The Story Of Personalized Coffee Mugs: History & Design Market

Jan 10, 2023 08:00

Starting a day with a cup of hot drink is a common habit of several men and women. Whether it is a chilly winter day or a scorching day, morning tea or beverage makes us energetic. However, today, many consumers like to drink their favourite beverages in style. That is why they like to buy personalised coffee mugs and cups. Custom coffee mugs of solid colours or attractive prints have gained high popularity.

Table of content

  • History Of Coffee Mugs
  • Coffee Mugs Of Different Designs
  • Categorizing Coffee Mugs According To Their Handles
  • Different Occasions For Buying Coffee Mugs
  • How To Personalise Coffee Cups
  • Looking For Some Coffee Mugs Online

History Of Coffee Mugs

Ancient people in the Neolithic age, people used animal skulls and wooden cups for pouring drinks. In 3000 BC, blacksmiths used to make mugs from bronze, silver, lead, and gold. But, these metals can cause scalding burns and lead poisoning. Again, in 2400 BC, British people drank coffee and water from beaker pots.

People started using ceramic mugs in the Middle Ages. These mugs were designed with geometric and elaborate patterns. Puzzle mugs used in Europe were the first novelty mugs in the world. They have tunnels and dribble holes drilled into the cup walls and handles.
Branded Starbucks mugs entered the market for the first time in 1994. Since then, the coffee chain has offered different designs on the reusable tumblers, travel mugs, and coffee cups.

Coffee Mugs Of different designs

Choice of different colors and designs of mugs can reflect your personality and mood. Here are a few types of mugs that people usually buy and this is how it shows the mood of a person.

Smooth single color for peace and serenity

Stripes of a moody blue stretched lazily on the real estate of coffee mugs can induce users to establish a connection with inner peace. For instance, product vendors can offer promotional coffee mugs that depict stripes in multiple hues of pastel nirvana. These mugs should gain an immediate following among young workers, social media fans, etc. These objects of clay could even engineer a minor revolution in consumer tastes. In fact, a large coffee mug that radiates lazy hues of subdued (or enticing) color can act as a force multiplier that cuts tension in the workplace. They are being widely used as a free gift to the employees or are ordered in bulk to be kept in cafeteria or other places. 

Coffee mugs with printed musical tones

Coffee Mugs with musical tones

 These are one of the most creative and musical design of coffee mugs that make them look elegant. Creative instances of custom coffee mugs can feature a stylized representation of guitar strings or musical notes that pep up the mood. Large mug handles and oversized capacity can transform the mundane object into a personal shrine for the worshipper of rock 'n' roll. The intelligent (or choosy) office worker could reserve such a mug for Friday routines at the work desk. The vibes emanating from the mug help convey the mood of the day to passers-by and colleagues, and perk up the neighbourhood, so to say. It can be the best gift for musical institutions, academies and other places where you organise a cultural event. Order these customised coffee mugs in bulk and present them to your people for brand promotion.

Steel mugs for a corporate gesture

When you use the mugs with metal body outside, it mostly represent that you are firm and focused in your work.  It reflects a mood that is, for the time being, far from fun and entertainment. That is the reasons, it is mostly used as a promotional giveaway among corporate organizations. The other reason is that they mostly come with a lid allowing the coffee to remain hot for too long. These wonderful metallic mugs can attain the shape and form of a shiny, classy coffee mug; one that projects a vibe of infinite power (and boasts a lifespan that dwarfs the stars). We could call these mugs the skyscrapers of the modern desk, dominating the skyline at work. As modern consumers, we can acquire, or invest in, a range of personalised coffee mugs to reflect a variety of moods. The muted, polished glaze of the steel coffee mug also helps establish authority at the corner office. In fact, connoisseurs of coffee could order designers to create bespoke sets of steel mugs, if only to proclaim status in the workplace.

Plain mugs reflecting boredom

Yes, there are many people who love coffee but do not wish to spend time on the selection of coffee mugs. This reflects the boredom in their living and their choices. They mostly go with a plain color coffee mug of average size that can just meet their need of serving coffee. However, you can make such mugs more interesting by a little customization. Business owners or marketers using coffee for their brand promotion prefer such mugs a lot. The low cost of such mugs might be one of the reasons. They buy bulk coffee mugs online and get them customised with their logo or company’s name to use as an internal or external advertising too

Mug shapes representing a panda

Do you love those black-and-white furry animals, known as a panda? You can find the cute face of the panda as a unique model of your coffee mug. Whether you love milk, tea, or coffee, you can enjoy your drink with this panda mug. Start your day with a big smile while having your drink from this cup. Such cups with a lid make them perfect to be used as a travel mug by the kids. Remember, kids will finish the beverage inside, if you present to them in an attractive manner. So for bulk gifting needs, such customised panda coffee mugs are a popular choice.

