How to Design Your Own Custom Mug

Custom promotional items allow businesses to put their brand names out to the world in a fun, creative way. Coffee mugs are an effective way to get started, especially as most people have an emotional attachment to their favorite mug, making it even more pleasant to enjoy a cup at home each morning.

Designing a company mug for advertisement purposes is a savvy idea, as it offers a creative and powerful way to leave a lasting impression on anyone using the mug. The process involves selecting the suitable material, developing a message for the mug and picking a style that the user will value. A mug is a tangible representation of your brand that can boost your brand recognition in a recipient’s mind.

Reasons to Choose a Promotional Mug

Around 80% of adults in the United States drink two or more cups of coffee a day during the week. Additionally, 85% of consumers who receive promotional gifts remember the name of the company from which they received the gifts. There are many ways to implement promotional mugs for the benefit of your company. Specifically, coffee mugs make ideal promotional products because they are functional enough to use at the office or at home. When you are getting ready to pass out customized mugs, keep your audience in mind and consider ways to extend your brand’s reach.

The versatility of promotional mugs and their variety of materials make these a good choice for various marketing objectives. Giving mugs away as gifts to new or repeat customers can be an effective way to keep your brand name fresh in their minds and establish a long-lasting impression of your brand. Adding brands to coffee cups in bistros, bars and restaurants will remind people of where they’re enjoying their delicious meal or refreshing drink. Handing them out at special events such as business conferences can also be a way to engage the interest of potential consumers.

Promotional mugs are a good option for more than just business. They can also make great souvenirs for birthday parties, family reunions and summer camps. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes and materials.

Selecting the Mug’s Material

Not all coffee mugs are created equal. While one mug may be microwave-safe, another may be strictly handwash-only. Selecting the right material when deciding on the perfect mug is important. The material affects a mug’s overall functionality and durability, and some styles may only be available in certain materials.


These mugs have a traditional look and can come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. From classic to unique styles, promotional ceramic coffee mugs have endless possibilities. Additionally, they’re cost-effective, can retain heat and are easy to clean. A custom ceramic mug also presents a suitable surface for many brand designs.

However, even though they’re heavier, they do break more easily than mugs made of plastic or stainless steel. Because of their somewhat fragile nature, ceramic mugs aren’t the best mug option for traveling.


A branded glass mug offers a unique look that makes a lasting impression on customers and colleagues alike. Perfect for iced coffees and other cold beverages, they’re non-permeable and last for a long time with proper handling.


The affordability of plastic coffee mugs makes them one of the best options around for customizing mugs on a tight budget. These mugs are lightweight and can often be found in recyclable options, making even the plastic versions eco-friendly. Although they can be customized in a wide range of sizes and colors, they don’t retain heat as well as other materials.

Stainless Steel

If you’re more interested in promotional travel mugs, stainless steel is a good option. These mugs are durable, and because of their longevity and reusability, are also eco-friendly. Stainless steel mugs retain internal temperatures better than most and come in many styles.

Choosing the Mug’s Style


Designing a mug starts with choosing a style. Whether you want a modern look or something more functional, the perfect style is waiting! The quality of the style is also essential, as 72% of customers who receive promotional items believe the quality of the item reflects the quality of the product or service the company offers.

When considering which style would be ideal, think about tailoring a mug that matches your business and aligns with your client’s or employee’s preferences. Whether the purpose of these mugs is to boost brand visibility, serve as a gift to customers or engage with prospects, an engaging design offers a lot of potential to enhance your promotional efforts. A brand’s promotional coffee mugs should be a reflection of the company they represent. Of the variety you have to choose from, there are sure to be a few that hit the spot.

Diner and Restaurant Mugs

These types of mugs are perfect for bringing about that classic diner feeling. Although shiny white is the perfect option for a nostalgic look, they come in a variety of colors and styles. These mugs are typically made of ceramic with a thicker body and handle. Plus, they can retain the temperatures of hot beverages much longer due to their thickness.

Travel Mugs and Tumblers

Most people prefer travel coffee mugs and tumblers for coffee on the go. These are the most functional and portable options for making and taking coffee anywhere, available in materials such as plastic and stainless steel. Many are designed with spill-free lids and offer insulation features to keep beverages at the perfect temperature for hours on end. Also, custom tumblers can be found in eco-friendly options.

Offered in sizes from 10 ounces to 52 ounces, travel mugs or tumblers are an excellent option for adding your brand.

Tumblers With Handles

Traveling with tumblers is simple and efficient. These insulated models keep beverages warm or cold for long periods, and your customers and employees will enjoy the convenience of a portable tumbler with an ergonomic handle.

Portable tumblers make it easy to take a comfortable, temperature-controlled mug everywhere. Users can carry liquids seamlessly while keeping the stainless steel container level. Similar to standard tumblers, you can design these products with different colors, patterns and images. Whether you are hosting a company party or plan on doing giveaways, tumblers with handles are versatile for any occasion and help users instantly recall your brand.

Promotional-handled tumblers are ideal for long commutes. Drink coffee, tea, water and other beverages easily on the road. These accessories fit in most vehicle cup holders, and the handles make finding the lid opening between sips simple. Bring tumblers with handles anywhere from the office to a classroom without missing a step. Minimize spills when you equip orders with specialty lids that reduce leaks.

We offer tumbler products made to the highest quality standards. Exterior handles keep their shape and stay in place since most are designed with premium plastic materials. Choose from comfortable C-shape and D-shape handle configurations so you can forget about accidental drops. You can browse newly handled tumbler offerings in practical sizes. Everyone attending your next event will remember your brand with a quality travel mug.

Camper Mugs

Bistro mugs are available in various colors and sizes and boast a stylish, rounded design. Most suitable for rounded logos, they can convey all the charms of a quaint coffee shop or bistro with personality and flair. These mugs are available in eco-friendly options and are often found in ceramic or glass.

