A digitizer is a person who specializes in converting artwork such as a logo, graphic or design into an embroidery software file format that can be read by a commercial embroidery machine.
The work of a professional digitizer is part technical skill and part artistry. For example, the digitizer must analyze the artwork to see if it should be edited before performing any embroidery. An experienced digitizer knows that not all logos that were designed for print media will work well for embroidery. It is often the case that designs need to be simplified. In addition to correctly sizing a logo, some elements such as outlining may need to be eliminated and small text may need to be enlarged, etc.
Large embroidery shops often employ a full-time digitizer, while smaller embroidery shops handle the work of a digitizer themselves or outsource it.
Flat-rate digitizer pricing starts at $20~$40 per design, and some digitizers charge depending on the number of stitches required or the time involved. High-end digitizing services can run several hundred dollars per design and higher.