12 Questions for Hiring the Right Embroidery Digitizer

Deciding to hire an embroidery digitizer for your shop is easy, finding the perfect person to represent the quality of your shop is difficult.

There are at least 12 important questions to ask a candidate, from experience and basics to artistic and business issues.

After years of struggling to digitize artwork properly for your embroidery business, you may feel the time is right to hire someone to do your digitizing.

The decision to hire an in-house digitizer may have been the easiest part. The real trick is in finding a creative person to enhance the product line your particular workshop.

Embroidery Lion DigitizingAn important factor in hiring an embroidery digitizer is they have a strong portfolio of samples. Seeing his or her best work, side by side with the source artwork can tell you quite a bit about talent and potential. However, don’t base your decision on material samples only.

There are some core capabilities you need in a digitizer, not least of which are experience in the embroidery business, the level of technical capabilities and a distinctive artistic flair. Asking these twelve strategic questions, as well as closely examining samples, you can learn if they are perfect for the job.

Start With Fundamentals

Some of the basic questions to ask during an interview will be:

  • What digitizing software are they familiar with? Sierra’s Embroidery Office 9 is the industry standard, and if they are not proficient with Windows-based software, it could mean more time getting up to speed.
  • How many years of embroidery business experience do they have?
  • How long have they been digitizing?
  • Have they ever physically operated commercial embroidery equipment?

The candidate’s answers will give you a general idea of how comfortable your digitizer is with the commercial embroidery business. You will find out if the candidate is usually qualified to work on your machines, or (at the very least) can be brought up to speed quickly on your particular system and workflow.

Ask About Personal Style

Once you have a good knowledge about their grasp of the fundamentals, now move towards a few more specifics. Begin asking about artistic and unique style:

  • Do they digitize with a stitch count in mind, to make the right design with the minimum amount of stitching?
  • How are they on market-related techniques, beyond the standard left-chest logo, cap fronts and backs of jackets?
  • Can they make vector art or design unique patterns for embroidery?
  • What about individual niche designs, like decorative patterns, animals, architecture or cars?
  • How they handle photos, raster and bitmap images?
  • Will they be able to work with customer-supplied artwork, or render designs based on ideas from the customer?

Freedom Embroidery Sample

To get to the heart of embroidery, ask two questions about business related issues:

  • Do they prefer to work with flat fills, or can they produce sculptural, or puffy foam, embroidery? Many embroidery projects will incorporate some kind of backing or stabilizer, so a digitizer should be able to think in more than two dimensions.
  • Can they work with a limited color palette? This is a practical issue since the effectiveness of your shop is related to any physical limitations of the equipment. Sometimes you just have to work with what you have!

In commercial embroidery, the left chest logo will be the lion’s share of the business. On one hand, they are relatively easy to digitize. On the other, you don’t rely on only on the basics to be a success. Designs with finer details, tiny text and a number of color changes requires something more. They need a decorative touch.

Digitizing is a meticulous process, requiring time, creativity and experience to be performed correctly.  This is why you will hire a digitizer to know how the stitches in embroidery software will render on different fabrics.

With these 12 questions, as well as casting a critical eye towards a candidate’s samples, you can make sure all projects will include the quality your customers expect. Hiring the right digitizer will have everything from basic corporate logos to full back jacket designs look fantastic.

Tiger Embroidery Digitizing

Commercial embroidery is the combination of business and artistry, so it is important to have the right team to create wonderful designs. Your reputation depends on it!  Colman and Company is the perfect place to get all of your embroidery supplies, call 800-891-1094 to find out more.

Do you have tips on digitizing for commercial embroidery? We would love to hear them! Join the conversation in the comments below.




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