Have you heard of in-mold decorating? It’s a finishing process that leverages the properties of polycarbonate (PC) foil printing with plastic injection molding. Plastic injection molding, of course, is a molding process. It involves forcing plastic into a mold cavity. The casting is extracted from the mold cavity. In-mold decorating is a finishing process that combines plastic injection molding such as this with PC foil printing.

Supports a Variety of Colors and Textures

You aren’t limited to any single color or texture with in-mold decorating. Rather, this finishing process supports a wide variety of colors and textures. In-mold decorating involves the use of a printed piece of plastic. The printed piece of plastic is placed into a mold. If you prefer a particular color or texture, you can rest assured knowing that it’s probably available with in-mold decorating.

Environmental Resistance

Environmental resistance is a key benefit of in-mold decorating. Because in-mold decorating is typically used in conjunction with keypads, switches and other electronic devices, it must be designed to withstand moisture and humidity. If moisture or humidity makes its way past the finished top layer, it may damage the underlying electronics. Fortunately, in-mold decorating offers a high level of protection against environmental-related damage such as this.

Works With Backlighting

You don’t have to choose between backlighting and in-mold decorating. There are keypads, switches and other devices with both of these features. They are designed with a backlighting system, such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and they are designed with in-mold decorating. In-mold decorating, in fact, can enhance the properties of backlighting by distributing the light throughout the top layer.


In-mold decorating is long-lasting. It leverages PC foil, which consists of a thermoplastic material. Thermoplastic materials like PC foil are known for their long-lasting properties. They won’t rust, nor will they will otherwise degrade.

Max Key Height of 4.5 mm

In-mold decorating supports a maximum key height of 4.5 millimeters. This refers to the highest point of a key. In addition to a maximum key height of 4.5 millimeters, in-mold decorating offers a sharp corner radius. These properties make it an attractive finishing solution for keypads.


Some people assume that in-mold decorating is expensive and, therefore, not worth it. In reality, in-mold decorating is a versatile low-cost finishing solution. It costs less than many other finishing solutions, partly because of it’s automated. In-mold decorating can be automated using machines. By streamlining this finishing process, manufacturers offer in-mold decorating at a low cost.