Blogs, news & work we've completed

    What Are Digitally Printed Custom Graphic Overlays?

    By Evans Graphics on 23 March 2020

    You may not give them much thought, but graphic overlays are commonplace and vitally important.

    Defined simply as ‘covers for industrial machinery and equipment’, they play a crucial role in the electronic, marine, medical and security sectors to name but a few.

    For the longest time fusion graphics were produced using screen printing techniques. For equally as long there’s been no real viable alternative. That is until now.

    Always looking to modernise, Evans Graphics are one of the first print providers to create custom overlays or Fusion graphics as we like to call them… digitally.

    Having identified a great many benefits, we’ve invested in machinery capable of delivering the same result, only differently.

    Custom Graphic Overlays Explained

    MDF Steinberg Fusion Overlay - Evans Graphics

    Let’s first take a closer look at fusion graphics themselves, their makeup and applications.

    Graphic fascia layers, as they are commonly known, are durable overlays, typically bonded onto a metal work panel. They are designed in such a way as to protect equipment, but also present information related to the actual product.

    They are especially useful for machines boasting various switches, buttons and levers as each can be signposted on the custom overlay itself. Think of a plus sign on a calculator…

    Printed material of this kind relies on high specification cutting practices, this to ensure the different holes and shapes within a design are realised.

    The chances are you’ll have seen them on keypads, car dashboards, microwave ovens and medical equipment to name but a few, without giving them a second’s thought. You would though be quite lost without.

    Digitally Printed Overlays

    As mentioned, custom overlays have long been associated with screen printing. Given the intricacies of the work, it was rightly presumed this was the easiest method. Indeed, it was. Decades on however we now have an alternative approach.

    Technology has progressed to a point at which digitally printed fusion graphics are no longer a novelty. Rather they will soon become the future.

    Their purpose is to provide a decorative and clearly branded interface between the end user and the product. And their benefits are plentiful.


    MDF Avolites Fusion Overlay - Evans Graphics

    To begin with they are ideal for prototyping and low volume print runs, this due to faster turnaround times and less set up processes. Not all clients buy in bulk and often feel punished financially for smaller requests.

    The digital approach is also suitable for high quantity colour, tonal effects and complex designs, potentially presenting the possibility to be more creative with design. Time can generally be saved when opting for the digital route, as screen printing is famously long-winded. This digital route does away with the need for repro, screen stencils and other preparatory work which goes into every job. This typically leads to costs passed on to the consumer.

    The output itself is of a great standard and extremely durable. Indeed, digital print is lauded for producing vibrant colours and this translates to custom graphic overlays also.

    Printed onto an antimicrobial chemical resistant polyester material, these graphics are hard wearing and able to withstand a fair amount of wear and tear.

    With our digital process we can also offer a unique print offering we call high ink build. This enables us to focus on the face side of the Fusion graphic, creating a raised print which can be used to highlight particular text or just enhance a logo.

    Digitally printed custom overlays simplify that process and enable clear print free windows with next to no hassle. Final products can contain rim, pillow or domed embossed areas, providing greater versatility. This is in keeping with digital printing generally, which better lends itself to custom designs.

    This approach also offers precision profiling, meaning customers’ needs can be matched exactly. That same precision extends to accompanying adhesive gaskets also.

    Fusion graphic overlays are all around. From ultrasound machines to ice and water dispensers, they are on hand to direct us and ensure we’re pressing the right buttons.

    Now they are easier than ever to create and of a better quality also. Why not switch things up and see for yourself?

    Want to print your own Custom Graphic Overlay? Contact us or Request A Quote.

    Topics: Products


    Author: Evans Graphics

    Subscribe here!