I mentioned earlier that i'd be posting some process from our Go Play illustration or ESPN agazine, sorry it is a bit delayed!
For this type of embroidery, loosely grouped within the Sweater Letter series which is heavily patterned block type - our process differs slightly from our other typographic pieces like Macho Distrust. Because the patterns and stitch work are quite intricate the design process is usually less organic. We plan out the patterns with as much detail as we can right from the start and set the colours for each element before putting needle to fabric.
With works like Macho Distrust we'll set a rough colour guide by going through a watercolour step but we still freestyle a fair bit. But for Sweater Letters after choosing a rough colourway from our thread library we'll then take our preliminary sketch into Illustrator to vector, enabling us to tweak the colours easily as we need. There's usually a lot of umming and ahhing over what colour should be dominant or should this colour be next to that one if it re-appears here... etc so being able to quickly undo on the computer is a godsend, the alternative being potentially unpicking a whole day's work and we'd rather not do that!