Customized Cap Orders: Designers’ Tips for Artwork, Colors, Techniques, and More

June 13, 2016 - By Emily Potter

The number one piece of advice I hear from designers regarding customized cap orders is this:

“Give us as much detail as possible but be flexible.”

Today’s All About Headwear post will make ordering custom caps easier than ever. We interviewed some graphic designers to bring you their most helpful advice.

If there is something specific you want out of a hat, make sure you communicate that to them. The more information you provide about what you’re looking for, the better they will be able to meet your expectations. They’ll do their best to provide you with the product of your dreams, but understand that not every technique may be possible with your logo. If you’re on a strict budget or have specific time constraints they will work with you to create a customized cap that is comparable.

If you truly have no idea what you want beyond professional quality headwear, they’ll start from scratch and give you options. You can even pick and choose elements you like or dislike from the options provided, and they’ll go back to the drawing board time and time again until they get your customized cap perfect.

It’s always helpful if you give them some ideas of what you like as far as color and technique so they can start out on the right track. The more detailed you are, the quicker your designer can provide you with proofs.

Logos and Artwork

Vector Artwork

There are two types of digital art files– raster and vector. Raster images are made up of pixels. Common raster files include JPG, PMG, TIFF, and PSD. Vector art is created using anchor points, which build paths and shapes in programs like Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW.

It is important to provide vector files of your logo when ordering custom caps because they are high-resolution and can be easily edited. Your designer will need to manipulate your logo for size, location, and color so it fits well and looks nice on the hat.

Vector art can be scaled to any size without losing image quality. When raster images are made larger, the pixels become visible and no longer appear as a clean line. Your designer may still be able to work with your raster file if it is a high-resolution image. However, he may require additional time to process your request. If the image’s resolution is too low it may not be possible to use your logo.

Simplified Versions

If you have a really detailed or complicated logo, send it in. However, it’s helpful if you provide a simplified version as well. Logos with unique shapes or small intricate details may have to be modified. Detailed files can work great for some techniques, but not for others. If you have a more basic form to play with, there is a lot more your designer can do with it. The more it can be manipulated, the more options he can present to you.


It’s helpful if you have the Pantone (PMS) color codes for your logo so your designer can be sure he’s creating a hat that will accurately represent your brand.

Using this matching system, he can select thread for embroidery, ink for sublimation, or colors for any other embellishments used.

Keep in mind if you want to have your caps screen printed, only 3 colors can be used per design.

Customized Cap


As we discussed earlier, providing details is helpful but be flexible and open to suggestions. Your designer is an expert in headwear, so he won’t lead you astray. If he says that something won’t fit correctly or won’t look good on your hat, you can trust he’s telling the truth.

Finally, always remember that certain techniques can only be accomplished overseas so your order may take longer to process or require a larger piece count. Be sure you communicate your deadline and quantity needs, as this will help your designer weed out certain options from the start.

What do you want to ask our designers? Let us know in the comments below; we always want to hear from you. We’re here to answer any of your questions regarding custom headwear; all you have to do is ask!

We’ve developed this series in hopes that you will not only understand the importance of promotional hats but also how you can ensure your customers will get a high-quality customized cap design they can be proud of every single time by using our tips and tricks!

What topics are you curious about? We would love to clear them up. You can also follow us on Instagram using the hashtag #hatswork.

Emily Potter

Emily is the Content Marketer for Outdoor Cap Co. She holds an M.A. in AD & PR from the University of Alabama and a B.B.A in Marketing. Emily is an avid Crimson Tide football fan. She has a golden retriever named Opie Winston, and a cat named Tide.


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