Patches?? We don’t have to show you no stinkin’ patches!! I never tire of paraphrasing Alfonso Bedoya’s famous line in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. It’s been parodied and quoted countless times. But for those who don’t know it, the line was popularized when a Mexican bandit leader named Gold Hat (Bedoya) tries to convince Fred C. Dobbs (Humphrey Bogart) that he and his company are Federales:
Dobbs: If you’re the police, where are your badges?
Gold Hat: Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges! I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!
But I stray . . . This post is about patches and typography, an underappreciated typographic artform that is so commonplace as to be invisible. But if you look around, you’ll see thousands of brand-name and not-so-familiar patches worn on hats, shirts, and jackets. Some actually have great typography—not just for a patch, but for anything. Here, I’m happy to show you these stinkin’ patches. They are little woven gems.