Overlays are used primarily in industrial and electronic applications, and are warranted when the information on the label is to be protected from everyday wear and tear as the product is used. This may be fingers pushing keys to operate the product, or a more decorative overlay that identifies a company and a specific product line and thus subject only to very minor housekeeping.

Polycarbonates come in a variety of thicknesses and finishes. This material comes with options such as hardcoats, which increase the durability of the product, as well as varying levels of gloss, from matte to gloss finishes of varying percentages. Some polycarbonates are now weatherable.

Polyester is extremely durable in situations where the labels may be subject to chemicals. It is also very tough, allowing for a thinner overlay where a thicker polycarbonate would have to be used. It is also optically clearer than most polycarbonates. As with polycarbonates, it is available in a wide range of thicknesses and finishes, as well as hardcoats to increase durability.

Other options for the construction of overlays include spaces for LED lights and displays, selective textures on the surface, and simple embossing on small overlays.

A wide variety of 3M adhesives are stocked, from 467 MP, which is a multipurpose adhesive suitable to a wide range of applications, to 300 LSE which is more suitable for labels adhering to low surface energy plastics.