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Latest Articles
Inspired design ideas for black colored coffee mugs

Inspired design ideas for black colored coffee mugs

Posted on September 24, 2020

Category: Inspiration Box

The humble coffee bean, over time, has evolved from being a mere morning or midday boost, into a serious business! The art of drinking coffee has its own culture and is considered a lifestyle by its consumers. So, I decided to look into design ideas for an important apparatus in the coffee-making ritual – coffee mugs.

Classic vs contemporary

 Source: Unsplash

While the high street and online retailers’ stores will offer a vast selection of coffee mugs, the majority of them will be in the standard white colour. Although traditional, there is a certain je ne sais quoi or individuality missing from the endless store options available.

That is why I have chosen to look at designs for black mugs rather than white. Because, whether finished in matte or metallic, sophistication and contemporary luxury can exude with the right designs.

Color of power, slickness, and exclusivity

When using a black base for products marketers describe the connotations of the colour with words such as power, slickness and exclusivity which, of course, is what all coffee-loving connoisseurs want to feel as they sip their favourite blend.

It is also known from a design point of view that before you bring your coffee mugs to market, there are two main ingredients that you should consider and that will ultimately make your designs a success.

1. Researching the market

Researching the market to find out – who is drinking what coffee and why, and when is the drink being consumed and where? These are all good indicators when it comes to choosing your target market.

2. Creativity

Once you have chosen your target market, it is then a case of using these insights to tap into the mindset of the consumer to formulate designs that will grab their attention. The combination of your own unique brand of creativity and research should furnish your store with an exclusive range of mugs.

Statistics prove that in the US the average customer drinks at least 3 cups of coffee a day and that 65% of all coffee is consumed during breakfast hours and 30% between meals. What this is indicating is that a large portion of consumption will take place in the home or the office.

The National Coffee Association and The Specialty Coffee Association of America highlighted the difference in motivation between male and female consumers in their annual surveys. What they found was that for women drinking coffee is a good way to unwind and relax, while for men coffee helped them get the job done.

Having an insight into the motives of why your customers are consuming coffee can only benefit your understanding of your target market! Which, of course, can only lead to better designs and huge sales.

Taking this information into consideration I have looked into the current trends and put together some design ideas that I hope will inspire you.

Design ideas

Heart shape pattern

Source: Printify

An elegant mosaic pattern of cupid arrows and various hearts in vibrant reds and crisp whites look stunning when paired with the black base of the mug, adding a serious touch of style and class.

The heart shape pattern is the perfect design for Valentine’s day, making a great personalized gift for him or her.

Always trust your guts first!

Source: Printify

When it comes to creating designs for coffee mugs, it is important to understand the connection between one’s favourite blend and the reason why coffee is their go-to beverage. With the seemingly endless options available to customize your coffee it’s obvious the experiences have become more individualized.

So, a quote or statement that expresses an opinion the connoisseur shares is a great way of making the mug feel personalized!

To travel is to live

Source: Printify

For those with a sense of adventure and a fully stamped passport, a statement such as ‘To travel is to live’ is not only a personal reference especially in the office! It can also serve as a source of inspiration and a reminder that outside work there are adventures to be had!

This design colour combination of burnt orange and red is subtle and easy on the eye while giving a glimpse into the connoisseur’s inner world.

The pumpkin face

Source: Printify

Halloween, as we all know, is a massive market for personalised gifts and coffee mugs are no exception. Because of the black base, before you begin designing you are already halfway there to creating spooky designs.

The pumpkin face is a classic Halloween symbol and its bright glowing orange and yellow segments look striking and suitably scary!

Love mom

Source: Printify

This heart-shaped design in red and white is distinguished and neat, and the ideal gift for Mother’s Day. What is great about this design is that as a kid’s gift to their mom on her special day, this design says all that she needs to know to put a smile on her face as she makes her favourite blend.

Let your smile change the world, but don’t let the world change your smile

Source: Printify

Sometimes on your coffee break, in the heat and stress of the day, you need a gentle, healthy reminder to stay upbeat and positive. Inspirational quotes much like a coffee can energise and motivate your well-being.

The perfect example of this is ‘Let your smile change the world, but don’t let the world change your smile’. The quote doesn’t always have to shout to be heard, it can be an ethereal beckon to all that notices it.

Saint Patrick’s Day – the clover pattern

Source: Printify

When Saint Patrick’s Day comes around, who doesn’t have a long lost Irish relative to drink a pint of the good stuff for? Regarded as one of the most celebrated annual festivals in the world, with dancing, singing, parades and events you can see why everyone gets involved.

