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“We were really pleased with the service that Building Link provided, turning our order round in very smart time, which in turn enabled us to share our seasonal thanks to our customers”

Ginny Lemarie Practicality Brown

Promotional mugs - print processes

Promotional mugs - print processes

There are several different processes that we can use to print our range of mugs and chinaware (please click here to visit our dedicated mug website).  Which process we use will depend on the quantity being ordered and the print design.

Below is a quick guide to each of the processes.  If you’re not quite sure which you’d need for your order please get in touch and we’ll be happy to advise you.

Direct screen printing:

This method is used to apply solid (spot) colours directly onto the mug by printing through a screen onto the rotating body of the mug.  We use this method when:

  • The design is simple
  • The design is made up of solid spot colours
  • The registration is not too tight
  • The mug shape is suitable for a direct print

Screen printers can print thousands of mugs per day which makes this process one of the quickest and most cost effective.  Vectorised artwork is required with the fonts converted to outlines.

Transfer printing:

With this process the design is printed through a screen onto special paper which is then coated and applied by hand to the mug.  This process is slower and more labour intensive than direct screen printing, but allows for the printing of finely detailed and tightly registered designs. The print is durable and lasts the lifetime of the mug.  Transfer printing is used:

  • If the design is outside the direct print area or on a mug that cannot be printed using direct screen printing.
  • If the design has very tight registration.
  • If the design includes tones or printing in full colour.  The screen mesh is a lot finer than standard screen printing, but gradients and tones may still appear quite coarse.
  • If individual names are required. Many names can be printed on a screen and then hand applied individually. This works particularly well if there is a generic part that can be printed as a direct print.

Dye sublimation:

Dye sublimation uses organic colour dyes which open up the colour spectrum and give a bright and glossy appearance. This process lends itself to colourful designs and photographic images which can be reproduced straight from a computer creating smooth gradients and tones.  Dye Sublimation is used:

  • If the artwork is photographic or includes a large spectrum of colours, tones or gradients.
  • If the order quantity is low (min 36).  The setup is simpler which makes this process more cost effective for smaller orders.
  • If the artwork includes vivid colours.

High resolution jpg images can be used as well as vectorised artwork.  To maximise clarity, it is recommended that the text is supplied outlined in a vector file.

Digital transfer:

Most of the mugs available in the range can be printed digitally.  Instead of films or screens, high quality images are used. These images are printed in CMYK, then coated and hand applied as a transfer.  This is then fired into the glaze making a durable and lifelong print.  Digital printing is used when:

  • The design is photographic or tonal/gradient based.
  • The artwork is watercolour/hand drawn and cannot be printed as dye sublimation.
  • The product is made from bone china.
  • The product is a quirky or unusual shape.

For more information about any of the processes please contact us on 01206 272020 or e-mail us