15 Tips to Make Your Own Coffee Mug Design That Stands Out from the Rest

Tips to Make Your Own Coffee Mug Design That Stands Out from the Rest

Coffee mugs with catchy messages, sweet sayings, or unique artwork have held a place in people’s hearts for years. Treasured as gifts and for holding your favourite morning beverage, coffee mugs are a staple in today’s kitchens, offices, and boardrooms.

And, believe it or not, mugs go back thousands of years, although what we think of as the “traditional” coffee mug was designed as recently as 1945.

Whatever the history, coffee mugs are so enduringly popular that you can be sure the trend will continue well into this century.

Why Give Coffee Mugs?

Coffee mugs are one of the most versatile — and useful — ways to get your message across, brighten someone’s day, or add panache to your décor.

Let’s look at some of the varied ways coffee mugs are used:

Tips to Make Your Own Coffee Mug Design That Stands Out from the Rest


Coffee mugs make a great canvas for your business logo or to prominently display a message associated with your business. Because they’re useful, they’re less likely to be discarded and may even see daily use.

Each time someone takes a drink from a mug decorated with your business’s logo or tagline, you’ll be getting more exposure for your enterprise.


Specially designed mugs make the perfect heartfelt — and useful — gift for that special person in your life.

Adorned with inspirational sayings, custom artwork, and even personalised with the recipient’s name, a bespoke mug will convey the perfect sentiment for any occasion.

Home Décor

A set of custom-printed mugs can be just the right addition to your kitchen or office. They can range from the simple, like monogrammed mugs or a set of inspirational sayings, to the sublime, like full-colour artwork or photographs.

No matter how you design them, custom mugs can inject your home with a touch of personality.

Home-Based Business

Did you know that custom-printed mugs make an excellent idea for a work-from-home scheme?
Capitalising on the popularity of mugs is a great way to generate an income-producing business you can operate locally or online.

Simply create clever, one-of-a-kind designs or messages and have them carefully printed on high-quality mugs for an easy — and profitable — business idea.

Let’s look at ways to make your own coffee mug design the best it can be.

Tips to Make Your Own Coffee Mug Design Stand Out

So, you’ve decided to make your own coffee mug design — fantastic!

Let’s get started with these simple, but important, tips that will ensure your design remains head-and-shoulders above the rest.

Tips to Make Your Own Coffee Mug Design That Stands Out from the Rest

1. Plan It Out

Before undertaking any coffee mug design project, make sure you’ve planned out the design from start to finish.

Things to consider include:

  • Does the design fit on the mug space?
  • Will the design cover the entire mug or just one side?
  • Will there be anything inside the mug?
  • How many colours will the design use?
  • Will the design be permanent, washable, dishwasher-safe, or microwaveable?

2. Choose Your Base Mug for Durability

You want to make sure your unique mug will be easy to take care of and stand up to years of use. That’s why you should look for mug blanks that are dishwasher-safe for best results.

3. Be Colour-Wise

Colour can add real impact to your mug design, but sometimes too much colour can overpower an image and end up looking a real mess.

Determine the right level of colour for your mug before undertaking the final product. A sketch is a great way to see if your design colours are just right — or too much.

If you’re having your mug professionally printed, using fewer colours can save you money.

Tips to Make Your Own Coffee Mug Design That Stands Out from the Rest

4. Bigger Can Be Better

Let’s face it — today’s coffee and tea drinkers love to add little extras into their brews. A larger-volume mug can stand up to lashings of cream, dollops of sugar, and even a bit of a tipple.

As well as allowing you to cut down on refills by providing a larger portion of your favourite drink, big mugs also fit more comfortably into the hands.

5. Be Inspirational

People love to be inspired, which explains the popularity of sayings like “Keep Calm and (Fill in the Blank) On” through the years.

You can choose a quote from a favourite public figure, author, or actor or even one of the memes circulating online to add a spark of inspiration to your custom mug.

