Graphic overlays identify essential information on how to operate equipment, convey branding, and other important system interfaces. Although they’re relatively straightforward in design, graphic overlays play critical roles in both the operation and protection of electronic devices, equipment, and machinery. A custom graphic overlay can be a stand alone type label or the top layer of a membrane switch assembly.
Because the custom graphic overlay is commonly the first thing customers see when interacting with your product, it’s essential that these components be attractive, easy to use, and true to your brand. On top of this, custom graphic overlay printing must also be durable enough to withstand repeated use over time.
In this post, we explore a few of the most prevalent uses of graphic overlays, and we also share some tips on how to get the most from your custom graphic overlay design.
Main Uses and Applications for Graphic Overlays
Custom graphic overlay printing comes with a lot of options and advantages. Overlay design specialists can incorporate a number of unique options when building a custom graphic overlay, such as:
- Bright colors and clear designs
- Various substrates, materials – Polycarbonate – Lexan, Polyester – Mylar, Vinyl – PVC, Metal, and Aluminum.
- Various bonding adhesives – Permanent, Repositional, Removable.
- Texturing or hard coating – Gloss, Matte, Velvet, Brushed.
- Various surface finishes, matte – gloss
- UV / Outdoor durability
- LED and Display Windows – Clear, Anti-Glare, color tinted, dead front
- Shape and size, thickness specifications – Embossed, Formed, Raised, Domed
- Use of various manufacturing processes, such as screen printing, digital print, laminating, embossing, die cutting, laser cutting, fabrication.
Because graphic panel overlays can be designed in so many different ways, they’re used for a wide variety of products. Here are just a few of the places you’ll find them:
- Medical equipment
- Telecommunication equipment
- Computers, electronic systems
- Electronic interface, industrial control panels
- HMI – Human Machine Interface
- Touchscreen interface, and protection.
- Automotive vehicle controls
- Manufacturing equipment and other machinery
- Product Identification
- Membrane Switches
Tips for Designing Effective Graphic Overlays
The following are some tips to help you achieve a high-quality graphic overlay that meets both your branding requirements and the specific needs of your product:
- Start with quality materials – The success of your graphic overlay printing is heavily reliant on the quality of materials used. Make sure to choose materials that are durable, reliable, and compatible with your specific product.
- Consider color and design – The colors and design of your graphic overlay should not only be visually appealing but also functional. Choose colors that evoke the right emotions and make sure the design is clear and easily distinguishable.
- Think about functionality – A good graphic overlay isn’t just about aesthetics; it also needs to be practical and easy to use. Consider the placement and functionality of buttons, labels, and other interactive elements when designing your overlay.
- Test for durability – Before finalizing your graphic overlay design, make sure to test it for durability. This includes testing for resistance to water, chemicals, UV radiation, and extreme temperatures.
- Working with experienced professionals – Designing a custom graphic overlay can be a complex process, so it’s important to work with experienced professionals who have the expertise and resources to bring your design to life.
Why Choose Techprint for Custom Graphic Overlay Design Services
Whether you need an overlay for your electronic system or a nameplate that identifies your brand or company, Techprint can design, manufacture, and print it for you. Our expert design team draws from a broad spectrum of layout expertise to custom build overlays that fit your precise specifications.
How do you decide on the right overlay design for you? Overlay designers must take several considerations into account, including product application, brand identity, and environmental usage requirements. We’re happy to walk you through your options and offer examples of each finishing process to help you determine the right choices for your overlay.
All our processes comply with ISO 9001 standards, and we’re proud to carry RoHS, UL, CSA, ESD, and IPC certifications. Since 1974, we’ve worked with companies in a variety of industries to create custom graphic overlays, labels, keyboards, membrane switches, printed electronics and more.
Contact us if you have any questions or would like to request a free quote.