Black Mugs Best Practices

The printing process for our black mugs is a little different than our white mugs. This means the way you design them needs to be different as well. Before we get into that let me tell you how the black mugs are actually made.

We aren’t printing on black mugs but rather mugs that are mostly black with a white (blank) area. This is because the sublimation process requires a white base. When we receive a design we then add a black background to complete the full black mug look. This is where it can get a little tricky for elaborate designs.

Expectation vs how it will actually print

If there is white in the design, there is no ink laid down in those areas. White in the design is actually going to be the white (blank) base of the actual mug. Thin white lines and thin text often does not translate well because the black base layer of ink can bleed into the designated white areas. Because of this we recommend you avoid these thin white elements within your design.

Expectation vs how it will actually print

Another recommendation is to avoid highly detailed imagery. Photo realistic imagery tends to lose detail and colors have the potential to get muddled during the sublimation process. Remember, this is a curved glossy medium, not a flat piece of photo paper. On the same note, oval/circular designs tend to warp and become more oblong due to the curvature of the mug as well.

Our philosophy for designing mugs is “The simpler the design, the better.” Using simple shapes and easy to read text will be beneficial in creating mugs that print accurately. This does not mean that every design has to be boring and lacking creativity. Just be cautious of highly detailed designs, especially those utilizing white when making black mugs.

Andy McGuire

Andy is the Graphic Designer for teelaunch. Basically he gets to make fun stuff all day long while the rest of us actually work.