Mugs make up for some of the most creative and appreciated gift ideas ever, and creating awesome mug designs isn’t that far from creating t-shirt designs.

That being said, it’s worth noting that mugs and t-shirts are completely different products, and if you’re trying to start a mug shop at any stage in your print-on-demand career, you’ll quickly find some ideas that work for t-shirts don’t quite work for mugs.

Because of that, we’ve prepared a list of 23 mug design ideas for you to draw inspiration, and hopefully, increase your chances of success. Let’s jump right in!

  1. Morning greetings mug designs
  2. Gratitude mug designs
  3. Coffee mug designs
  4. Tea mug designs
  5. Funny angry morning mug designs
  6. Puns mug designs
  7. Motivational mug designs
  8. Supportive mug designs
  9. Family mug designs
  10. Boss mug designs
  11. Co-worker mug designs
  12. Study mug designs
  13. Animal lovers mug designs
  14. Pet lovers mug designs
  15. Abstract mug designs
  16. Lifestyle mug designs
  17. Outdoors mug designs
  18. Hangover mug designs
  19. Wine mug designs
  20. Hobby mug designs
  21. Music mug designs
  22. Beer mug designs
  23. Sports mug designs

1. Morning greetings mug designs

Morning hours are the time of the day when mugs are the most used, so consider lettering designs with morning greetings as a nice mug design for your store. These can go from encouraging messages like “Good morning, beautiful” to funny ones like “Oh no, here we go again”.

2. Gratitude mug designs

Mugs are associated with comfort drinks like coffee and tea, so gratitude mug designs are a kind of design that works synergistically with that concept and time of reflection. Quotes like “I am enough” and “This is going to be the best day” are some examples of what gratitude mug designs can look like.

3. Tea mug designs

Tea is the next best beverage to drink from a mug, which makes tea-related ideas perfect for mug designs as well. Many of the ideas commonly associated with coffee can be applied for tea, but there is room for tea-based ideas as well, for example, “Inspired and infused”, alluding to tea being an infusion. There are also many different types of tea, all of which you can play around with to create awesome tea mug design ideas.

4. Funny angry morning mug designs

A sub-category of Morning Greeting mug designs, funny angry morning mug designs alone can make up for an entire mug collection. A lot of people wake up feeling grumpy or bitter, and funny angry mug designs can help cheer up the spirit a little and take it with a drop of humor. A few examples of funny angry morning mug designs can involve quotes like “Don’t talk to me if I’m holding this”, or even an angry cat or dog could work well.

5. Puns mug designs

Similar to how puns work on t-shirts, pun mug designs also make use of the characteristics and uses that mugs have. Create puns like “You’re brewtiful” or “You mocha me happy”; there are lots of ideas online too!

6. Motivational & Supportive mug designs

Motivational messages on mug designs are perfect for gift shops. Messages like “You are fine just as you are” and “Whatever happens, keep going” are only a few examples of them. When creating motivational and supportive mug designs, think about a relative or a friend, how would you encourage them?

Motivational mug design

7. Family mug designs

Family gifts are a big evergreen niche in the print-on-demand industry, and mugs make up for a great gift idea for relatives and friends alike. Again, think about your parents, siblings, relatives, maybe your best aunt or your favorite grandpa! Family mug designs are one of the most varied mug design categories that work year-round, so definitely consider them for your mug shop.

8. Congratulations mug designs

There are many reasons to congratulate someone, and mugs are nice little details that can be part of celebrating someone’s accomplishments. Workspace congratulations on a new role, or celebrating a sports championship are just a few examples of mug design ideas with congratulations in mind.

9. Boss mug designs

Workspace-related designs are another big category in the mug design realm, and boss mug designs can work awesome if done right. Boss-employee relationship mug designs are usually clever, funny, and playful, for example, “My best underling gave me this mug”.

10. Co-worker mug designs

Any work team features at least one coffee fiend, and office space mugs are oftentimes zealously guarded by their owners. Consider creating mug designs that play around with the concept of mug ownership, but also mug designs that relate to workspace camaraderie.

11. Study mug designs

Students are another demographic segment keenly interested in caffeine and infusion consumption, allowing for many fun and playful ways to think about mug designs that address this kind of user. While designs of encouragement may also come to mind, designs featuring elements of different subjects like math, literature, and chemistry may be good ideas to go with.

