The first SCHOOL ZONE hat intended for sale was conceived in 2010, over two years before it would ever be available for sale. The concept for this hat was to be as marketable as possible, a simple color scheme that could match with anything, but also well designed and made with high quality. The SCHOOL ZONE brand was missing in action from late 2010 until 2012 but when we decided to take a serious look at launching as a hats only brand and so many elaborate concepts were being tossed around for hats, it was difficult to decide which concept would be simple and iconic enough to be our first release.
Eventually we decided to revisit the oldie, but goodie, original SCHOOL ZONE hat design. Now formally named ORIGINAL, a white and black embroidered patch application on a black baseball hat, intended to have a sports uniform appearance, so people are clear what you're representing. While our elaborate and custom themed hats will be all be made cut-and-sew overseas, in dedicated headwear factories, our very first LOGO SERIES hat will be made by an apparel printing and embroidery shop right here in Rhode Island, where they've had enough patience and skill to bring our ideas to life since we first walked in the door in 2010.
Front and center sits a 3" embroidered patch of the SCHOOL ZONE sign logo. Turning a digital graphic into embroidery is called digitizing and this is a very important step in creating a great looking hat. The technician who digitized the SCHOOL ZONE logo for this hat's patch took special care in digitizing, as is evident in it's finer details. If you look closely at the stitching on this patch in person, it actually offers more than any two dimensional graphic can.
From head to toe, the female character is carefully detailed. Atop her head is an erratic group of stitches to illustrate her flowing hair. Two lines of stitching next to each other form her thin white halter strap connecting to her white top stretched exactly over her body. One tiny stitch places her belly piercing. Carefully created edges depict the ruffling of her skirt. A thin series of stitches finishes her heel into a stiletto point.
Equally impressive is the stitching of the male character. His sneakers, jeans, shirt, even the sleeves of his shirt and most importantly, his hat are each embroidered as a separate series of stitches to show separation between each. His nose, mouth, chin and neck are all detailed within an edge less than half a centimeter long. On his back hand you can make out individually stitched fingers and in front of him, five separate fingers grip an embroidered cup.
All of this detail sits on the iconic rounded pentagon shape of a school zone sign seen across the United States. Because of the logo's tightly curved edges and how close the black line is to the edge, it requires a special application. There are three ways to finish an edge on an embroidered patch: cut edge, rolled edge, and laser-cut. Most headwear manufacturers use a cut edge patch because it is the least expensive. It also produces the cheapest looking patch. On this SCHOOL ZONE patch we use a laser-cut edge, the laser cutting a perfectly curved, crisp white edge to finish the logo perfectly.