6. Opt for a Sneak Peek

You’ll want to see your design in action before committing to printing or hand-making a mug. Sometimes, what seems good in your head doesn’t translate as well to a mug.

Take the time to sketch a drawing of your design on paper or cut a hand-drawn paper design out and test it on a mug to get a good idea for how the final product will look.

Tips to Make Your Own Coffee Mug Design That Stands Out from the Rest

7. Make It Memorable

The more memorable your mug design, the more likely the recipient will give it pride of place in their home or office.

Use designs that are unique or eye-catching to make your mug stand out from the rest.

Image: https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/yellow-mug-on-pile-books-1062951218?src=Uk7GpnPmFLLTljqIQ3vSPQ-4-75

8. Don’t Plagiarize

Be aware that many sayings and artwork are copyrighted and can’t be reproduced without getting permission from the owner of the work.

9. Wrapping Counts

Whether you’re designing your mug to advertise your business or just brighten a friend’s day, packaging the final product is key to making an impact.

Find a sturdy box that fits your mug well, then wrap the mug in coloured tissue paper and nestle it inside. Close and secure the box, then add the wrapping of your choice to fit the gift-giving occasion.

If it’s a business gift, the box may be all you need, but a custom-printed business card attached to the top or tucked into the box will make a nice reminder of your thoughtfulness.

10. Professional, Custom-Printed Mugs

One of the best ways to design your own coffee mug is to professionally print one (or more) at a custom printing shop like Banana Print.

Banana Print makes mug designing easy with hundreds of designs already in stock to choose from, or you can upload your own design through the online portal.

Having a professional printer transfer your custom artwork or photo onto a mug is one of the best ways to produce sharp, clear colours and lines coupled with unbeatable durability.

Mugs usually ship within 24 hours and are packed in durable boxes that are perfect for gift-wrapping and giving.

Best of all, if you want to provide your recipient with matching items, Banana Print can also print mouse pads, cards, notepads, and a business card to slip into the gift!

11. Mugs on the Move

If you’re designing a mug for someone who spends a lot of time in the car, you might want to opt for a travel-type mug.

These come in insulated versions that can be laser-etched or ceramic versions with a soft rubber sleeve for easy gripping.

12. Get Sharpie!

A fantastic and simple way to personalise a mug is to use the familiar Sharpie brand pens to ink a hand-drawn design on the mug. The oil-based Sharpies work best to create long-lasting designs.

All you have to do is draw out your design, let it dry, then bake twice to set the ink. Fun and hand-washable, a Sharpie-drawn mug is sure to please.

Tips to Make Your Own Coffee Mug Design That Stands Out from the Rest

13. Pen-Ultimate Mugs

If you’re looking for a more durable, dishwasher-safe mug design, then use a pen made specifically for porcelain and ceramic surfaces, like Pebeo, to ink your design. After baking, a Pebeo-drawn mug will stand up to daily use easily.

14. Mod-Podge Collage

Remember the old Mod-Podge decoupage liquid? Well, now the company makes a dishwasher-safe version that’s perfect when you want to make your own coffee mug design.

Just place tissue paper, picture cutouts, or any other paper-based design onto your mug and baste thoroughly with dishwasher-safe Mod-Podge and let dry.

That’s it — you’ve got a bespoke mug that’s durable, easy to clean, and unique.

15. Make It with Vinyl

If you have a Cricut or Silhouette vinyl-cutting machine, you’re in luck. You can cut virtually any shape or saying from standard vinyl and adhere it to a mug.

With just a quick coating of acrylic sealant, your design will be long-lasting and secure.

Why Make Your Own Coffee Mug Design?

There are plenty of coffee mug designs out there, as a quick click around the internet or a browse in your local big-box store will attest. So, why should you bother designing your own?

A custom-designed mug adds a touch of class, character, and charm that plain, store-bought mugs just can’t match. When you make your own coffee mug design, you create an end product that is uniquely yours.

One of the best ways to design your own coffee mug is to professionally print one (or more) at a custom printing shop like Banana Print. Contact us today to learn more!