Mugs shaped as your computer keys

 Imagine the shape of every key of your keyboard. How would they appear when they are slightly bigger? Just turn that bigger model upside down, and it will hold some drinks. Obviously, it is one of the most creative designs of coffee mugs. A special go-for-it item among the tech-savvy people who look for technology gifts. Thought this kind of mug is not a technology gift, it gives the same feeling and welcomed with open hands by the recipients. Also, it is a chosen bulk gift among corporate organizations during various gifting events.

When you have thought of ordering promotional travel mugs for your customers, you may look for this model or any other strange design.

Mugs with a hidden message


Most of us try to find creativity in the mug. However, there are ways of making the mugs distinctive at the time of personalisation. Usually, we print our brand name and promotional message on the body of the mug. Our target is to make the message visible to the mug user. But, to be innovative with your printed travel mugs, you can let your message displayed in the bottom of the interior side. It may hide the printed message. Still the user will feel different while he finds it after taking the last drop of his drink.

Adorable emoji cups

Due to the increasing use of social media, emojis are now popular to us. Emojis represent every emotion. So, for gifting to your loved ones, you can go with any emoji that expresses your feeling. For bulk mugs bought for kids, kitty parties, new year, any festival, you can find a variety of emoji mugs suitable for that particular occasion. How do you feel when your travel mug shape is itself a big emoji? These are funny looking mugs moulded in a special technique.

For instance, an emoji mug can be a brown/yellow model with big eyes, cute feet, and two hugging hands. You will naturally get inspired to drink your tea and coffee from this mug. You can buy such a pair of mugs for gifting any couple. In corporate events, such presents are offered to the families participating in the event.

Mugs with hidden funny elements

We have already talked about mugs with hidden message. However, there are also mugs with a hidden element. This properly moulded funny element can be a creature, like lobster or any other thing. The surface of these mugs is plain and simple to let you print a personalised message. But when gifting to someone, they would generate a lot of curiosity for the recipient to open it up and get amazed looking at the surprise element kept inside. This is really something weird about a mug that makes it special.

Categorising coffee mugs according to their handles

Thankfully, the designers of mugs have really out a lot of effort to bring in the market such unique coffee mugs with distinctive handles. 

C-handle mugs


From the name, you can easily guess that the coffee cup has a C-shaped handle. It is very common to find coffee cups with this grip style. As the letter C has a rounded design, you can grip the cup comfortably using your fingers. Your mug will not slip from your hands. Such mugs are very common and gifted in bulk to relatives, friends or others on special occasions.


Similar to the C-shape, it is a D shaped handle. You can find a rectangular design with this grip style. As there is a good amount of space between the cup body and D-handle, you can hold the cup easily. You may easily place your fingers and grip the handle. When you buy wholesale coffee cups, you can look for this grip style.

Open style

It is another innovative grip style found with coffee mugs. When you like to hang your coffee mug on the rack, you may prefer this cup design. Such mugs are packed in single piece and printed with the recipient name for special gifting needs. They are also suitable to be printed with company’s logo and used as a promotional product in corporate organizations.


 It is a round shaped handle with a unique look. Although you may think it to be a simple design, it makes the cup attractive. In some ceramic coffee cups, you can find this handle. Buy them in bulk and get customised with your company logo or business logo and present on any special corporate function. They would surely get noticed by all and would serve your purpose of branding.

Curved handle

Do you like to hold your coffee cup in a distinctive style? Then, these curved handles add a stylish touch to the simple mugs. Although they have a thinner design, they have a highly elegant look. A plain or single-color coffee mug with curved handle looks too descent to be offered to exclusive guests and recipients.


Those who love drinking espresso and latte can choose cups with this mini handle. However, the capacity of these cups is comparatively smaller. They are available in bold single colors mostly.You can find an attractive look of these cups.

Oblong shapes

Similar to the round and rectangular shaped coffee cup handles, there are oblong shaped grips. You will find these coffee cups with a striking design.

Creative shapes

Some colorful coffee mugs are available with creative and unique shapes. Snake shaped handle, teddy bear shape, bow-shape, or the like are quite popular. They are usually bought and presented in bulk to kids and others. You can look for the best mug handle shapes while purchasing custom reusable coffee cups.

Different occasions for buying coffee mugs

 We have found some occasions perfect for distributing these thoughtful gifts to promote your brand.

Choose coffee mugs as a part of freebies

Are you engaged in manufacturing and selling some beverage? To lure your customers to buy your beverage, you can include these custom coffee cups as gifts. Many start-ups apply this trick to draw customers to purchase their products. Don’t worry about the cost, as there are many budget-friendly models as well which can fit in your budget. Small sized mugs without lids can be the best choice as a freebie.

