Saturday, February 25, 2017

Battle of the Branded Coffee Mugs

Branded coffee mugs can be compared to the food industry. Yes, there are fast food outlets that can give you a cheap, fast meal, but is it actually any good in terms of the long term health of your body? Or you can go to a restaurant that takes longer to prepare the meal, but the quality is superior and the enjoyment factor is greater. At the end of the day, when you are working with relationships with a client, what is the choice that is going to show that you value the relationship? Do you expose your client to the “fast food option” to branding or corporate gifts or the “time intensive” quality approach? As I sit here I have three types of branded coffee mugs on my desk. All of which we actually sell. So my experience is based on actual performance of each process. Exhibit 1: A pad printed mug Exhibit 2: A sublimated/digitally printed mug Exhibit 3: A kiln fired mug Which mug do you think that I as a corporate gifting specialist use for my own company branded coffee mug? I use the kiln fired mugs. Why? I bought these mugs over five years ago and while some mugs did not survive because of getting chipped by being knocked against other hard objects, over years of washing, every single mug still has the print intact. The extreme heat used in kiln firing bonds the material to give a very strong finish. There is no fading or distorting or peeling. In fact, while I would never give away a used mug, the branding is so prefect that five years down the line, that if you were to give away this mug, no one would ever guess that it is not brand new. That is what I call longevity of a corporate gift. The pad printed mug we sold to a client who did not have the budget for kiln firing and did not have the time to wait either. This mug has gone through the same use as that our own branded mugs have, but the last letter of the pad print has finally peeled off. The digitally printed mug faired the best in the low cost area. But over time the print did start to fade, after exposure to microwave and washing. While the pad printed and digitally printed mugs are still good quality, the results speak for themselves, that the print process of the kiln fired mugs out-performed the pad printed and digitally printed mugs. What is Kiln Firing? Kiln Firing is a basically a type of oven,that produces temperatures sufficient to complete some process, such as hardening, drying, or chemical changes. Various industries and trades use kilns to harden objects made from clay into pottery, tiles and bricks. For coffee mugs, the kiln basically bakes the print into the mug. It is one of those ancient technologies that has stood the test over time over centuries and why ancient artefacts can still be considered beautiful these days. What do you need for a kiln fired mug? Firstly you need a logo that is in Vector format. The company who designed your logo can help you with this, or you can have your logo redrawn. Vector files such as AI and EPS can remain editable so you can open them back up in Illustrator and edit any text or other elements within the graphic. We can assist with having your logo redrawn at a fee. Secondly, you will need to plan. The kiln fired mugs take time. The decals have to printed, then applied by hand to the mug and then they have to be kiln fired. Cooling down on the branded coffee mugs takes a minimum of 24 hours and if you try to artificially speed this cooling down process, the mug will crack. In total you will need to budget a minimum of 10 working days. What is the kiln firing process? The mugs are silkscreened; each colour is printed separately, one at a time, which is why the artwork for these corporate gifts needs to be supplied in Vector format to enable the layout technician to separate the colours. The print is first printed onto a decal. The print is then submerged into soapy water which allows the printer to apply the print by hand onto the mug. Full wrap prints are possible this way. After the mugs are decorated, they are then placed into the kiln, which is heated at 800 degrees Celsius for ceramics and 600 degree Celsius for glassware. The end result is a professional job that is permanent, scratch fee and dishwasher and microwave safe. Styles of branded Coffee Mugs available Bullet Branded Coffee Mug Cone Branded Coffee Mug
Jumbo Cone Branded Coffee Mug
Slimline Branded Coffee Mug
Sqaured Branded Coffee Mug
Standard Branded Coffee Mug
Spoon Branded Coffee Mug
Uses for Coffee Mugs Exhibitions Bosses Day Cancer awareness New product launches Year End Gifts Introductory visit gifts Valentine’s Day World Aids Day For more information on other promotional items contact us on or 082 948 7461 or visit us on

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