Tips to making your custom printed coffee cups unique

Tori Taylor
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April 26, 2024
custom printed coffee cups, custom coffee cups, coffee cups, takeaway coffee cups, to go cups, disposable coffee cups, takeaway cups, Creature Coffee Co.

For both cafes and coffee roasters, takeaway cups are one of the most important, yet overlooked, branding spaces. Essentially, custom printed coffee cups are free, walking advertisements for a business. Each can help boost brand recognition and promote sales. 

Therefore, it’s vital for brands to capitalise on this marketing opportunity and maximise customer engagement. That said, when it comes to the design of takeaway cups, several factors must be considered. Several studies suggest that too many design elements may overwhelm consumers and deter their attention from the primary brand messaging.

A simple and direct coffee cup design is the most effective way to convey a brand message to consumers. Beyond this, it can help enhance the unique characteristics of the coffee inside. 

To learn more about the marketing power of custom printed coffee cups, spoke to Michael Craig, the CEO of Creature Coffee Co., and Chandre Combrink, the marketing, business development, and brand lead at Bean There Coffee Company

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The importance of distinctive custom coffee cups

Takeaway coffee cups are a necessary expenditure for off-premise sales. Adding design elements can be an effective way to promote a brand without eating into its marketing budget. Personalisation on go cups is an extremely important value-driven advertising method that can increase brand awareness. Factors such as logos and colour palettes can help a business reach more people quickly with minimal effort. 

Michael explains that Creature Coffee Co. wanted the brand to be instantly recognisable. The brand’s paper takeaway coffee cups are available in three sizes, and all are custom-printed. The larger cups feature two graphics holding hands, with the white, yellow, and pink designs popping off a bright blue background. Creature Coffee’s clear takeaway coffee cups feature the same illustration in white, with the phrase ‘Let’s be friends’ across the top.

“The design on our clear cups is quite prominent when the cup is full,” he says, adding that the quality of the coffee the brand provides is high-end. “We wanted the branding on the cup to look high-quality and professional, while still being fun and cute, like the brand.”

When customers recognise a roaster’s branding, they’re more inclined to trust it over brands they’ve not tried before. With a staggering 93% of consumers reportedly focusing on visual appearance when buying a product, a coffee roaster’s choice in colour must be a smart one. Beyond this, the colour of a coffee cup has the ability to influence a consumer’s perceptions of a coffee’s characteristics. According to a study published by the Flavour Journal, the colour of a cup can significantly affect the drinker’s experience of everything from flavour and acidity to body and sweetness.

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How to create stand-out custom printed coffee cups

Many consumers now see their favourite café as a reflection of their own look and lifestyle. As a result, cafés and specialty coffee roasters are building brands around consumer interests to create a memorable experience and increase demand. Art and design have become major factors in branding and marketing. 

Everything from the type of materials used to create the cups to the artistic appeal of their design can mirror a brand’s identity and business goals. For instance, modern takeaway cups are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs. Furthermore, the majority are now made from sustainable materials which are recyclable, biodegradable, or compostable, ensuring they appeal to a growing number of eco-conscious consumers

Chandre explains that Bean There Coffee packages its product in multilayered side gusset coffee bags. Each bag is white in colour, with different bold black lino prints adorning the front. The sides of each bag are customised: colour-coded to match the coloured line across the front, which helps consumers distinguish each coffee variety. 

“Our coffee comes from six different countries, and each variety has a unique lino print artwork on the bag. These designs represent the topography of the region within that country. The patterns are distinct from each other yet striking on their own.

“People process colour even before shape or language, which is why colour is used to differentiate the variants in our coffee range,” Chandre explains. “The colours have been selected to be distinct from one another for instant recognition, while still being compatible as a set. The bold contrast allows us to stand out from the crowd while providing a clean and neutral backdrop for our secondary colours,” she adds. 

The brand’s custom-printed coffee cups feature the same black lino print artwork on a white background, ensuring the logo’s graceful typography stands out. It is simple, stark, and highly recognisable as Bean There Coffee. 

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Why invest in sustainable takeaway coffee cups?

As Creature Coffee Co. is an espresso caterer, the brand has little control over disposal facilities at the different venues it works with. This is why it has invested in takeaway coffee cups that have a minimal effect on the environment. 

“Choosing compostable and recyclable cups may cost us more money, but it is within the company ethos,” explains Michael. “We love all people and we love the planet, so if we can decrease our carbon footprint with compostable or recyclable cups, it matches what we want to do.

“When we started five years ago, it was tough to find something that fitted the brand but was still affordable,” he admits. “Now, there are a lot of brands trying to make headway and do the right thing. Investing in sustainable packaging materials can be more expensive, but I believe it is worth it. 

“I think if more companies decide to make that investment, they can help push the boundaries a bit more,” he adds. “I hope one day we can switch everything over to be fully sustainable or biodegradable.”

At MTPak Coffee, our range of sustainable takeaway cups are made from recyclable materials such as bamboo fibre or kraft paper, as well as recyclable plastic cups made from PET. The interior of our custom printed coffee cup can be coated with environmentally friendly polylactic acid (PLA) or aqueous linings. 

Images courtesy of Creature Coffee Co. and Bean There Coffee Company

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Tori Taylor
Tori Taylor

Victoria is a highly experienced content creator, writer, and editor based out of South Africa. With the experience gained by working in newsrooms and writing for lifestyle magazines, she is now focussed on creating insightful and relatable content for the specialty coffee community.

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