The Art of Converting Logo Files to Stitch Files

If you are interested in working with SP RHODES to put your logo on horse and rider wear, it is important to understand the process behind converting your logo from a .jpg file (or other artwork file) to a .DST file (an embroidery machine file). There are a few things that are important to understand when it comes to art files vs. stitch files. The process of going from an artwork file to a stitch file is not always an easy task and when you work with SP RHODES, we use a unique process to achieve an optimal embroidery result. It is for that reason there is cost.

Below we will answer some common questions associated with creating embroidery files;

    1. How is an embroidery file (.DST file) different than a .jpg file?
    2. Why do I need to pay for an embroidery file?
    3. Why are there different packages I can choose from? Can you not simply increase or decrease the size of one file to suit all horse and rider wear?
    4. Why are the embroidery outcomes at SP RHODES better than elsewhere?
    5. How much is it to have my file converted and what do I get with each package?

1. How is an embroidery file (.DST file) different than a .jpg file?

Whether you bring an existing equestrian logo to SP RHODES or you have an equestrian logo created with SP RHODES, the files you have from a logo design will not work on  a commercial embroidery machine. The reason lies in the information the file contains. Artwork files contain pictures, vector lines and information using pixels to interpret artwork. Embroidery machines need entirely different information. Embroidery machines use a specific computer language to form the stitches they create. DST files contain coding for embroidery machines to follow. All the operating instructions the machine needs from start to finish are included. The color changes when to leave sections blank, even down to which color and position to start stitching from.

Hover over the below image to see the difference in the way the files are created. 

SP RHODES Logo Design File SP RHODES Stitch File

As you can see, the “before” image is an artwork file and the after image contains a stitch architecture, This information is what makes the difference between the logo files you bring to SP RHODES and the embroidery files we need to create. 

2. Why do I need to pay for an embroidery file?

There are two ways to create a stitch file. The first way is by using a costly AutoCAD style design program and importing your logo file. From there, most companies simply click a button to auto-digitize your file into stitch format. You will be charged a set-up fee and be on your way; however, this method of creating a stitch file does not result in a quality embroidery result. The best embroidery results (what we call “retail” embroidery results) can only be achieved when the file is converted by hand one stitch at a time. That is what we do here at SP RHODES. Our files are hand-digitized and this is the best way to create stitch files. We are essentially re-creating your logo in a stitch format as if we were drawing it from scratch. Doing it this way gives us full control over the number of stitches, the quality and type of stitches, the density of stitches and whether or not we do what is called an “edge run”; an additional layer of stitching that reinforces your design on certain fabrics. 

It takes a significant amount of time to create a stitch file from your logo. Below you can see how the process looks and how each part of your logo contains different stitch information. All of these stitches are laid down manually in special software. The below logo took about two hours of design time to achieve the final embroidery file that resulted in a beautiful embroidery result.



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  • One-on-one design consultant and illustrator
  • Presented in hand-illustrated format
  • Priority service: 4-6 weeks
  • Custom color palette
  • Design is based on a comprehensive questionnaire
  • Competition is researched so we can strategically position your new brand
  • Up to Three concepts provided based on your questionnaire answers
  • Up to six revisions to your selected concept
  • Files are prepared in multiple color options and composition variations (stacked, horizontal)


  • Assigned to designated illustrator
  • Designs are presented in digital format
  • Custom colour palette
  • Timeline: 8-10 weeks
  • Design is based on a comprehensive questionnaire and the process is collaborative
  • Up to Two concepts provided based on your questionnaire answers
  • Up to four revisions to your selected concept
  • Files are provided in the colors of the version you select
  • All design files (.jpg, .png, .eps. .ai. .pdf, .ai)s

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