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How to Design Disposable Coffee Cups That "Wow" Your Customers

Designing disposable coffee cups for your café? Just like the interior of your coffee shop or the quality of your products, your disposable packaging is another opportunity to impress and “wow” your customers.

While disposable coffee cups might not seem like an important design priority, they’re definitely deserving of attention.

First, they serve as portable, mobile advertisements for your business, advertising your café or restaurant wherever they go. Second, they’re a proxy indicator of your product’s quality -- even the best coffee can feel less impressive if it’s served in an underwhelming, generic paper cup.

Because of this, it’s important to put real time, effort and creativity into the design of your coffee cups. Below, we’ve listed four tactics that you can use to enhance your disposable cup design, set your brand apart and truly “wow” your target customer audience.

Use Vector Graphics for Crisp, Sharp Results

One of the most common graphic design mistakes, particularly for cafés and other small, owner-operated businesses, is using rasterized graphics when designing logos, disposable coffee cup graphics, and other marketing materials.

Rasterized graphics, which are made up of pixels, scale poorly, meaning there’s a risk of your logo looking pixelated and blurry when it’s blown up to a larger size. This means that a graphic that looks good on a small espresso cup might not look as sleek on a large 20-ounce cup.

Instead, it’s far better to use vector graphics, which scale perfectly and preserve the shape and appearance of your original design. Vector graphics can be scaled to infinity, meaning they look just as sharp, crisp and smooth on a large disposable cup as they do on a small one.

These technical design choices might not seem important, but they can have a significant effect on the look and feel of your coffee cups.

Remember, great design isn’t just about having a unique, eye-catching logo -- it’s also about the image you present. Opt for sharp, crisp vector graphics over blurry rasterized graphics and you’ll give your café a more professional image -- one that can help you attract more customers.

Keep Text Large, Simple and Easy to Read

Another common graphic design mistake for disposable coffee cups is including too much text in your design.

Because coffee cups are cylindrical, they’re far from ideal for reading large blocks of text. Add a whole paragraph of text to your disposable coffee cup design and it’s far more likely to confuse and frustrate your customers that have a significant impact.

Instead, it’s best to keep your text content large, simple and easy to read. Choose bold, clearly visible typefaces that are easy to read from a distance, all while limiting your design to a total of 15 words of text or less.

One option is to simply include the name of your café, as well as key information such as your house coffee’s origins or a key selling point of your brand. In general, it’s always best to keep the text size of your disposable coffee cup design as short, sweet and simple as possible.

Keep the Shape of the Cup in Mind

Disposable coffee cups are three-dimensional objects, with a cylindrical shape that doesn’t have any totally flat surfaces. This means that squares, circles, and other shapes will never quite have a perfect look -- from any angle, they’ll always look slightly distorted.

Because of this, it’s best to avoid designs that are overly dependent on straight lines or perfectly formed shapes. While they might look great on a screen, they’re likely to look distorted when on the face of a disposable coffee cup.

Instead, focus on simple graphics that don’t lose their appearance when they’re slightly distorted due to the shape of a coffee cup. A simple logo, mascot or pattern looks good from every angle, making it a great alternative to an overly complex cup design.

Focus on Bold, Distinctive Design Elements

If your goal is to use your disposable coffee cups as a marketing tool for your café, it’s important to focus on visibility. This means using bold, distinctive design elements that passersby can spot from several feet away, often in just a few seconds.

Remember, you only have a few seconds to make an impact and remind people about your café or coffee brand. Instead of a small logo, consider picking a bold, eye-catching color for the entire cup. Prefer a plain white cup? Stand out with a huge, bold, eye-catching logo.

Whichever design elements you choose to focus on, the key to this tactic is clear -- be bold and big, since you don’t have long to make an impact. By focusing on boldness and visibility, you’ll create a disposable cup design that attracts attention and produces real, measurable results.

Order Your Custom Disposable Coffee Cups Online

Searching for a reliable supplier for your custom coffee cups? We can manufacture high quality, full-color coffee cups with your custom logo, color scheme, tagline and other branding in seven to nine weeks.

To learn more about our services, view our range of custom printed coffee cups online. You can also contact us to talk to a member of our team and request a quote for your business.