Coffee mugs to new talents to promote your business

You may have recruited new employees for your business. Some companies prefer the idea of recruitment giveaways to attract these talented candidates. You can welcome your new workforce with a gift that can elevate the mood and the perception for the company. In fact, your corporate promotional gifts will motivate and inspire those employees to work for your business. Thus, to boost their morale and advertise your brand name, you can offer personalised coffee cups to your newly recruited staff. When these mugs will enter their homes, they would surely get noticed by many others. It will only propagate positive brand impression for you.

Offer coffee mugs as Christmas gift

Companies offering special Christmas gifts to their customers and employees can easily spread their brand names and increase sales. As you are looking for cost-effective and valuable gifts for recipients, you may choose coffee mugs with your brand logo and tagline. Maybe, you have created a Christmas gift baskets for recipients, and it will be interesting to include a coffee mug in every basket. The specialty mug with a touch of customisations can turn out to be the best gifts in this Christmas season.

Coffee cups as the best gifts during corporate events


You may have thought of inviting lots of customers, business partners, and employees in your corporate events. Surely, you like to serve them with hot drinks at the event venues. The easiest way of impressing them is by offering uniquely designed, colourful coffee mugs. These small gifts can become memorable to recipients. Buy wholesale reusable coffee cups and get positive feedback from recipients. Moreover, at any local business conferences and events, you may offer these beautiful coffee mugs as the best gifts.

Reward your employees with coffee mugs

Do you need to offer some incentives to high-performing employees of your company? Your personalised coffee mugs will stimulate them to work better in the coming years. What’s more, they will spread your company name when they are pleased with your promotional gifts. Simple cups can become the best mementos to your employees, vendors, and other business partners.

Custom coffee mugs in trade shows

Trade shows are events where different industry competitors as well as others exhibit their products and services to the visitors who could be prospects also. Going with highly useful coffee mugs as a gift for your visitors can leave lasting impression of your brand. If you buy wholesale reusable coffee mugs in different plain colors, you can save a lot of money as well. Later on, customise them with your brand logo. The coffee mug supplier can offer you customization services as well at the best deals. 

How to personalise coffee cups

You have to answer a few questions before designing or personalizing the coffee mug.

  • Will your mug model accommodate the chosen design?
  • How much space will be covered by the design?
  • Do you like to add design to the interiors of the cup?
  • Do you think of applying multiple colours for the design?
  • Will your mug’s printed design be dishwasher-safe?

There are some other tips for coffee mug personalization.

Focus on colours

Your cup colour and the design’s colour are highly important. You can easily add a bright coloured design to a cup of neutral shades. However, too much colour will damage the image, and it will be a mess.
Be inspirational 

Everyone likes to get inspired, and thus, you may choose an inspirational message for custom designing a cup. You can search for the quotes of famous persons and add them to your mugs. Coffee cups with inspirational messages can be the most valuable gifts for your dear ones.

Bigger is better

Coffee mugs are available in a range of sizes and designs. A cup of larger volume can hold a good amount of drinks. However, there is another advantage of choosing the big, ergonomic mugs.
Almost any design will fit the space provided by the surface of the coffee mugs. While buying bulk coffee mugs, you have to check the size. 

Looking for some coffee mugs online?

You might be an individual buyer or a bulk buyer for marketing needs. You must know the types and designs of coffee mugs available so that you can make the best choice that connects with your users. So, here are a few types of latest designer coffee mugs you can use for personal gifting or for corporate gifting needs.

  • Porcelain coffee mugs in various colors like red, green, blue, orange, white, black, yellow etc. These can be perfectly printed with a personalized message quote, or a brand logo.
  • White bone china coffee mug. These are elegant looking mugs making the best item for corporate gifting.
  • Two tone coffee mugs which have a base color inside the mug and outside they can be printed with your choice of image or text.
  • Latte coffee mug with conical shape. They can also be printed with any image of your choice.
  • Metallic coffee mugs. These can get printed with a small logo or a name and is not suitable for image printing. They make a decent choice for gifting corporate clients, employees or people participating in any corporate event.
  • Coffee color mugs. These look like coffee color mugs and can be beautifully customized with a logo or a name.


Custom coffee mugs with attractive and creative designs are the best gifts on any occasion. You can buy a bulk pack of coffee cups to get them at the lowest price. The most reliable online store has a collection of different coffee mugs. So, you can make the right choice for your purchase.

Find wide variety of coffee mugs in different shapes and sizes for your promotional needs at Promotions247. We help corporates and business plan their branding and marketing campaigns using coffee mugs and other promotional products in the best possible way by offering product personalization services as well. Buy at wholesale rate and get free doorstep delivery.

Author : Amit Ghia

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