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How to Keep Circle Designs Round on Mugs and Glasses

Did you ever notice that if you cut a perfect circle shape in vinyl and then you apply it a mug or glass or some other cylindrical shape it ends up looking like an oval?
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It can be super frustrating, but there is a solution to combat the circle-to-oval issue.

To demonstrate what happens I'm going to draw a perfect circle in Silhouette Studio by holding down the shift key while using the Draw an Ellipse tool. You can see by the dimensions it's a perfect circle. When I cut it - it's still a perfect circle.

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But then the trouble comes in when I go to apply the circle to a round surface - like this mug. Look what happens....the circle slightly elongates as it's applied and I'm left with what appears to be more of an oval than a circle.

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To negate this vertical oval-effect you need to adjust the circle design slightly in Silhouette Studio.

I used the exact same circle as the original circle shape I cut, but this time I elongated it horizontally to counter balance the vertical oval-ish it will get when applied to the mug.

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You can see, when cut, the design is not the same length and width - it's a horizontal oval.  Look at it compared to the perfect circle....the right shape is clearly an oval.

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BUT when the horizontal oval is looks much more like a circle on the mug.

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Here's a side by side so you can really see the difference and why stretching the circle to make it slightly wider helps reverse the elongating effect when applied.

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  1. Thanks for the post! I kind of figured it out just by looking at it but was glad to see your confirmation posted. And I am going to steal your ratio. It looks good.

  2. How do you keep the circle from wrinkling when you apply the circle/oval to a mug or tumbler?

    1. Hey there! I like to apply from the middle of the decal out.

  3. If It's a circle logo, would you take the the entire graphic and apply a slight adjustment horizontally? Does the text look funny? Also, is there a rule of thumb for the ratio? 10% horizontal adjustment?


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