The 4-leaf clover, of course, is synonymous with Saint Patrick’s Day and its emerald green pattern is a courteous nod to the celebrations.

I tried Christmas coffee mug

Source: Printify

Christmas is the time for giving and receiving, if you have been good, of course! Which makes the ‘Naughty, nice, I tried’ design the ultimate Christmas slogan.

The red and green contrast is a natural pairing for the black base of the coffee mug, and as the motive of being good is an all year-round ambition, this design will see you through the seasons without ever being outdated.

The Avocado

Source: Printify

Sometimes things can be too serious, and you don’t need a cleverly crafted phrase or a representative slogan. You just want to enjoy your coffee without a life-changing quote or a reminder to smile when the world is against you.

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that are strangely satisfying, for instance, a collection of smiling avocados and their pits. What more needs to be said or explained?

Who are you designing coffee mugs for?

Your market research should have narrowed down the connoisseurs you want to target. But the answer, in general, is everyone! Because with cleverly worded phrases a coffee mug can become a personal statement, or with a smiling avocado as a simple source of amusement.

Either way, the coffee industry is a billion-dollar business in the US alone. And with the forecast of more coffee shops opening in the coming years, there is no sign of trade slowing down. Going out for a coffee nowadays is associated with style and sophistication, and if we are home or in the office, coffee is what we drink in business meetings or when we are catching up with our nearest and dearest. Basically, It has become “the wine of the day” for professionals.

With the upsurge in online shopping and especially personalized products, breaking into the e-commerce market doesn’t have to be as daunting as it at first may appear. With companies like Printify, a technology platform that simplifies and automates print-on-demand services for online merchants, you literally do not have to put a penny of your own money upfront to open your online store.

Entering the lucrative coffee market with your own mugs is a great place to start for new designers, and it has never been a simpler or more rewarding time to do so than now.

The History and Evolution of the Google Logo

The History and Evolution of the Google Logo

Posted on May 29, 2020

Category: General

Google is a universally celebrated brand, and possibly the biggest one in the world.

Over the years, Google has successfully experimented with brand extensions, viral marketing, public relations and, of course, an ever-evolving logo.

However, what may be most impressive is that a logo as recognizable as Google’s has been able to constantly evolve with the times.

So how did the search engine giant manage to stay so relevant as it adapted its logo design to changing trends? By following a cleverly devised strategy which we will explore today.


This was the very first Google logo. It was used purely as a test logo design during Google’s early days as a research project created by co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. However, this primitive GIMP-based design would soon evolve into the Google logo that we so easily recognize today.

The Primary Spectrum

Two versions of the “primary-colored” Google logo then followed. One utilizes a more subdued look, while the other pops with its Baskerville Bold Typeface, 3D effect, and famous exclamation mark!

The exclamation point logo is still used today on special occasions when the company reflects on its earliest days.


Designer Ruth Kedar

No piece on Google’s logo would be complete without mentioning talented designer Ruth Kedar. Ruth introduced the Google brand to fresh interpretations and dabbled with a variety of intelligent and quirky logo designs.

In the first, she used Catull font and tinkered with using designs in the logo’s two Os while employing black and greyscale. Ruth is also responsible for adding the supplemental purple color into the mix and including a magnifying glass to signify a search. Though Ruth introduced creative new concepts, none of her designs were selected as the official logo. However, it’s still interesting to see what this innovative designer came up with.



The Final Cut

The first official Google logo was introduced to the world in May 1999.

It’s very similar to the original design, yet more refined. The logo uses deep, rich colors while also utilizing a more minimal shadow effect on the lettering.

The original Google logo showed true staying power, serving as the brand’s official logo for the next 10 years.



The Two-Dimensional Logos

In September 2013, Google adopted the use of two-dimensional logos, opting for a look that would be easier to load, read, or print out. This, of course, meant the complete removal of any shading or 3D effect. But that was not all…

The first adaptation of the flattened Google logo had a few minor adjustments from the earlier logo. The second flat logo, introduced two years later, was altogether different.

Flat logo Type A



Flat Logo Type B

For this special version of the two-dimensional Google logo, the Google design team created a new font called Product Sans. Product Sans is a Google-owned geometric sans-serif typeface that has become an industry staple. It makes use of bold lettering, which adds density to make up for the lack of shadow, and it looks like a unique work of art.

Have a look!


The Google Doodles

Though Google’s doodles come and go, the concept is a ground-breaking one and cannot be separated from Google’s brand identity.

Google began this tradition for the Burning Man event in 1998 as a warning to Google users about the possibility of a server crash due to high traffic!

Since then, the witty idea grew to include many events, birthdays, holidays, achievements, and tributes. Naturally, as doodles became more popular, the quality and intricacies of each design increased.

