How to Pick a Color for Your Logo Mug

With as many glaze combinations as we have, picking a color for your logo mug can be a tough call. Your choice might come to personal preference. However, if you’re ordering mugs to sell to your customers or give as a gift to your employees or clients, there are other factors to consider in picking glaze colors for your custom coffee mugs.

Look at Your Logo Design

The logo you show to the world speaks volumes about your brand. With that in mind, look no further than your logo design when you’re picking out glaze colors for your order.

Some logos and brands look good in just about any color we have. Simple, sleek logos featuring mostly text or abstract shapes can pair with bold, solid colors, our tricolor glazes or anything in between. Handbell Services regularly uses two-tone glazes with relatively simple but sweeping designs of their products with a treble clef and other musical imagery to their advantage. They’re far from the only ones.

Other illustrative or stylized designs can sing when they’re paired with one glaze color in particular. Such was the case for The Ballog, a socially conscious artisan market with a chic, timeless logo of a hot air balloon. The subdued shade they use on their logo translated beautifully to their Executive Slim mugs in Canyon Grey.

The most detailed designs can benefit from sticking to solid colors in some cases. For example, we often see medallions with federal or tribal government seals pair with shades Red, Royale Blue and Teal Magnolia. This winning combination will keep your customer’s focus exactly where you want it whenever they see your logo mugs: on your artwork.

Like with most art forms though, there are exceptions to every rule. We’ve seen extremely detailed medallions from America’s national parks that pair well with two-tone glazes. It’s all about balance, though. If you want to pair two-tone coffee mugs with photorealistic artwork, the key is to make sure there’s enough “solid” space on the medallion with minimal glaze in the center to keep your artwork crisp, clean and eye-catching to the viewer.


Sometimes, your branding and your customer’s needs and wants play into the glaze color you choose. If your brand targets the most hardcore among us, Midnight Black and some of its two-tone sister shades will fit all of your edgiest designs. Brands focusing on trees or plants might choose Zen Mist or Lucky Charm.

However, there are some cases where brands can pull off multiple color options for their mugs. We see a lot of coffee companies take this route.

Maui Coffee Roasters is an excellent example of what you can do with multiple options, should your branding allow it. This brand encapsulates the aloha spirit and uses it to its advantage with multiple colors in the original logo. On their stoneware mugs, however, Maui Coffee Roasters has let us put their logo on a rainbow of color options, from Orange Sherbet to Blueberry Muffin.

The rainbow of colors in their original logo lends itself well to this. But, their unique branding as a bright, airy Hawaiian coffee shop allows them to do this.

Other organizations choose to completely defy their brand expectations in favor of something different. Our friends at the Sarasota Medieval Fair have a brown logo featuring two swords to keep with their theme. However, in years past they’ve ordered mugs for their event in Pink Passion, pulling off the look in an unexpected way.

In the end, choosing the mug color for your next order may come down to assessing your brand and seeing how your customers would respond to what you choose. However, your customers are guaranteed to notice the quality in your logo mug, no matter which color you pick.

Common Industry Colors for Logo Mugs

Certain types of organizations and industries  choose specific colors and color families for their mugs.

Let’s look at the most natural examples: Fire departments almost always choose one of our red shades. However, some departments put a twist on the usual classic red mug. Some take a more rustic approach with shades like Sunfire Red, as is the case with the Murrieta Fire Department. This Southern California-based department used this down-to-earth color with their logo featuring the traditional Maltese cross for a final result that’s sure to turn heads once the Potbelly mugs they order arrive at their firehouse.

Police departments, by and large, prefer our blue shades for their mugs. However, our friends at the Lincoln Park Police Department like providing a variety of colors to fund their community programs. These mugs have served as a fundraiser in Razzmatazz, Irish Stout and dozens more to help the department connect with local families.

Countless other examples exist. Organizations focusing on breast cancer tend to focus on our pink shades. National and state forests almost always order a few shades of green. Even beds & breakfasts tend to choose blues and greens, especially as they get closer to the coast and the Great Lakes.

However, these are mere rules of thumb. Just because the rest of your industry tends to gravitate toward one color or group of colors doesn’t mean you won’t sell mugs by defying expectation when choosing your glaze.

Adapting Multicolor Logos

We’ve mentioned before that glazes are set onto each stoneware mug with white-hot temperatures. Unfortunately, the laws of science prevent us from doing most types of color combinations successfully on our mugs. Since our glazes come from natural minerals, we can only work as far as the chemical combinations will allow us to. Otherwise, the glaze can discolor during firing.

In some cases, when we’re using more stable glazes like Midnight Black or Sunfire Red as a base, we can combine another color with it for a custom infill. We’ve done this before with red or blue infill, but it doesn’t always work with other colors. Most of the time, we can make these simple combinations work together on the same firing cycle.

Failing that, pick a color that you feel best suits your logo as it would appear in black and white. We can capture your artwork in breathtaking detail, even sometimes adapting photos onto your mugs, but this is the best way to guarantee a quality product that looks as good as it feels in your hands.

Any number of color combinations could be right for your brand. To determine which ones will pair best with your logo, contact our experts today and we’ll be happy to help you pick the color that’s right for you.