People often wonder how the flash design on their large mug was printed, how the clever printers did it. There is more than one way to skin a cat, and there’s more than one way to print a mug, and today you’re going to learn how it’s done.
Screen Printed Mugs
Screen Printing is the cheapest method of mug printing and the most suitable method for mass-produced mugs. Firstly the mug is designed using Vector Graphics, the design is broken down into the necessary different colours, and a separate ‘screen’ is created for each colour. The screens are then put into the machine one at a time the process works by pressing ink through the screen under pressure onto the Mug that’s being rotated left to right underneath the screen. The mug is then left to dry for at least 24 hours before the next screen is inserted and the next colour is printed. Screen Printing results in brighter and bolder colours than Transfer Printing. Earthenware and Bone China Mugs are used for Screen Printing.
Transfer Printed Mugs
Some areas of a mug are difficult if not impossible to screen print, areas like the base, top of the rim, the handle and crazily shaped mugs in these situations transfers can be used. The design is printed on special transfer paper and then placed onto the mug using adhesive or heat. Transfer printing takes longer and is more expensive than Screen Printing, but the designs are usually sharper (especially when used in conjunction with Laser Printing) and more pleasing to the eye than screen printed mugs. Transfer printed mugs are the best process to use for one-off personalised mugs, and short print runs.
And that’s how mugs are printed.