PRODUCT IDENTIFICATION BLOG

Graphic Overlays Explained

Posted by Vicky Bowie on May 5, 2020
Vicky Bowie

The term graphic overlay is fairly universal to identify the protective component that displays functional buttons, LED windows, user instructions, and product branding for equipment. It is typically assembled to a prominent surface of the product.

A graphic overlay is one of the first things a user notices about a product. Understanding the material, decorating options and common applications can help conversations with your supplier so that expectations are appropriately set, and ultimately met.

graphic overlays

Graphic Overlay Materials

Choosing the right material for graphic overlays means understanding the application and requirements. The most common requests for this type of application is either a polyester or polycarbonate material. A variety of durable options is stocked that provide the right protection along with the functionality, durability, and custom decoration needed for your design. 

  • Polyester (Mylar) is a thin, flexible material that typically is coupled with an overlaminate for robust resistance to chemicals and harsh elements. 

  • Polycarbonate (Lexan) is available in thicknesses up to .030", offering a durable solution that resist abrasions and stand up to exposure to cleaning solutions, chemicals, or other harsh environments.

Decorating Options

Most overlay material starts out clear, making it friendly for decoration to suit your style and communication needs. Full color graphics, clear or transparent color windows and dead front or back lit graphics are all options for graphic overlays. Common customization specs for graphic overlays include:

  • Die Cut Holes to allow space for plugs, connectors, pins, knobs, and buttons

  • LED and Transparent Windows for lighted display information to show through the overlay

  • Dead Front Graphics for hidden alerts and special icons only seen when lit up

  • Embossed Buttons or Borders to clearly designate control buttons and keypads

  • Hardcoat and Overlaminate for added protection against abrasions or exposure to chemicals and cleaning solutions

Other options for customization include anti-glare, matte, brushed, or velvet finishes as well as designating specific areas to be adhesive-free zones. 

medical device with overlayGraphic Overlay Applications

How Can We Help?

Bring your ideas and our creative team will work with you to design an attractive graphic overlay that makes a memorable impression with clear communication for your product users. 

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Topics: Labels and Overlays