In 2010, as a tribute to the arcade game Pac-man, Google displayed its first interactive Google Doodle. This genius idea drew almost 1 billion players worldwide.

Post Pac-Man, there have been numerous video doodles launched by Google. Occasions for these included John Lennon’s 70th birthday, the 2012 Summer Olympics, and the 40th Anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube, to name a few. On Halloween 2018, there was even a doodle on Garden Gnomes!

By 2019, the creative artists at Google had developed more than 4,000 different homepage Doodles.

The Google Favicon

Today, the famous Google stand-alone G is as legendary as the company’s name logo.


Though linked intrinsically to Google’s main logo, the favicon has its own identity and evolution path.

From 1999 to 2009, the favicon design was a simple uppercase G in the red, blue, green palette against a white background. But in June 2008, Google announced a favicon designing competition which was won by Andre Resende, a Brazilian Computer Science student. That winning design is the left aligned G you see above, chosen for its attractiveness, high memorability, and strength in portraying the Google brand.


The strategy that stands out from the Google logo’s dynamic journey largely revolves around sticking to the basics while tweaking minor characteristics of the logo as the brand grows. Why overhaul something that’s already working?

The only drastic change we’ve seen in the past decade was in the second version of the flat Google logo. For this, Google took the step to create its very own new font!

It will certainly be intriguing to see the next steps in Google’s carefully devised logo evolution process.

5 Mistakes to Avoid if You Want a Professional-Looking Logo

5 Mistakes to Avoid if You Want a Professional-Looking Logo

Posted on April 11, 2020

Category: Marketing, Trends

A logo should shout who you are, nothing less. It is then crucial to take the time to create an emblem that will represent you and your values well. But what is the line between a good logo and a bad one? What can you do to maximize your chances of succeeding during the logo creation process? Here are five mistakes to avoid if you want a professional-looking logo.

Do Not Follow Trends Blindly

The first rule you should follow when creating a logo is not to follow trends blindly. Trends can help you find inspiration and stimulate your creativity; however, logos that focus only on fads often have the disadvantage of aging most of the time badly. Do you remember how the Airbnb logo used to look like? It smelled the 2000s with its bubbly font. Instead of looking for the newest or more popular trend, you should aim for a timeless logo. It is one of the recurrent criteria that we find in many logos of prominent companies today. Besides, you will not have to have many rebrandings if you start with a more classic logo than a trendy one.

Logo Doesn’t Rhyme with Rainbow

When creating your logo, you might need to choose the colors that suit best your brand and your company. First, did you know that colors have meanings? For instance, red symbolizes courage and passion, yellow represents wealth and joy, and purple is associated with spirituality and royalty. Choose the colors that fit your values or your products. Moreover, you should not choose more than three colors when making a logo if you want it to look professional. Have you ever realized that most business logos have three or fewer colors? It is because it is difficult to work with many nuances at once and it often looks chaotic. It is even the reason why Slack needed to rebrand their logo last year!

Too Many Fonts Is Like Not Enough

In a similar vein, you should not use more than three fonts when creating your logo. More than that will mostly give an unbalanced result. If you need to use fonts, it is totally fine, but choose some that are readable. You might have to try many fonts too before finding the perfect one. Do you know the difference between serif and sans serif fonts? In short, a serif font is a font with little extensions creating a line that ease reading. They are mostly used in books or prints. Sans serif fonts, on the contrary, are fonts without these extensions and have the advantage to be better for computer screens, as well as seen more accessible. Why not try a sans serif font for the title and a serif font for the slogan or vice versa to maximize the effect?


Keep It Simple

Sometimes less is better. What makes the logos of businesses like Target, McDonald’s or Apple great? Amongst other things, it is because they are simple! There are many advantages to making a simple logo. First, it is easier to use it on different mediums. Your logo must be as flawless on a Facebook page than on a printed document. Second, it is easier to remember logos when they are simple. Today’s trend is simplicity and minimalism. It is why businesses like Starbucks have chosen to rebrand their emblem without all the small details.

It’s Your Logo, Not Someone Else’s

Why are you making this logo? It would help if you were making a logo that represents your business well, as much as its values. Therefore, you should take the time to think about what you want your logo to represent before touching a pencil. Sometimes, the relation between a logo and its meaning is awkward, as we have seen in the past with the rebrand of Cardiff’s football team, for example. This team called the Bluebirds ended with a logo with a red dragon for a while. On another topic, even if it could be tempting to copy famous logos, it is something to avoid. They can inspire you but everyone will doubt your credibility if you use a version of Apple’s logo in another color. Dare to be honest and answer your needs!