12. Animal lovers mug designs

It’s safe to say that many people have a deep passion for wild animals, whether it’s for first-hand experience or general interest. Animal mug designs are a great idea when paired up with relatable or aspirational messages including concepts like ‘endurance’, ‘fierce’, ‘savage’, ‘grounded’, and the like.


Animal Mug design13. Pet lovers mug designs

Love for domestic animals is one of the deepest and strongest, so it’s no wonder why cat and dog mug designs are some of the best-sellers out there. Some concepts you can use for this kind of design are dog and cat breeds, as well as other ideas such as puns, for example, “I need my catffeine”.

14. Abstract mug designs

While it’s a category that’s hard to pin down, it’s true that mugs with abstract designs are appealing and sought-after. When creating abstract mug designs, consider different styles like watercolor, gradients, and even geometric shapes and patterns. Abstract mug designs are great as home decor items as well.

15. Lifestyle mug designs

Lifestyle mug designs evoke messages and images that allude to a way of living that can greatly vary from person to person. Some people are into the urban lifestyle whereas others are passionate about the outdoors. Lifestyle represents a way to live and enjoy life, so consider this list of different lifestyle aspects that can easily be reflected in a lifestyle mug design.

16. Outdoors mug designs

People who love the outdoors don’t care if they live in the suburbs or in deep downtown, they know what’s best. Mug designs about outdoor adventures, forests, camping, hiking, feral animals, wanderlust, and the like are great mug design ideas to go with.

17. Hangover mug designs

A great breakfast is the nemesis of any hangover, and coffee mugs are never late to the occasion. Hangover mug designs are meant to be witty and funny, with messages like “This is my recovery mug” playing a fun role.

18. Wine mug designs

Wine drinking is a hobby that can make up for many funny and relatable mug designs. That being said, it’s not all about jokes and making fun, since wine tasting and elements about wine are concepts that can work great here as well. Wine designs can be serious or funny, it’s up to you!

19. Hobby mug designs

Relatable mug designs are among the best sellers, and hobbies, in particular, are activities people are passionate and enthusiastic about, so consider exploring many different hobbies and dive deep into the ones you’re interested in order to come up with relevant mug designs. There are too many hobbies for us to mention in this article, so here’s a list of hobbies you can use to research further.

20. Music mug designs

Musicians are all about their music, and music mug designs are the perfect gift idea for them! Mugs keep musicians company when composing and rehearsing, and a good cup of coffee can serve as fuel for inspiration, so if you know a musician or if you are a musician yourself, you know where to get music mug design ideas from.

Music mug design

21. Beer mug designs

Despite mugs being preferred to drink beverages like coffee and tea, love for beer knows no boundaries in terms of canvases, so consider creating mug designs for beer lovers as well. Homebrewers take great pride in their brewing skills so there you have a good reference to get you started with beer mug designs.

22. Sports mug designs

Ahhh sports, we love sports and couldn’t leave this one out! It’s important to note that it’s absolutely discouraged to create sports mug designs with official brands and logos, but outside of that, sellers can create their own sports mug designs by just referencing any given sport, and even support a favorite team by using generic messages and applying the sports’ team color palette to it.

Turn your T-shirts into mug designs

While Vexels currently does not feature a mug creator, you can definitely create your own mug designs in the t-shirt maker and crop and edit whatever excess space is needed to achieve your needed design dimensions.

While it’s true that there are varied mug shapes and sizes for different platforms, the print-ready transparent PNG file that you generate with the T-shirt Maker is totally viable to use as artwork for mugs, although it’s up to you to adjust your design to best fit a given mug product.

Try out creating cool mug designs with the t-shirt maker for free.

If you want to give your store a boost in look-and-feel, creating mockups will allow you to promote your products with a professional take.

Online tools like Vexels Mockup Generator allow sellers to compose high-quality mockups with ease without the hassle of needing advanced design skills or complex software.

Graphic software comes online and offline. If Vexel’s online and profitable designs don`t convince you, feel free to check out this post by Nitdit and learn about different types of design software.

Stay tuned for more Print-on-demand and Design articles coming your way!