Bistro Mugs

Bistro mugs are available in various colors and sizes and boast a stylish, rounded design. Most suitable for rounded logos, they can convey all the charms of a quaint coffee shop or bistro with personality and flair. These mugs are available in eco-friendly options and are often found in ceramic or glass.

C-Handle Mugs

One of the more common styles of mugs, the classic c-handle is seen in homes and offices worldwide. Offered at an extremely low cost and a wide selection, c-handle mugs make a fantastic choice for company coffee mugs. These mugs are generally made of glass or ceramic and come in a variety of colors and sizes, making them an ideal way to promote your business brand.

Cafe Mugs

Often seen with a more modern design, cafe mugs are tall and sleek. These can be found in sizes ranging from 9 ounces to 18 ounces, holding much more than the average-sized coffee mug. Most cafe mugs are created with ceramic or glass. Suitable for any modest budget, cafe mugs can be customized in a wide range of colors and make for an effective canvas as a custom promotional product.

Screen Printing vs. Full-Color Printing

After you have selected the kind of mug you would like to use for promoting your business, it is time to decide on customization. There are two options to choose from regarding coffee mug customization — screen printing and full-color printing. Understanding the differences between the two is vital, as they each can impact the design of your company mugs and the overheads associated with this endeavor.

Screen Printing

As the most popular method for branding customizable promotional products, screen printing is a good option for businesses on a limited budget. This is an effective choice for a business that wants to opt for something simplistic, as using only one color for screen printing is recommended. However, the result is a crystal-clear business name or logo at an affordable price.

If you like having more than one color but only want to use the screen printing option, there’s a way to accomplish it. Look for mugs that already feature a splash of color — you can sometimes find mugs with colorful interiors, handles and bases. These features can be excellent to work with in addition to using screen printing.

Full-Color Printing

Full-color printing is another decent option when you’re interested in more than one color. Images with an array of colors, such as photographs and multicolored logos, are printed onto customizable mugs. This method of printing works well for eye-catching and creative designs. While it does cost a bit more than the screen printing method, it can upgrade branded mugs from ordinary to extraordinary.

Design an Eye-Catching Branded Coffee Mug

Once you have selected the style of mug and material to use for the mugs, it is time to launch into the creative steps. There are almost endless design possibilities for these custom mugs, offering you the chance to be innovative in design and ensuring that the mugs align with your brand’s unique character while resonating with the target audience.

Throughout the design process, one of the most important points to keep in mind is that you want your promotional products to stand out for the world to see. There are many ways to draw attention to your company’s coffee mugs. Using color, shape and size, you can create something truly unique and personalized for your business. A positive, lasting impression can pique the interest of new clientele and serve as a reminder for current customers.

  1. Pick your colors: Every business has corporate colors that will feature on branded products. If your brand has multiple colors, you could use one as a background while printing the other as a design. Whichever way you approach this, make sure your colors are well-represented to reflect your business’s corporate identity (CI). Remember that high-contrasting colors are more eye-catching. See how your CI can benefit from this design tip.
  2. Pick your style: The more unique the shape of a mug is, the more eye-catching it will be. When company mugs are interesting and exciting enough, they are more apt to be shared online through photos on social media.
  3. Add some personality: When customizing a branded mug, add some other components, such as illustrations or slogans, for a touch of personality. Sometimes, a positive message or a simple pun can help brighten someone’s day, creating a positive connection between the company and the consumer. Use coffee mug customization as an opportunity to make such a connection.
  4. Invest in sustainability: Investing in reusable, promotional coffee cups is an excellent way to spread the word about your business while helping protect the environment. Choose dishwasher-safe options for an added bonus to help users conserve water. Pick durable materials such as stainless steel for products that will last for years before ending up in a landfill.
  5. Consider functionality: Ensuring your coffee mugs offer function is key. Consider microwave-safe mugs for when you or others need to reheat drinks throughout the workday. Alternatively, coffee mugs that come with matching spoons make a charming combination for those who take sugar or cream with their beverages. Similarly, lids with straws will prove to be helpful for people who take their iced coffee with them on the road.

Additional Design Tips

It is essential to take note of the print file guidelines to ensure your design will stand out and make an impact. Steer clear of small, intricate details in the design, as these might not print with decent visibility. Ensure your design fits the mug without cutting off or losing details. You can use a mockup preview or template to visualize how the design may look on the cup before you sign off on printing.

While it is best practice to avoid overcrowding the surface with design elements, you can benefit from utilizing both sides of the mug and still leaving a little white space to allow the user’s eyes to rest and focus on the central message of your design. Provide your printer with high-resolution images for a professional end result.

Additionally, you’ll want to think about the size of your branded coffee mugs — the larger the cup, the more it’ll hold. In some cases, bigger is better, especially when it comes to a travel cup. However, smaller options can also be just as useful, such as cups that are perfect for espresso shots in the office or at home.

Craft Your Custom Mug With ePromos

Investing in promotional mugs, whether for employees, clients or to use at trade shows, will increase brand awareness. Are you looking for top promotional products for your business? Offering numerous options for coffee mugs, ePromos is dedicated to providing you with the best promotional products available to make your business stand out from the rest. Whether you know what you’re looking for or need some extra help, our brand consultants are ready to help you find the ideal products to meet your needs.

If you are seeking promotional products, we can help. Call us today at 877-377-6667.


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About Author

Devin Rubink

Devin R.

Reviewed by: Devin R. - SEO Specialist

Devin is an SEO wizard at ePromos as well as an aspiring game show contestant. He can typically be found with his family in the middle of a theme park or camping in the depths of the woods. Devin hopes his addiction to collecting Lego sets will one day fund his retirement.