Tuesday, July 26, 2005

6. GUIDELINES

While you're gearing up for the big patch buy, check out these rules of the road. They won't apply to everyone in every case. So, regard them as rules of thumb; general principles to keep in mind while you forge ahead.

• Remember who you're buying for - If you're buying 100 patches, they'll eventually go to 100 girls and 100 moms. So, aim for a design which will please as many of those 200 people as possible. If the patch is a hit with them you will be too and everyone will be happy. Who could ask for more than that?

• Less is more - With a maximum of just nine square inches of design space, a limited palette of colors, and the low resolution medium of embroidery, you'll want to keep content to a minimum. You'll probably have to have a title (eg: "Spring Fling") and a signature (eg: "SU26 Camporee 2005") leaving less room for graphics. So, look for ideas with the most bang for the least amount of space.

• Girls are great - Out of all the things you can put on a Girl Scout® patch, girls are at the top of the list. After all, Girl Scouting has one thing which everyone in the organization just loves. Girls. In general, if you put a cute little girl smack in the center of your patch, you're 80% of the way to having a successful design. Click here for an example of this principle at work. Isn't it cute? And it's all girls with a theme, minimal lettering, and no boring filler or empty space. Patches like this one evoke exclamations like "Oh, how cute!" and "Aren't they adorable!". And that's about as good as it gets for volunteer event patches.

• Keep lettering to a minimum - Long titles gobble up precious space which could be better spent on the fun stuff. Patches aren't about boring letters. They're about fun pictures. So, short titles and minimal signatures work best. In the example above the title is one word..."Survivor". And it capitalizes on the trendy impact of the TV reality series of the same name. That's a lot of word power for only eight letters and it leaves room for five girls.

• Be P.C. - Your patch will make a statement for all to see and will reflect on you and your group. So, it's prudent to be sensitive to issues of political correctness. If you have people in your design, consider ethnic diversity. Words like "Father" or "Mom" are often avoided in patch titles as some girls may live in single parent families. Be careful about religion-specific patch content in designs for diverse groups. Etc. Let common sense be your guide and be P.C.