The first merit badges were issued in 1911 and at the time there were 57 of them. Now there are more than 150! A hundred million merit badges have since been awarded to youth around the globe. Since their inception, little has changed design-wise. While they are similar to traditional patches, there are several distinct differences.
Merit Badge Design
Boys and girls spend weeks, sometimes even months earning a badge. It isn’t just a decoration to sew onto a uniform; it is an emblem of their achievements. Because merit badges are typically worn by children, they are smaller than a traditional patch. Until 2015, most badges were 1.5 inches in diameter. Now they are 2.25 inches. If they were a full-sized traditional patch, they would look out of proportion on a smaller child.
Badges are round so they will fit in neat rows of three on a sash. Multiple sizes would be difficult to line up correctly. They are also sewn into cuffs and belts, depending on the organization. Like traditional patches, embroidered merit badges can be very artistic, and many people, even those not involved in youth organizations, collect them for their distinctive look.
Create Your Own Merit Badges
If you’re looking to create custom merit badges, American Patch is an excellent choice! Unlike other patch companies, we send you a physical sample because we know it’s hard to decide from a graphic rendering! Shipping in the US is free, and we have a fast turn around time.
Learn More About Traditional Patches
When it comes to designing traditional patches, the sky is the limit. Most shapes and sizes can be made, and a nearly endless amount of colors can be used to make the precise patch you or your organization need. Embroidered patches have threads sewn into a backing material, and woven patches are similar, except they use a finer thread for a flatter look. For intense color, many people choose the dye sublimated patches, where portions of the patch are dyed using a special ink.
While merit badges and traditional patches have many similarities, badges adhere to a stricter design formula. American Patch would be delighted to make your organizations merit badges or traditional patches. Contact us today for a free quote.