The right panel shares all the characteristics of the left in size of design and allowable sewing area. Right panel logos work well when the design is such that it has the look of flowing from left to right. What that means are logos that tilt or visibly read from left to right. Either left panel or right panel, the custom embroidery will shine in those areas.
Side locations are usually smaller and will serve to highlight the Customers Company or ideals. For example: ‘est. 1983’, ‘Work Hard’, ‘Tech Team’, ‘Company Name’. It is also a good place to embroider an event. A conference attended or a golf course name. Text works great for this as you have 3 inches to sew a custom embroidered saying or name. As long as it is short and direct.
You would usually choose this side if you want to have a flag or company tag. The US Flag for instance would have the stars forward and would look great on the hat. Flags and other badges need to be reduced to 2 inches wide and 1 inch tall to look good on this location. Text does not flow as well because we want to have the flow moving back from left to right. Reading something going forward on a hat is fine but it doesn’t look as good as having it on the left side.
Center Back (Fitted Hats)
On fitted hats you can embroider a design with your company name, a short slogan, or any highlight that fits the occasion. This area is great because the text is straight across back and there is no need to work around the arch or keyhole as it is commonly referred to. Recommended size would be 3 inches wide and no more than an inch high.
Center Back (Adjustable)
The Keyhole or arch is the space behind adjustable hats. You can still sew above that area but you would need to be willing to have the text arch in the same way the keyhole is shaped. Short and sweet. Locations of the event or place of origin are usually placed here. A city, state, or location of the event being held.
Whenever sewing on hats you must consider what you are working with. If you are sewing different locations on a trucker hat, it might not be a good idea to not attempt lettering that is too small. This could distort on the mesh of the hat making for a sloppy look. If you are trying to sew a large logo with a high stitch count it could pull the mesh or pucker on twill hats because there is not enough material to support the logo.
On all hats the closest you can sew is ½ inch from the edge because the design of the frames used on industrial machines. I know that seems a bit nerdy to point out, but people ask if we can sew on the brim or under the brim or even from the panel to the brim. The hats you see with this were actually made before the hat was completed. The hats most embroidery shops work with are all embroidered after the hat was made.
Be creative in choosing the locations and keep in mind how the flow of the message you want to convey are placed. You want your message to seen and understood. The outcome of the custom embroidery you ultimately choose will be unique and inspired.
By Cannon Leatherwood