What Do You Use To Print On Mugs?

Mug printing is an in-demand skill with many customers who want fun, unique mugs to keep in their homes. But what do you use to print on mugs? To start mug printing as a business or hobby, you’ll need to understand the different methods of mug printing and which one will suit you – and your budget – best.

There are four common ways to print your designs onto a mug, including screen printing, litho or transfer printing, digital printing, and dye sublimation printing. Printing on mugs has a number of great benefits for business owners, entrepreneurs, crafters, and other creatives.

If you want to know about four of the most common techniques of mug printing, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve given a brief breakdown of four different printing methods and a simple breakdown of the benefits of printing your own custom mug designs.

Screen Mug Printing

Screen printing is an inexpensive method, which makes it ideal for starting a mug business or starting a hobby on a budget.

This method uses a mesh screen with a stencil to transfer your design or font onto your mugs with specific types of ink.

Although this printing method is good for small, simple designs with limited color and detail, setting up all of your equipment can be time-consuming. For each additional element or color that you want to add to your final design, you’ll need to use a new mesh screen that has been loaded with your chosen stencil.

Screen printing also requires you to build your design using layers of ink, which can take a while to achieve.

While this method is good for starting out and making large batches of mugs with the same design, it is a fairly limited option.

Litho Mug Printing

Also known as transfer printing, this method requires a good amount of dedicated time to get the perfect print on your mugs.

To transfer your design onto your mugs or other ceramics, you need to print your image out using a designated type of paper called waterslide paper. Then you need to spray your printed image with sealant.

Next, you need to place the printed design into a water slide transfer and apply the image by hand.

Although using this method can result in longer work and is much more labor-intensive and time-consuming, it also allows you to print using a much more versatile color palette.

Digital Mug Printing

This printing method has a much higher starting cost, so if you’re looking for a way to start printing your mugs at home, you may want to opt for a more affordable option. You’ll need a printer to be able to produce your design onto a pre-coated sheet of specialized paper.

Unlike litho printing, you don’t need to coat the design after it has been printed. But there are similarities between transfer and digital printing. This includes using a water slide transfer to move your design onto your mug.

The finish of the design is high-quality and looks neat and glossy compared to some other printing methods. Digital mug printing also allows for more color versatility and is best for animated designs rather than photorealistic prints.

Dye Sublimation Mug Printing

Dye sublimation is one of the best mug printing techniques because it produces incredible, high-quality results with striking colors. This is because dye sublimation printing uses organic color inks and heat transfer to permanently adhere the design onto the mug’s surface. As a result, your designs won’t scrub off, peel, or chip over time.

This is extremely important when using mug printing to start a business. Your customers will want to know that they are only buying good quality products, which will keep them coming back to your store for their mugs.

This high-quality printing process is ideal for products that require precise color reproduction and photorealistic designs. Dye-sublimation printing has a stunning high-shine finish and is ecologically friendly because it doesn’t use any harsh or harmful chemicals or metals.

Benefits Of Customized Mug Printing

A personalized coffee mug with a name, brand, graphic, or slogan is a great way to create a meaningful gift or product that customers will love.

As a company or business owner, you can also use customized mugs to send to your clients or give to your employees as a way to symbolize your gratitude towards them. If you use mug printing as a hobby, you can also give it to friends and family as a fun gift for birthdays and other special occasions.  

Printing on mugs is also a great way to start a low-cost business. This is especially true if you use budget-friendly printing methods like screen printing.

Not only are mugs a great way to earn some extra cash, but they are useful products that everyone needs. That means that there is a massive demand for coffee mugs all-year-round. As a business model, printing unique coffee mugs is a surefire way to provide your customers with something that they need instead of want.

If you create your own designs, then coming up with images, graphics, and even phrases can be an exciting way for you to express your creativity.

Some mug printing methods require little to no skills or previous printing knowledge, and while others may have a slight learning curve, they are simple enough to get the hang of after one or two practice runs.


Printing your own customized mugs using one of the four most common printing methods will help you promote your business, start your own small business, express your creativity, and share with your friends and family.

Screen printing is one of the most budget-friendly and affordable printing techniques but can be time-consuming, but it is also a great way to get started. Each printing technique comes with its own set of pros and cons, which you will need to weigh up to decide which one is best for you and your potential mug printing business.


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