Let’s Wrap it Up

In conclusion, the sky is the limit in logo design. You only need to avoid those common mistakes and you should be able to create something great. Make something unique that will tell who you are at a glance. Feel free to look at different tools like Free Logo Design if you want to practice or find interesting articles on branding and design!

5 Popular Font Pairings in 2020

5 Popular Font Pairings in 2020

Posted on March 18, 2020

Category: Branding, General, Trends

These are exciting times in the world of design!

As we enter a bold new decade, creators and designers all over the world continue to do everything they can to grab the attention of their increasingly distracted audiences. With the bulk of viewers’ attention being on text, choice of typography and font pairings play a key role in content effectiveness.

Font pairing involves the combination of multiple fonts in a single design project. Together, the fonts must convey harmony, while each having their individuality. Fonts should be chosen to complement each other, with the goal of directing viewers’ attention to the content’s message. Successful font pairings do not distract the reader by having each font vie for individual attention.

In this article, we look at some pairing trends already gaining popularity at the beginning of 2020!

Bold, High-Contrast Serifs with Heavier, Rounded Sans Serif: Storytelling with a Modern Twist

As industries around the world make the increasingly popular pivot toward all things digital, many find themselves yearning to go back to a more “human” time before technology ruled our lives.

And what is more humanizing than storytelling?

2020 is seeing organizations of all sizes reach for design options that humanize their brand by telling a story about them.

While sans-serifs have been popular due to their “modern” appeal, brands are trending towards the more “rooted” serifs to convey their stories.

This stylistic shift also includes increasingly mixing heavier, rounded fonts with bold, high-contrast serifs.

Handmade Fonts/Outline Fonts + Stabilizing Sans Serifs: Reflecting the Rebellion of the Streets

Every day, bold new voices and stories of individual activism break through the noise and into our newsfeeds. It was only a matter of time before this rebellious spirit spilled over into the world of design.

2020 is already seeing bold colors, street art, and cyberpunk being included in brand designs. It’s safe to assume their inclusion in typography trends is not far behind.

Some pairings in this style you may be familiar with include hand-made, decorative fonts contrasted with stabilizing sans-serifs or outline fonts contrasted with bold, attention-grabbing text.

Outline fonts can rebel against all the traditional rules of readability while still ensuring that the key message is contained in the filled text that accompanies the outlined text.

Bold designers have also increasingly been making use of maxi topography, where the text gets so large it bleeds out of the page! While maxi typography draws attention to the design itself, the text that needs to be read could be of a smaller, sans-serif type.

Corben with Nobile: Moving towards Warm and Happy Designs

Consumers increasingly seek out warmth and genuineness during their interactions with brands. In this scenario, a type-only approach is often seen as sincere and genuine.

While flat designs with easy-to-read type will continue to be used, 2020 is already seeing a shift from cold, flat designs towards the cozy and warm.

The combination of Corben, a rounded serif, with a simple, slim font like Nobile brings a tone of “happy days” to any design.

Yellowtail + Open Sans Light: Calming, Organic, Natural, Honest

This year has also brought a love for earthy tones – designs that replicate the natural world through soothing, humanizing elements. The aesthetic has grown from being primarily used by natural food companies, farms, and similar enterprises to a top choice among brands from various spaces.

The Yellowtail script font lends an earthy appeal to designs. It is legible even at smaller sizes and has a very unique look. Yellowtail contrasts beautifully with Open Sans bold and Open Sans light.

The organic aesthetic also refers to the usage of irregular, uneven, “imperfect” elements in design.

One notable example in this style is the typography on Uber‘s website – rounded sans-serif, paired with text in subtle tones.

By investing in designs that are more natural, human, and approachable, brands are trying to give consumers what they’ve always yearned for – genuineness, honesty, and sincerity.

Courier New + Novelty Font: A Brutalistic Rebellion

When vintage-inspired TV show Stranger Things became hugely popular in 2019, marketers discovered the power of nostalgia in brand storytelling. Inspired by a number of earlier decades’ designs, typography and font combinations are seeing the return of pixel art, art deco, and neon.

While two retro fonts might be overdoing things, paring a retro font and a modern sans-serif is a perfect complement.

Courier New, for example, is a monospace font that can look raw and deliberately haphazard when combined with a novelty font – a rebellion against everything that’s organized and artificial!

Fonts and font pairings tell stories. They help humanize brands. They bring the natural world into designs. They help convey the mood of the times we live in. They make us ache for the past, while also helping us stay rooted in the present. Sometimes, they even help us escape to a surreal future! With the right combinations, font pairings can have a significant, positive impact on the power of a brand.

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