Design Your Own Hat: A Guide to Creating a Wearable Design

Designing your own hat is a fun and creative way to use wearable design. Some embrace custom hat design as part of building a uniquely branded product inventory. Some are making promotional items for an enthusiastic audience. Or you might be looking for hat design ideas that fit a more personal (and less business) need for custom hats - like designing costumes for your dance team or even a singularly stunning hat for yourself.

Whatever your reasons, and however many hats you plan to embroider, what will determine the beauty, impact, and success of your custom hat design? From knowing your audience to knowing your design software, anyone with an eye for aesthetics can design their own custom hat for one or thousands of satisfied wearers.

What makes great custom hat design?

A stylish hat in-tune with your audience

When most people imagine custom hat design, they envision a baseball cap with a front panel to design and possibly a little detail on the bill. In truth, you can customize a wide range of hat designs with embroidery and other types of detail. Fedoras, for example, are a fun alternative that can be easily embroidered, banded, and look good on nearly everyone. You might choose custom panama hats, or even design embroidered Ushanka (ear flap hats) if your audience regularly braves the cold and has a sense of humor.

An artistic design that compliments the hat's contours

Your design style is unique to you. Whether you love the bold graffiti-style graphic design or baroque vines and flowers (and everything in between) the key is to craft your design that both suits your audience and follows the contours of the hat itself. The better your design complements the hat, the better your hat will complement the design and truly flatter the wearer.

Attractively centered or off-center design

Baseball caps and other aggressively forward-facing hats often have a single design right in the center - and this is exactly right. Other types of hats, like fedoras, look better when the design is stylishly off-center instead. Know your hat and experiment to find the best alignment of design elements to make it look dashing from every angle.

Wrap-around hat design

With the right software, you can create a detailed design that wraps all the way around the hat. Instead of a band (or in addition) you can wrap your hat in embroidered details that will make your design feel more unique and valuable compared to solo-logo designs.

Detail edging along the brim or bill

The brim or bill of your hat is another custom design opportunity. One of the coolest things you can do with a hat is line the brim with details that continue the main design theme. Details on the underside of the brim are subtle and create a wearer-experience while details on the topside of the brim face the world and flash in the sun.

How to choose the best design software for custom hats

The software you choose to design your custom hats can influence your design quality, options, and implementation. Not to mention the ease with which you craft your wearable hat-ready art.

The right features for wearable design

Look for graphic design software that has the features you need for your custom design. Every artist has a unique approach and favorite tools. You want high-quality design software like CorelDRAW with a wide variety of easily accessible tools and design options - that will work well when embroidered into a hat.

For wearable design, often the best software allows you to simulate the hat itself, turning your design to see how it would look in the real world.

Easy and enjoyable to use and design with

Never settle for frustrating design software. Test each program until you find one that you can intuit and work with easily. This may mean adaptable toolbars or exactly the right tools in your tray where you expect them.

The right price for your budget

The size of your project likely determines the budget for your software. Good design software is always worth paying for, just be sure your choice is within your budget and the features you need.

Creates a design usable by your hat fulfillment partner

Lastly, you need design software that can export to the correct file type to give your hat fulfillment partners the right information. More advanced and professional graphic design programs are often more capable of printing to a usable production model.


Ready to show the world what you can do with custom hat design? Check out CorelDRAW to find out if our suite of graphic design software has what you need to let your creativity fly and produce the perfect custom hats for your project, business, or personal use.

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