How The Magic Of Mugs Works

If you want to buy a loved one a personalised gift, there are many things you could do. It might be a printed T-shirt. Or it could be a keyring, a personalised plaque or a wallet photo.

However, one of the funkiest and most memorable gifts you could give would be a personalised heat changing mug.

Giving people mugs with their names, faces or memorable images on is one of the better gifts you can give; after all, while some things can just sit idly on a mantelpiece, attach to a fridge or end up tucked into one of those obscure back sleeves of a wallet, this sort of mug has a practical utility that ensures it gets regular usage.

This in turn means that the recipient of such a gift can be reminded day by day of your regards for them, as well as enjoying the brilliant special effect involved every time it is put to use.

A key element of them is the sheer fascination of seeing images change according to the temperature of the contents. How, one might ask, do they work?

The answer lies in some substances having the properties of thermochromism, a chemical process that causes things not only to change colour according to different temperatures, but also change back again.

In fact, there are two very common applications of this. One is the use of liquid crystals, such as in a liquid crystal display (LCD) seen on your smartphone. However, mugs use leucodytes, heat-sensitive inks.

These work by shifting back and forth between two different forms at the molecular structural level, according to the temperature.

Each form will reflect different wavelengths of light and while an LCD will move up or down a red-violet spectrum according to the temperature, it is possible to create combinations of leucodytes that can reflect different colours according to various temperature changes.

What all this means is there are few practical limits on the patterns, images and messages you can have on a mug based on the temperature of its contents. And while all this might seem like cool science, it also means the sky is the limit when it comes to the design and customisation of these mugs. Small wonder there are so many great ideas out there.

You can see in the shops all sorts of themed mugs based on popular culture, from TV shows and films to cartoon characters. But with a personalised mug you can choose something that truly fits the bill for your intended recipient.

For example, you could go for a picture of someone when they were much younger that changes to a more contemporary picture. Or you could have an image of them standing on their own that switches to one of them surrounded by their friends. Or you could even change the background so they are transported from chilly Britain to a warm tropical island.

Such themes can, of course, fit in with their hobbies and allegiances, from their favourite sports teams to their preferred weekend activities.

A personalised gift will always offer the chance to give someone an image that amuses or delights them. In a mug that changes with the temperature, you can do it twice!