The Importance of the Graphic Overlay in a Membrane Switch

A membrane switch is the interface that connects the user to a machine, device, or other types of equipment. It is the control panel, facilitating functionality and enabling the user to control the product.

The graphic overlay is one of the most important aspects of the membrane switch. The graphic overlay is the faceplate to the membrane switch and often the product itself. The graphic overlay defines a product’s identity and is the visual layout and design of the interface that determines how easy or difficult a device is for the average user to operate. 

CSI Keyboards is in a class of its own when it comes to the design and production of high quality Graphic Overlays, Labels, and Nameplates. We have been manufacturing overlay products for a wide array of customers and industries for over 35 years. A graphic overlay not only enhances the aesthetic appearance of a product or device, but it can also provide environmental protection. A graphic overlay can also be applied to an assembly using discrete switches or laminated to a membrane or rubber switch depending on the design. CSI offers both silk screened and digitally printed overlays and labels in wide range of shapes, sizes, colors and finishes.  

Critical Features of the Graphic Overlay:

Environmental Conditions

You likely know what type of environment your product is going to end up in. Are there going to be some obvious environmental concerns? If so, it is critical that the right graphic overlay material is designed into your product, since different materials offer different environmental advantages.

Enhancing Usability

Usability is the ultimate goal of a user interface. The features of the graphic overlay can be used to enhance the overall usability of your product. By making the graphic overlay easier to feel, operate, and understand, raised buttons and embossed features can dramatically enhance its functionality. 

Building Your Brand

The visual impact of the graphic overlay cannot be underestimated. The graphic overlay is the faceplate to the membrane switch and often the product itself. The graphic overlay defines a product’s identity and is the visual layout and design of the interface that determines how easy or difficult a device is for the average user to operate. Based on our 35 plus years of experience, we can choose the ideal ink technologies and materials to deliver specialized textures, finishes, and colors. This allows you to create on-brand graphic treatments, powerful visual differentiation, and market-appropriate design cues. With specialized inks, we can match proprietary brand colors. With the right material, we can deliver the right texture and finish, from matte to high gloss. Add in transparent qualities and vibrant base colors, and you can start to see how may options you really have.

Digital printing gives us even more design freedom, in a very cost-effective way. With these technologies, we can reproduce photographs onto the graphic overlay, allowing you to specify any type of background pattern. Brushed aluminum or carbon fiber patterns for more sophisticated applications

Graphic Overlay Capabilities:

Surface Finishes:

  • Velvet
  • Gloss
  • Anti-reflective
  • Anti-microbial
 

Printing:

  • Screen printing 
  • Digital printing
 

Window Options:

  • Clear LCD or LED
  • ITO using optical clear lamination
  • Dead front
  • Smoked as well as translucent colors for backlighting
 

Embossing & Forming:

  • Finger guide, LED, braille, rim, pillow either as a standalone or combination of
  • Cold and hot embossing
  • Hydroforming
 

Cutting:

  • Laser traced steel rule dies
  • Tinplate high precision tools
  • Laser and CNC cutting

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