ShadowGraph Industrial

What is a Graphic Overlay ?

A graphic overlay is a thin film graphic layer that plays a critical role in the design and use of many products. Overlays are usually subsurface printed which means the ink layer is protected against abrasion, chemicals and everyday use by the clear material they are printed on.  Overlays can be either screen printed or digitally printed and are laminated with adhesives engineered for the specific material they are being adhered to.

Industrial Graphic Overlays
Custom Panel Overlays

Overlays are often the first thing a customer sees when viewing a product.  When properly designed they can enhance appearance, identify essential information and provide brand awareness.

Because graphic overlays can be designed for so many different applications with so many options they can be found on a wide range of consumer and industrial products. They can be found on:  Oilfield equipment, Manufacturing equipment and machinery, Medical equipment, Appliances and just about any type of product imaginable.

When designing a graphic overlay for your next project, several factors should be considered to achieve optimal appearance and performance.

  • What are the service temperature and exposure requirements? Will they be used around extreme temperatures or chemicals? Are they exposed to direct sunlight?
  • What is the most suitable material and thickness? Do they need to fit within a certain area or behind a bezel? Materials include PVC, Polycarbonate or Polyester in a variety of thicknesses and finishes.
  • Is a particular surface texture required? Gloss / Matte / Velvet
  • Are surface treatments such as scratch resistance, anti-glare, U.V. protection or embossing required?
  • Do you need clear or colored transparent windows?
  • Are special shapes and/or cutouts required? Do you need individual labels or a sheet “kit” of multiple labels for a single piece of equipment?
  • Adhesive type is determined by the material the overlay is applied to as well as temperature and exposure requirements. Different materials require specific adhesives to insure a proper bond.
  • Are there areas such as behind a clear window or over a sensor that need to be free of adhesive? The adhesive can be die cut prior to application to prevent contamination.
  • What quantities will be required? What type of graphics are required?  These are important questions that will help determine if a digital or analog process would be most effective in achieving your goals.

Shadowgraph has produced millions of overlays since 1993 and our graphic design team can help you determine the best combination of material, adhesive and design elements to help you get the most from your graphic overlay project. Contact us today to see how we can help.


Contact ShadowGraph today to get a quote for your Graphic Overlay project.