What has evolved in input devices- features, applications, and more.What has evolved in input devices- features, applications, and more.Embossing is the process of making an impression on a substrate to create a raised effect from the original surface. It adds shape (key, text, icon, or border) and purpose to the design of the keypad graphics and emphasises a printed component location for actuation and aesthetics.

Embossing can be used in conjunction with doming. Embossing is the technique of generating a raised pattern on an overlay material by using a male and female tool with heat as well as without heat.

This process creates a raised, embossed surface that we enjoy running our fingers across, creating a 3D perspective of a functional convenience. Most people envision raised effects (3D effect) when they think about embossing.

This output provides a dynamic choice for graphic designs and supply chain solutions for a wide range of sectors, including medical, petroleum, consumer electronics, home automation, agriculture, industrial applications, and especially when the devices are used in semi-lit or dark areas.





Rim embossing is the most common form of embossing. This is also known as RAIL embossing. It entails raising a ridge around the key’s edge of the switch, ensuring better location and contact. This provides a smooth convex feel to the keys and enables them to operate with higher accuracy when operating the device. It also aids users in locating keys in low-light circumstances.

It can be done in a circle, square, triangle, or rectangular base form with a similar PAD/Pillow emboss in the centre.



Pad embossing elevates the entire key region above the surface of the overlay material. This is often used for keypads and keyboards in the key area.

By embossing, a third dimension can be added to any part of the panel. The PAD type gives a conventional panel appearance, usually with tactile feedback.

Pad embossing is done in a circle, square, triangle, or rectangular base form.



Domed labels are printed pressure-sensitive labels with a transparent polyurethane dome finish, especially used in branding.

Protolab also provides DOMING solutions to give the graphic overlays a 3D effect in conjunction with both RIM and PAD Embossing.



Braille is a system of raised dots with a smooth convex feel that can be read with the fingers of people who are visually impaired.


The die is composed of two metal plates (front and rear, also known as the counterdie) that will sandwich the overlay material.

The material is placed between the male and female dies by the operator and, with the application of pressure with or without heat, the substrate will be formed as per the elasticity of the material and the tool engineering.

How do you choose the embossing on the keypad for your applications?


Depending on the project application, there are several parameters to consider, such as material, environmental conditions, durability, and so on.

Please read our blog about Graphic Overlay for additional information.

Protolab offers a specialised engineering team with over 26 years of expertise working on Graphic Overlay designs and embossing concepts. If you are interested in learning about business trends and additional information, contact us at contact@protolab.in to stay in touch.