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Whatever your product challenges RH has been helping our customers create exceptional graphic overlays for over 60 years.

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How can graphic overlays help your product?

When designing a device that has a user interface panel, you need to consider the top layer of this product, known as the graphic overlay. This overlay is usually a single layer of print with an adhesive backing that fixes to a membrane keypad or moulding. The graphic overlay by itself isn’t a working component of your device, but it is still a crucial element of your Human-Machine Interface (HMI). This printed layer has three primary purposes. The first function is a protective layer that helps to conserve the device from damage. Secondly, it is to decorate and give a product style or brand image. Finally, it is a graphical component that shows the operation of the device. So, with the power turned off, the device still clearly displays style and function. It is essential when designing graphic overlays to use the right materials for the device’s operation, while also making it eye-catching and desirable.

Materials such as polyester are ideal for a products durability and long life span, while polycarbonates offer a sharp design quality but aren’t so rugged. Polyester is solvent resistant and will last for years of actuations, making it ideal as a graphic overlay in a membrane keypad. There are many other substrates to choice from for different applications and usage, but some of these may wear or even crack under repeated use. RH will guide you to the right choices for your needs.

Graphic Overlay Product samples - Embossing and Tactile Finish

The use of a sealed graphic overlay, especially in the medical or industrial professions, is vital to protect versus moisture ingress into the interface. There are endless options available for customising a graphic overlay that makes it unique to your product requirements. Therefore RH is here to help you navigate the difficult choices of embossing, colour, display windows, texturing, backlighting and protection.

JCB Graphic Overlay w Transparent Colour Windows

Do you want to stand out from the crowd?

Our design team has vast experience across many market sectors. At RH, we bring all of this experience together to help create inspiring new print and interface solutions. Our continual drive towards innovation has enhanced the customer’s HMIs for decades, and therefore, everything we learn today will benefit our customers tomorrow.

So, before you start designing your interface, consider your graphic overlay. Your graphic overlay must be well presented and aesthetically striking. Does it meet the full product functionality and appearance it needs to succeed? If you require assistance at any stage, our friendly staff are happy to help you fine-tune your design, so it surpasses your customers’ requirements. Please, read on to consider the many Graphic Overlay features we offer, but you may also want to check out our membrane keypads and custom label pages which provide more information.

Some of our standard features and benefits:

  • Embossing
  • Surface Finishes
  • Special Printing Effects & Inks
  • Options in Backlighting
  • Adhesive Solutions

In House Embossing

If you want to enhance the look and functionality of your graphic overlay dramatically, embossing could be the solution. We have extensive design and operational expertise to provide a pillow, rim, and dome embossing. Not only can we emboss letters, logos and other symbols to improve the user interface experience, but we can also create a decorative look and accentuate your all-important brand. We also produce products that help the sight-impaired with a tactile response like braille.

Do you need assistance on a project or creative inspiration to turn that great idea into a working interface?

Helping you Design


Membrane Keyboard Fire Alarm Control Panel w Embossing - close up

micromitor measuring the embossing depth

Surface Finishes

Graphic Overlay w Tactile Brush Metal Effect

The finish of your product can significantly affect the way a user perceives its value or practical use. For example, a beautifully textured surface on a vehicle dashboard may give a car the look of style and class, but the same finish in the medical industry may also be considered a hygiene risk.

Want surface finish meets your functional or aesthetic considerations?

  • Matt
  • Glossy
  • Non-glare
  • Textured
  • Patterned
  • Metals (e.g. brushed aluminium, stainless steel)
  • Antimicrobial

Special Printing Effects & Inks

Custom Label Cricket Bat Sticker - close up

We can also offer creative special printing effects using screen printing, digital print or a combination of the two technologies.
All we need to know is what you are expecting, and we will have a solution that will fit the job.

  • Fades
  • Gradients/Vignettes
  • Photographic-quality images
  • Custom spot colours
  • Metallic, Neon & Pearlescent inks
  • Varnish and UV

Adhesive Solutions

3M adhesive for graphic overlays and labels

Do you have challenging adhesion requirements for your graphic overlay? Does it need to stick to metal, a moulding or wood?

We can help you specify the right adhesive for your product considering the performance, environment and appearance requirements. We have the expertise to handle all types of surfaces including uneven, textured, smooth, flat, curved and painted.


Backlighting - Green LED with finger

The leading role of backlighting is to highlight essential functions and illuminate the control panel in low light conditions. It also can be used for aesthetic purposes to enhance brand image and quality. We can offer the full range of backlighting options, including light guide film (LGF), light-emitting diodes (LED’s), Electroluminescence (EL) and Acrylic Light Tiles.


Other Interfaces