Graphic Overlays

Design Mark is a leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of custom graphic overlays, control panel overlays, touch panel overlays and membrane overlays switches.  A graphic overlay is the printed interface layer of a membrane switch or control panel, or it may be a standalone durable label.

Graphic overlays are a vital part of any modern control component for human-machine interface (HMI), branding, or other visual interaction. Graphic overlays are usually the first thing that a customer or end user sees when interacting with a machine or product. Consequently, the overlay has a big influence on the customer’s first impression. Attention to detail, precise color matching and intuitive graphics are critical factors in creating an effective graphical overlay and user interface experience.

At Design Mark, a core competence is the custom design, engineer, and manufacture of custom graphic overlays to meet to the unique interface needs of our customers and their users.

Graphic Overlay Materials – Polycarbonate, Polyester, Other


Design Mark offers variety of overlay materials for graphic overlays with thickness ranging from 7 mil to 30 mil.  Material choice depends on the end user application and the environment in which it will be used, including exposure to sunlight and chemicals. Cost is also a consideration. Polycarbonate and polyester are the most commonly used materials for graphic overlays.

Polycarbonate (also known as PETG or Lexan) is easy to die cut, print and texture. However, it may show signs of wear after 100,000 actuations. If the environment where the membrane switch is to be used is subject to chemicals, a hard coat should be used for protection. Polycarbonate is optically clear at any thickness and provides a crisper emboss. Polycarbonate is lower in cost than polyester. Most users think polycarbonate looks better than polyester.

Polyester (PET) is thinner but is a more resilient material that shows no sign of wear after 1,000,000 actuations. It also has superior resistance to chemicals and harsh environments. Polyester is more expensive than polycarbonate.

Request the Design Mark Design Guide for more information about graphic overlay materials.

Graphic Overlay Options

Options available for a graphic overlay include:

  • Custom printing
  • Textured surfaces
  • Color matching – see below
  • Embossing – pillow embossing or ridge embossing
  • Adhesives customized for what it will stick to:
    • High mass – for heavily textured surfaces
    • Low surfaced – for powder-coated or low surface energy plastics
    • High strength – as required for the surface
  • Chemical resistant surfaces
  • Ultraviolet (UV) hardcoats

Design Mark Color Matching for Graphic Overlays

A comprehensive ink lab and computer-controlled color-matching equipment, drives consistency to ensure that Design Mark unceasingly matches your target color, every time.

Design Mark’s graphic design team has decades of experience creating new images for graphic overlays. Design graphic-overlay-yellow-paintMark’s staff is cognizant of how colors contrast with one another, and maximize the legibility of the text and symbols on the graphic overlay. Simply provide a sample of any color and Design Mark will match its pigments with computer-controlled color-matching technology referencing Pantone Matching System (PMS) colors.

Graphic Overlay Features/Benefits

Graphic overlays are manufactured in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials, but share these common features and benefits:

  • Durability
  • Sub-surface graphics – printing is done on the inside of the graphic overlay so it doesn’t degrade its graphic identity and won’t wear out from use or cleaning
  • Short lead times – approximately 3 weeks after artwork approval

Types of Graphic Overlays from Design Mark

Design Mark offers a variety of graphic overlays, including:

Design Mark’s Design and Manufacturing Process

Design Mark utilizes state of the art equipment and ISO certified procedures to provide customers with an exceptionally streamlined and efficient development process for graphic overlays. Benefits include reduced lead times, higher quality control, and highly competitive costs. Click here to learn more about Design Mark’s manufacturing processes for graphic overlays.

How to Work with Design Mark for Custom Graphic Overlays

Design Mark works with customers at various stages of their product development process, from prototype to production. Design Mark can offer design and engineering support for early-stage product development or can simply provide a quote for the desired quantities of fully-engineered and ready-to-manufacture graphic overlays.

Design Mark recognizes that each project is unique. Design Mark’s team brings expertise, decades of experience, innovation, and quality to each engagement.

Contact Design Mark for Graphic Overlay Manufacturing

Please complete the contact form for further assistance with custom graphic overlays from Design Mark.

Custom graphic overlays, control panel overlays, and touch panel overlays from Design Mark

Custom graphic overlay