Printing Methods for Personalized Mugs

There are a lot of ways of mug printing and you can even do it at home. We’re here to help you choose which printing method best suits you.

Direct Screen Coffee Mug Printing

When it comes to making simple designs on bone china mugs and earthenware, direct screen printing is the ideal method. With this method, ink is passed through a screen or mesh. The stencil is applied to the stretched mesh and those little holes in the stencil affect the final image on the mug.

This method is great for smaller designs that don’t demand overlapping colors and extensive image registration. However, there is a limitation with this process as it cannot produce complex half-tone colors. It is ideal for low-budget printing.

Digital Photo Mug Printing

This method prints the design or image directly on a paper that is specially coated. It also uses waterslide transfer like that of the transfer print process that applies the design to the substrate.

This process will provide a permanent and full-color artwork look that’s why it is great for mugs that need texts or images in high quality. It is excellent on both bone china mugs and earthenware. However, it’s not an excellent option for designs and images with colored glazed ceramics or strong primary colors.

Litho or Transfer Printing Custom Mug Printing

Transfer printing or litho printing is an age-old method of printing on ceramics of bone china mugs. The process involves design or image litho-printed on a special paper then cover-coated on the mug. After coating, the print goes into the water slide transfer then the printer manually applies it to the drinkware.

This method is more labor-intensive and slower than direct screen printing. However, it’s more flexible with colors. It is great for mugs with average or large areas to print on. It can print in four or even more line colors as well, which requires tight registration and very fine detail.

Pad Printing

This technology is popular in printing on golf balls. However, it can also work in etching a design or image on mugs. It utilizes high-performance materials such as an image building plate, printing pad, and ink that result in an amazing etched design.

This method is applicable to making logos on glass, ceramic, silicone, metal, and plastic mugs. However, it doesn’t work on pottery-like products such as earthenware mugs. It is also similar to screen printing because it is able to print on curved surfaces. This process is also able to take up to four spot colors and pre-mixed colors which minimizes unwanted image distortion.

Dye Sublimation

This method is the best of all the techniques that provide vibrant colors and clear results. It utilizes organic color dyes and then heat transfer to print the desired artwork on the mug surface. This will ensure that the design will always look brand new even for a long period of time.

This printing is suitable for mugs that require accurate color photographic reproduction. It provides a brilliant gloss print results. The best thing is, it’s environmentally friendly because it doesn’t contain harmful substances like cadmium and lead.

About Charles Curry

Charles founded his Etsy shop Wall Decal Source in 2012. He opened his decal shop and decided to create a nursery decal for his sisters new baby. Funnily enough he published the decal as an item for sale on his Etsy shop and people really liked it. Well a few years later and his shop has been almost completely taken over by nursery wall decals. He must still be a kid at heart. As Charles tested and tried all sorts of methods to expand his shop he stumbled upon a few simple formulas for consistently growing Etsy sales and views.
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