Retroviral Mugs

The Retroviral Collection


Retroviral is a capsule collection of Fine Bone China mugs which riff off unexpected biological motifs. Retroviral makes you look twice – first at the boldly patterned design, and then again when you realise what you’re seeing! The collection is an artist’s spin on scientific information, designed for science geeks and design nerds alike.

The Retroviral collection exists at the meeting point between design and science communication, and serves up items that are as thought provoking as they are beautiful, and as useful as they are decorative.

The mugs feature striking representations of the microscopic structure of well-known viruses: HIV, Herpes Simplex (HSV-1) and Rabies. They are made of high-quality Fine Bone China, designed in London and hand decorated in Stoke-on-Trent. The mugs have a generous 400ml capacity and are microwave and dishwasher safe.

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Supporting Global Healthcare

Five pence from the sale of every Retroviral mug will be donated to theLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a world-leader in the field of infectious disease research.

Thefty is committed to supporting research towards improving global healthcare. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has projects and partnerships in over 100 countries, with scientists working on vaccines, treatments and cures – as well as translation of knowledge into policy and practice. Thefty is proud to contribute to  LSHTM’s mission to improve health and health equity in the UK and around the world.

To read more about the school, please visit the LSHTM website.

To donate directly to LSHTM from anywhere in the world, click here.


 About the Viruses

About Herpes


About HIV


About Rabies



What is a virus? 

What’s the difference between viruses and bacteria? 

What is a Retrovirus?

How do we know what viruses look like? (Warning! Contains Jargon!)