Dec 4, 2018 No.16


Here are a few words about something we're often asked about: Patch size. Because there is no rule to follow regarding patch size, we thought we'd share our 30+ years of experience in the patch biz and suggest some guidelines.

Here's a summary of the content of this newsletter for those who don't want or need the details.

• Most fun patches are memorabilia
• The more important the event, the bigger the patch (usually)
• To get the most value, make sure the patch size is correctly calculated.
• Buying small patches because of limited space on the garment may result in lost memories and unrealized nostalgia.
• Always keep the end-user in mind when buying patches.

And here are the details.

The bigger the patch, the more stuff (content) it can contain. And, for souvenir (memorabilia) patches, this is important because more content (done properly) can mean more memories and nostalgia for the end-user later in life.

Patch size is determined by averaging the height and width of the patch. In other words, draw a rectangular (or square) box around the patch to determine the patch's height and width. Then add the dimensions together and divide the result by two. However, be careful to take the patch orientation into account.

For example; the diamond shaped patch shown below will yield a patch size of 4.2 inches when measured as a diamond. However, when turned 45 degrees and measured as a square, the size becomes 3 inches. The actual space the patch consumes (area) is the same in both cases. However, when measured as a diamond there is considerable wasted space in the dimension box and wasted money when it comes time to pay for the patch.

The same caution applies to all odd shaped patches. The orientation of the design in the dimension box should yield the most patch and the least empty space.

The patch shown above is a diamond shape. However, if we determine the shape by drawing a box around it in the diamond orientation, the dimensions yield a 4.2 inch patch size. As shown in Figure A (above), this orientation creates considerable wasted space in the box and an unnecessarily large patch size and cost. So, to get the most value, the patch should be turned 45 degrees and measured in the square orientation as in Figure B (above). These dimensions yield a 3 inch patch size which with no wasted space and the lowest possible cost. Note the dimensions of the patch haven't changed but the price probably has. It pays to make sure your patch company is calculating patch dimensions optimally.
Of course, patch size can vary considerably depending on buyer preferences and/or the required content. So what size patch should you provide for your group?

FULL SIZE (3") - Generally, a three inch size is considered a full size patch for most youth groups. That's 9 square inches of space which should allow for enough lettering and graphics to make your message clear and your souvenir functional as memorabilia. Full size patches are usually reserved for important or substantive events such as those involving the most attendance, effort, and cost. After all, the bigger the event, the more likely it will be to yield important and/or abundant memories. Customers seeking full size patches usually opt for a CUSTOM patch.
MID SIZE (2.5") - The 2.5 inch patch is between the 3" and 2" patch sizes. It is most appropriate for events and activities which are between the most and the least memorable events and activities.

MINI SIZE (2") - The 2 inch patch is so small it should only be used to commemorate only the smallest events or activities. With a maximum of 4 square inches of space, embroidered mini-patches cannot be expected to do much more than serve as a mediocre reminder that the end user participated in the title activity. Mini-patches are usually not dated or most often bought as a generic token and not as memorabilia. Some patch buyers buy mini-patches because space on the garment is limited. Doing so can result in future lost memories for the end-user. If any, It's the small patches that should be relegated to off-garment overflow locations such as albums, patch jackets, banners, quilts, etc. Large patches - the most important - should generally be applied to the uniform in most cases.
Patch Talk editions include a variety of information. Some articles expire while others are timeless. So, in case you missed some of the more important past articles, here's an index you can use to find what you may have missed.

• WHY PATCHES? - There's more to patches than meets the eye

• SAVING MONEY - Here's some simple math that will ensure you don't pay more than you have to on all products with quantity discounts

• SAVING MONEY (Cont'd) - More about saving money

• CUSTOM PATCHES MADE EASY - The easy way to get from nothing to custom patches in hand.

• BEWARE THE IRON-ON PATCH - What patch companies don't want you to know about iron-on.

• ALL ABOUT THEMES - Themes are HUGE. What patch buyers should know about themes
For back issues of Patch Talk click HERE .
For IN-STOCK patches click HERE or call 1-800-728-2676
For CUSTOM patch designs click HERE or call 1-888-728-2426
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