I have been tasked with digitally matching two colours from a physical, embroidered logo. As a first step I scanned the embroidery patch (see image) with the intention of using the eye dropper tool, however the embroidery (because of thread height and shadows) is not one uniform colour to pick from.

What's the best way to get the most accurate colour from the patch to translate into the digital design?

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The scanner is picking up the shadows and highlights caused by the stitching. I would use the eye dropper on a zoomed in section:

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Choose the darkest red caused from stitch's shadow: bf211e

Choose the lightest color caused from the raised stitch: dc3638

Create both colors in the swatches panel:

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Create a box that is 10 x 100 and apply a gradient of both colors:

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add a guide to the center and select the center most color:

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The center most color appears to be d4232d.

If that doesn't work you could ask the client where they got the embroidery done then contact the shop and ask them to tell you the details of the stitching. Might be based on a Pantone.


Another method which seems to give a fairly accurate result:

Get rid of everything but the color areas in Photoshop by filling with white... You should be left with something like this:

After PS cleaning

Then open it up in Illustrator and do a three color trace on the image, ticking 'Ignore White':

Three colors minus white is your two colors

After white has been subtracted – what's left is your two colors. Go to the top and click on the Expand button:


Then with the artwork still active go to the Swatches Panel and click on the New Color Group button:

Add new color group to swatches

Click OK and there you go:

Like magic

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