Jacqui Vear

Posted on 13th June 2019
by Jacqui Vear

Branded mugs… what’s your favourite printed mug?

Promotional mug printing in the UK

You’ll have an enduring favourite, which is probably within arm’s reach… we’re talking about branded mugs! They continue to top the promotional brand marketing charts, great for brand recognition, practicality and return on investment.

The good news is, we offer promotional mug printing that will fit your brand like a glove. There’s a lot to consider! If you’re interested in the details that we consider for all our branded mugs projects, here’s the lowdown. Alternatively just give us a call, tell us what you want to achieve and leave the rest to us.

Shape and capacity

These key decisions should reflect your target audience, are they big mug ‘builders tea’ kind of people, or looking for something reminiscent of café culture? You might build your brand on timeless values that you reflect in a classically styled promotional mug or want to show how innovative your work is with a branded mug in a quirky shape. You also need to think about a day in the life of your mug! If you’re filling the cupboard in the staff kitchen stackable mugs might be a good option. If you’re putting multiple cups in a dishwasher, you’ll need an efficiently shaped mug. Get these considerations right and you dramatically improve your return on investment, i.e. how much your mug will be used.


The traditional material choices are earthenware, porcelain and bone china. These all produce durable, quality promotional mugs for printing on. Porcelain and bone china are premium options with a more limited range of shapes and colours. That said, the feel of porcelain and bone china mugs is superior, and we have seen several clients pick up samples in this material and immediately say “this is a nice mug”, not initially attributing this comment to the material, but acknowledging a positive difference. A newer material for promotional mug printing in the UK is enamel, a fashionable, retro material that will prevent any breakages if you’re taking your mugs on the road.

Printing the branded mugs

Different printing approaches lend themselves to different mugs and types of artwork. Direct screen printing applies spot colours to the promotional mugs, a process that works particularly well for large areas of solid pantone colours. The process is quick and cost effective.

In transfer printing, the design is put onto special paper which is coasted and then applied by hand to the mug. It is a more labour-intensive process but supports detailed, tight registration designs, i.e. where different colours are close to one another.

Dye sublimation printing uses organic colour dyes for bright, glossy results. A good choice for tonal and gradient colours, photographic images and one-off designs, such as when mugs are personalised.

The final option is digital printing. Instead of films or screens, high quality CMYK images are coated, applied by hand and then fired into a glaze, for a durable, lifelong result. Be aware that these approaches come with different lead-times.

Mug colours

Beyond white and off-white mugs, the colour palette is increasing, with up to 8 colours available in the popular mug shapes. Pantone matched mugs are also possible, on higher order quantities. You may feature colour across your branded mug, or just to the outer.

Mug brand design

Creativity is king, and our Creative Studio is here to help! Artwork will wrap around your promotional mugs, but never completely cover it, so prepare for a white outline at the edges and around the handle if you’re proposing to use photographic images. You might choose to have the same artwork on each side, if not, think about whether you want the key message facing your user, with approximately 88% of people being right handed. Beyond the body of the mug, in many mug ranges you can have a coloured band around the rim, or a print inside it. You can also print on the handle or on the bottom of mug, creative options that often get overlooked.

Packaging for the mugs

This is often the final consideration but it’s key to first impressions. You can achieve a gift feel with personalised packaging, or you may just want plain mug mailers to support the safe transportation of your masterpiece mugs! The options are as wide-ranging and flexible as your mug brief and we’re here to help with this element of the project too.

Did we mention that we can offer you personalised travel mugs too! That’s another blog article for another day. Rest assured that we’ve got the products, ideas and enthusiasm to create momentous mugs maximise your marketing ROI!

Ask about promotional mug printing with your branding

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