I have used the same technique to make front panel art for prototypes but instead of paper or white film for photographs, I print reversed on a transparency film intended for overhead projectors which I turn over when spray attaching to the front panel. That allows the tough and chemically resistant Mylar transparency film to protect the printing.
I have done this in the past in the same way you basically describe. I scanned the original faceplate and used the image to create vector artwork in AutoCAD. A test printout on plain paper allowed precise measurements to be made for correcting any scale errors.
Then I either printed the final image on high resolution flat paper or glossy photo paper intended for inkjet printers and used spray adhesive to attach it to the original metal faceplate. The slight added thickness of the paper has never been an issue.
The results in both cases looked as good or better than the original faceplate but had the advantage of color printing if neccessary.
@Max...re printing on CDS...great idea....you could get an old CD, carefully cut out part of the CD the same size as the meter face, put the meter face in the hole thus created, attach it with stickytape on the back of the CD and faceplate, and print. You might have to pad the faceplate up a bit - it probably would not be as thick as the CD.
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.