Graphic Overlays

A graphic overlay is the top surface that a user interfaces with when commanding a piece of equipment or control. This is the most customer-facing touch point for many brands, and therefore requires a high degree of care in its design and manufacture.

Interface Between Your Product and User

Graphic overlays, faceplates, and functional user interface panels are common terms used to describe the same product. Besides being the surface interface between your product and its user, graphic overlays protect the membrane switch underneath, and are often subject to harsh environments and/or chemicals, requiring careful consideration of material and adhesive properties. They are often made from polycarbonate or polyester, and may include embossed buttons, integrated display windows, integrated shielding, and brand elements including color and graphics.

These all contribute to the user experience with the membrane switch, product, and brand.

Graphic Overlay Guide

Design Your Own Graphic Overlay

Download our free graphic overlay design guide to design your own graphic overlay.
Graphic Overlays custom overlays custom control panels

Graphic Overlay Considerations


The two most common base substrates for graphic overlays are polyester and polycarbonate. Polyester materials are incredibly durable, while polycarbonate materials are more workable for processes such as die cutting, embossing, and other physical effects. JN White® also utilizes blended substrates that offer the best properties of both polyester and polycarbonate.


Different environments place varying demands on graphic overlays, and the environment in which yours will be used will largely determine its materials, appearance and features. For example, a graphic overlay used on a construction site may require rugged, durable materials and UV protection, whereas a graphic overlay used for medical device applications may need to withstand constant use and harsh chemical cleaners. At JN White®, we customize every overlay to operate reliably under any condition, including: extreme temperature, exposure to dirt, sand, dust and debris, humidity/water, UV rays, chemicals, and more.

Outstanding Color Control and Exact Graphic

Depending on your product, it may be important that your product’s overlay match your brand colors. We can match to a color swatch, a Pantone chip, to your bezel or housing, or other brand elements, and we ensure the results with our calibrated light booth and digital densitometers. We also feature the latest digital printing technologies, allowing you to specify virtually any type of background pattern or look that you are trying to achieve. If you can think it, we can print it!

Overlay Size, Thickness and Placement

It’s important to know if there is a required overlay size and where it will be placed on the product’s housing. If the graphic overlay will sit within a cavity and needs to lay flush to the housing, thickness is incredibly important. JN White® customizes graphic overlays to any size or shape.

In-House Embossing

Embossing can dramatically enhance the look and functionality of your graphic overlay, providing a more tactile and responsive user experience. This may be extremely important in certain work environments and can also have implications on the best material to use for a particular graphic overlay. We have the in-house expertise needed to execute pillow, rim, and dome embossing. Plus, we can emboss logos, multi-level shapes, and other unique dimensional elements.

Gaskets, Lenses and Windows

No matter what you need in a window or lens, JN White® specializes in sourcing unique materials to deliver an optically clear final product. And as a 3M preferred converter, we have the ability to laser cut high-end materials to fit any tolerance. From military products that require anti-reflective surfaces to keep the sun out of soldiers’ eyes to dermatology lenses used to detect the presence of cancer, we find the exact mix of substrates, films and colors to function flawlessly in any environment.

Adhesive Solutions

Different surface materials have different bonding properties, making it important to know the specifications of your project’s housing to determine the most suitable adhesive. Characteristics to consider include surface energy, metal or plastic, smooth or textured, curved or flat, and if there is a powder coating, which is common on painted housings. We have the knowledge and skills on staff to help you to determine the best adhesive solutions.

Desired Finish

By selecting appropriate materials and surface treatments, we help our customers create truly custom user experiences with unique textures and finishes. Whether smooth or textured, matte or glossy, we’ll work hand-in-hand to ensure your product’s finish look exactly how you want it to.

Surface Affection Testing

Surface affection testing relates to whether a label’s surface withstands scratching, chemicals, or other abrasive materials. JN White® performs surface affection testing for all required products, including First Article Inspections (FAIs).

Marine Audio Sound System: Solved

See how we created a graphic overlay for a unique product

JL Audio, a global electronics manufacturer, approached JN White® for assistance with an electronic graphic overlay solution. The customer needed a thermoformed part that would fit the customer’s housing and stay properly bonded. JN White® was able to develop a dome-shaped graphic overlay that successfully met all requirements. In addition, the custom adhesive solution proposed by JN White® successfully holds the overlay in place. The component is in use today on one of the customer’s premier marine audio systems.

Request a Sample Pack of Graphic Overlays

We know that you might want to feel and interact with our work before committing to a project with us, which is why we’ve put together a variety of samples to send to you, free of charge.

See What Our Customers Are Saying

"Very pleased with your team's response to our need during the COVID-19 crisis."
Lisa L., Medical Device
"JN White has been exceptional in working with our company in order to develop the look and feel of our new MRI patient worn transmitter. We had originally worked with a prior manufacturer for an earlier version of this product with much less desirable results. JN White delivered a clean professional product at a very reasonable price on time!"
Gary P., Medical
"We had very little information to work with and Jessica James made it nearly effortless on our end to get us exactly what we needed in a timely manner."
Lexi W., Industrial Equipment
"Getting any after-market graphic overlays done always has a certain risk factor in getting it all right. You guys were helpful, patient, & knowledgeable to achieve the best end result. Even pointing out some things that might be [an] oversight or [areas for] improvements. The outcome was perfect."
John S., Technology
"The print task was between the USA and Australia and everything went so smooth. I submitted a drawing, got a return email for me to confirm what I wanted. Even though this was over the Christmas period the print was waiting for me when I got back to work after the holidays. Great job and thanks."
Matt C., Military
"All of the folks there at JN White that I have talked to and dealt with have been very nice and professional."
Vern L., Industrial
"Customer service is wonderful. Receive confirmations and responses in a timely manner. Product has great quality."
Sara H., Medical
"It has been a pleasure working with JN White. We switched suppliers for some of our products to your company and you have given us higher quality. Excellent work!"
Roger W., Education
"I feel confident that JN White will do my order correctly."
Marie P., Government
"I found working with Sara to be a pleasant experience. We were trying to dial in the color to get just the right look on the printed substrate...Sara sent us a sample print sheet that had several variations, up and down, from the colors we specified, which allowed me to pick exactly the color we wanted. The end result product is perfect!"
Don M., Safety
"Our department has used JN White for a number of years for our inspection labels. They always respond very quickly when we contact them to place an order and communication is great with any questions we have. Highly recommend them."
Jim R., Government
"Easy process and great people to work with."
Richard Z., Military
"I'm very satisfied with your service. Always looking forward to bring the best!"
Ramses Z., Medical Devices
"JN White is very responsive to their customers. Product is delivered as expected...and they provide quality products. They have a clear understanding of the obstacles facing US based customers regarding the entire supply chain."
Bob M., Point of Sale
"We always deal with Steve Matacz. He is the best at making sure all details are perfect. Timely communication with any questions we have."
Paul A., Recreational
"Customer response time is one of the best; always prompt and helpful. On-time performance the last 12 months is 100%."
RoseMarie C., Utilities
"Customer service, quality and lead time are great! No complaints."
Sara H., Medical Devices