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Custom Printed & Bespoke Drinkware

Printed & Bespoke Glassware
We're frequently asked if we can print on our glasses and cups, or produce a bespoke glass shape or produce glasses and cups in a specific brand colour.
The answer to all these questions is yes, however the specifics of the product required, - the volumes needed, the material, colour and print required - will dictate the time needed to produce a product, and ultimately, the cost.
The minimum cost effective print run is 100 glasses or more. If your order is smaller than this we are happy to provide you with a quote but please be aware the cost per glass will be quite high - the printing process set up costs are the same whether you are printing 1 or on 1000 glasses.
So how long does it take?
You need to be aware that producing any printed product takes time and really depends on what you want - a glass or cup, how many of them you want, what colour the glass needs to be, the number of colours required and coverage of your print. The minimum lead time is between 1-2 weeks.
If you need glasses printed in 1-2 weeks:
The shortest lead times are achieved by picking an off-the-shelf style (we have plenty to choose from), print it in 1-2 colours and in one position only. There is usually only time to produce relatively low volumes (1-10k pieces).
If you need glasses printed in 3-4 weeks:
Now the options begin to open up. We can still only consider off-the-shelf glasses but the extra time enables the volume to be significantly increased. Additionally, wrap-around prints in one colour or full colour (CMYK) pad and multi-position prints become achievable.
If you need glasses printed in 5-6 weeks:
This timescale allows for dry-offset and flexo printing (see printing techniques below). Most factories have a minimum volume of 50k. However, these methods are so economical that it often costs less to take 50k via this route than to pad print 20k. With 360 degree printing, multi positional printing is available as standard.
If you need glasses printed in 6-8 weeks:
Unlike all the previous options, custom colours now come in to play, however these are only available on a limited range of glass shapes. A simple instruction for plastic glasses in 'solid red' or a specific Pantone reference in a solid colour is relatively easy. Transparent colours are more difficult to measure and judge. Approvals for plastic glasses in custom colours will inevitably take longer.
If you need glasses printed in 10-12 weeks:
This is the realistic minimum timescale for custom plastic glass shapes manufactured to your own specification. Tooling and manufacture would be in Europe. It is only possible to develop the tooling for re-usable glasses at these timescales. Please note that the tooling to make a bespoke glass shape involves an investment that is only justified by a significant production run - it is unlikely you find it economically viable at less than 50,000 pieces.
If you need glasses printed in 12 weeks:
With more than twelve weeks, there are plenty of options available, including sourcing from factories in Asia.

Printing techniques for plastic glasses

Pad printing
From one spot colour through to full colour (CMYK). Approximately 55x55mm per position. The printing pad is actually a circle rather than a square and the actual printable size will depend on the glass shape and size. There are no minimum print run for pad printing but numbers lower than 3000 on disposable glasses are not usually economically viable. Lead times from two weeks onwards.

Rotary screen printing
One colour only but allows for big wrap-around prints on low production runs. Screen prints can be combined with pad prints as required. There is no minimum print run for pad printing but numbers lower than 3000 on disposable glasses are not usually economically viable. Lead times from two weeks onwards.

Dry offset printing
Very low cost. Minimum quantities of 50k. Tumbler shapes only. Some factories can dry-offset print a good facsimile of full colour using six colour plates with half tones. Most dry-offset print processes are spot colour only and 1-6 colours. Lead time is 4-6 weeks.

Flexo printing
Very low cost. Minimum quantities of 30k. Tumbler shapes only. 1-6 spot colours only. Lead time is 4-5 weeks.

In Mould Labelling (IML)
The image is printed to a label that is inserted into the mould at the point of manufacture. Creates stunning all-around photo-realistic ‘prints’. Only available for injection moulded polypropylene reusable plastic glasses.

Custom colours

Some factories will make plastic glasses in specific colours subject to minimum order quantities. The minimum production run depends on the type of glass and material- it may be as low as 2000 pieces or as high as 100k. Please talk to us and we will find a solution.

We can manufacture plastic glasses to specific Pantone references if required. Solid colours are relatively easy. Opacity is a harder thing to quantify and get precise. Our advice is to provide us with a reference or an example and we will replicate it in plastic.

Custom shapes

Dukes Valley can advise on the creation of bespoke glass shapes. However in general we advise that, aside from printing and colouring, creating bespoke plastic glasses involves a financial commitment and time implication that is only justified if your production run is at least 50k for reusable glasses and runs into the millions for disposable glasses.

How volume affects costs

Most print and customisation processes involve some fixed costs whether you print 1 or 1000s of glasses. In simple terms, the more you print, the cheaper each glass becomes.

Marketing professionals are familiar with the tension between creativity and what is achievable within the constraints of time and budget. Printed and custom made plastic glasses are like any other physical item that is manufactured to order. However you may be surprised at what is possible.

Talk to us about what you want to achieve and let us offer you our advice on the best way to get there.

 Call us now: 01753 664 210.




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