I was never a fan of football growing up. That might be an odd way to start off a post about Euro 2024, but stick with me. While you’re still unlikely to find me at a football match as an adult, I have a much greater appreciation for the buzz on match days. So, much like the rest of Scotland, I’ve been following the road to this year’s Euros with excitement. I’m even taking part in the mclaggan+co sweepstake (come on, Slovenia)!

It was towards the end of 2023 when Wullie, kiln loader and proud member of the Tartan Army, asked for a mug in anticipation of Scotland qualifying for Euro 2024. Screen-printed mugs are what we’re known for, but we have a digital ceramic printer we use for personalising mugs (and, in this case, printing a one-off design).

The brief was simple: blue text reading “We’re off to Germany” with something to represent Scotland’s national team. In place of the O in ‘off’, I used a Lion Rampant in a circle, echoing the logo of Scotland’s national team. I printed the design digitally and passed through to the factory to be hand-decorated and kiln-fired. Wullie seemed happy with his mug.

Fast forward a few weeks and Scotland’s chances of reaching Germany are looking more and more likely. With England also set to qualify, and Northern Ireland and Wales still in contention, we decided to work on mugs for each home nation to add to our range.

While colour was to be the biggest difference between each mug, we also wanted each nation’s mug to have a distinct decorative element. Wullie’s original mug had a Lion Rampant, but with lions so heavily associated with England’s national team, this wouldn’t work.

Flowers seemed like an obvious solution, as each nation has an instantly recognisable flower which could be easily sketched. I’m not much of an artist, so the task of drawing the flowers fell to Charlotte, creative assistant. After sketching out a few options, our favourites were scanned in readiness for being turned into vector Art.

The text didn’t need much work, as I’d already laid it out for Wullie’s mug. I always prefer as much of the mug being decorated as possible, with the white of the bone china peeking through, so I made a few tweaks to fill more of the mug’s surface area. With typography in place and Charlotte’s sketches now digitised, it was as simple as changing the colour and dropping each flower into the shape of each O.

Designs finalised, the artwork was printed onto acetate to be screen printed. We chose to spot print in navy and red for a vibrant finish with sharp, crisp lines. The mugs join other football designs in our range. One of my favourites has to be The Art of Football by Picturemaps, which, as a non-footie fan, I’ll be referring to during this year’s tournament!

Mug Person since 2017. When not obsessing about marketing or illustration, you'll usually find me exploring Glasgow - there's always a new coffee shop or restaurant to discover! I also enjoy live music and theatre.

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