Everyone will agree the most exciting and visual part of being in a motorcycle club is the cuts you wear on your back. The patch on your back has become so important that it essentially can be the symbol that defines your club.
When it is decided by a group of friends that a motorcycle club is going to be created, the first thing that usually occurs (even before bylaws) is the design of the center patch. It is extremely important to get the design perfect before you track down an embroiderer and spend the money to get the image scanned, processed, and sewn up for the founding members.
It probably a good idea to get everyone’s input on the design. You might see one or two members head up the design process but ultimately you will need to have your club’s sign off prior to sending the design off to the embroiderer.
There are several ways to design a good patch for your club. If one of your members has any artistic ability, that could potentially save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars by not hiring an outsourced designer. If you have any experience in Photoshop, you could take a stab at it yourself.
Once you have a design for your patch, rockers, font, etc, you are ready for your design to go in production. Some clubs heavily control the production of the colors and will only use one company to produce their patches for the life of the club. This is a smart move because most likely, your club will be consumed by drama that will result in a few members leaving to start their own motorcycle clubs. This could cause some confusion on who actually owns the club colors and different factions of your club could be started with similar if not the same patch. This really falls into “Trademarking” and I will go over that in a future post. For the purpose of this article, I will focus on just the embroidery process.
Once you have settled on the design for your motorcycle club, its time to seek out an embroiderer. Realize that all embroiderers are not created the same. Most of the local shops in your area probably cater to High School Letterman Jackets and make embroidered t-shirts for other local companies. You need to meet with several embroiderers and look at their design set up to see what they are able to do. If you are already involved in the motorcycle club scene, talk with other clubs and get their advice on embroiderers that could handle the production of your future cuts.
When you finally decide on a trusted embroiderer to create your patches for you, make sure you are very involved in the process. Your embroiderer will provide you with prototypes of the first run of the patch. If you do not like it, make sure you speak up and let them know that. Suggest changes and make sure you get what you pay for. Now, if the embroiderer has suggestions himself, make sure you listen. If you have chosen and embroiderer who has experience with motorcycle clubs, then he/she may be able to give you tips on how to make your design the best it can be in patch form.
When everything is said and done and the patches are finally sewn on your cuts, there is no better feeling taking that first ride with your brothers and showing off your new brand of brotherhood. Remember, take your time with this. It will be worth it.