Embroidery Design Specifications

The design specifications on this page are for advanced users or designers and are not required for most customers.

Computer Generated Artwork-File Setup Requirements for Embroidery

Following these guidelines will help expedite and ensure the successful output of your embroidered design. Digitizing is a complex process which uses running, satin and fill stitches to create an embroidery design. Embroidery Digitizing requires many steps from good line artwork to a stitched out design. Embroidery Digitizing Software is needed for this process. File type required for supplied digitizing is DST.


Providing Digitized files for Embroidery

The only file type acceptable for this process is a (DST).  These files are created with special software to run computerized embroidery equipment.  The DST file is typically small and can be easily e-mailed.  Please contact our sales department for a work order number before submitting designs.. If you have another digitized file please contact our Sales department for conversion options.

Acceptable Software Applications:

PC format:

  • Adobe Illustrator CS6 or lower
  • Corel Draw 13 or lower (files saved as .cdr)
  • Adobe Photoshop CS6 or lower
  • Adobe PDF

File Formats:

  • PC Formatted
  • CD-rom / PC format
  • DVD with PC formatted files

Design Specifications

Quality: The highest quality images are always produced from the best original art that you can provide. Dolphin Graphics can perform image-retouching magic, but we always ask for the best original artwork to start with.

Art Reminders: these are general guideline notes for most products; please contact our art department for exact specifications for your products.

Convert all fonts to paths or curves. (Converted text can no longer be edited as text.)

NOTES: Strokes are not acceptable for die cut vinyl graphics or designs that require in-line and outline areas of an image. Please convert all strokes to paths / outline stroke before submitting file.

For Mac users:

  • Convert all files to PC format, (TIFF or EPS)
  • Multi-color jobs should be created using spot color mode rather than process color mode.
  • Include all EPS and Tiff files used in creating your document.

Illustrator NOTES: Strokes are not acceptable for die cut vinyl graphics or designs that require in-line and outline areas of an image. Please convert all strokes to paths / outline stroke before saving your design.

Include a hard copy or JPG image of your artwork with written instructions. If possible, send proofs of color separations for multiple color jobs. Please be sure to make a personal copy of any files you send.


All logos are trademarks of their respective owners, and are offered as a convenience for their lawful use only, with proper permission from the copyright or trademark holders. Obtaining logo files from Dolphin Graphics does NOT give you authorization nor permission to use the copyrighted logos without the specific consent of the copyright or trademark holder. Before you use, reproduce or distribute in any manner any logo obtained from Dolphin Graphics, you must first receive the express permission of the holder of the copyright or trademark of that logo. Failure to obtain such permission is a violation under international law.


File Extention Glossary

JPEG Image File
Compressed graphic format standardized by the JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group); supports up to 24-bit color, which makes JPEG a good format for storing digital photos; compressed using lossy compression, which may noticeably reduce the image quality if high amounts of compression are used.

JPEG images are commonly used for Web graphics and for storing photos taken with a digital camera. More commonly seen with a .JPG extension.

Tagged Image File (TIF)
High-quality graphics format often used for storing images with many colors, such as digital photos; short for "TIFF;" includes support for layers and multiple pages.

TIFF files can be saved in an uncompressed (lossless) format or may incorporate .JPEG (lossy) compression; they may also use LZW lossless compression, which reduces the TIFF file size, but does not reduce the quality of the image.

Bitmap Image File
Uncompressed raster image made up of a rectangular grid of pixels; each pixel is a different color (or level of gray for grayscale images), which together form an image; zooming in on a bitmap image will make it appear blocky since the size of each pixel increases.

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)
Image file that may contain up to 256 indexed colors; color palette may be a predefined set of colors or may be adapted to the colors in the image; lossless format, meaning the clarity of the image is not compromised with GIF compression.

GIFs are common format for Web graphics, epecially small images and images that contain text, such as navigation buttons; however, JPEG (.JPG) images are better for showing photos because they are not limited in the number of colors they can display.

GIF images can also be animated and saved as "animated GIFs," which are often used to display basic animations on websites; they may also include transparent pixels, which allow them to blend with different color backgrounds; however, pixels in a GIF image must be either fully transparent or fully opaque, so the transparency cannot be faded like a .PNG image.

Portable Document Format File
Cross-platform document created by Adobe Acrobat or a program with the Acrobat plug-in; commonly used for e-mail attachments or for saving publications in a standard format for viewing on mulitple computers; usually created from another document instead of from scratch.

May contain text, images, forms, annotations, outlines, and other data; preserves fonts and formatting electronically across multiple platforms; appears on the screen as it will when printed on paper. Google and other search engines now index PDF documents, which can be viewed in a Web browser using the free Adobe Reader plug-in.

Can also be created in Mac OS X by selecting "Print..." and choosing "Save as PDF" from the PDF drop-down menu instead of clicking "Print."

Photoshop Document
Document created by Adobe Photoshop, the most commonly used professional image editing program; can include image layers, adjustment layers, layer masks, annotation notes, file information, keywords, and other Photoshop-specific elements.

Supports RGB, CMYK, grayscale, monochrome, duotone, indexed color, Lab color, and multichannel color modes.

Encapsulated PostScript File
PostScript (.PS) file that may contain 2D vector graphics, bitmap images, and text; includes an embedded preview image in bitmap format; often used for transferring image data between different operating systems.

Adobe Illustrator File
Vector image file created by Adobe Illustrator; composed of paths, or lines connected by points, instead of bitmap data; may include objects, color, and text; often referred to as a Illustrator drawing.

Illustrator documents can be opened with Photoshop, but the image will be rasterized, meaning it will be converted from a vector image to a bitmap.

Our Mission


Our Mission is to provide our clients with the most comprehensive branding and marketing solutions and tools that support brand identity to grow their business. Our desire is to establish long term relationships with our clients to continually evaluate and proactively provide new creative ideas and marketing solutions.



icon-address-317200 Foothill Blvd.
Castro Valley, CA 94546