Mar 28, 20182927 views

An original Alien inspired keycap set - (enthusiastic newb)

UPDATE: I am going to make these, but I need help figuring out how! More details at the bottom.
Hey! I've only just stumbled onto the world of mechanical keyboards after seeing them pop up in a lot of my other hobby networks, and it gave me an idea. I'm a game & graphic designer with a love of good world & production design. I've always loved the graphic and production design by Ron Cobb for Alien (1978) and decided to do a layout inspired by his Semiotic Standard design. Yes, there are very littoral extrapolations of his work (re: copies) but I wanted to develop something unique but likely from the same universe (with a pinch of 1982's Blade Runner in there too).
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I laid these out with WASD's templates, but am curious what other companies/services could produce these keycaps? (could Massdrop if there was interest?) I'm a very experienced graphic designer (for print, web & interactive) but this is my first foray into keyboards, so any advice is greatly appreciated! I also really like the look of the 75% layouts & the newly announced 96 key Kira boards & think these graphics would be a great fit for those as well.
So, I need help making these! I am going to do a first test set at WASD, but beyond that turnkey approach I have no idea how to have a set produced to cover more options. Some questions I need help with:
  • Which companies should I contact to have these produced?
  • How/where do I organize a group buy?
  • What key profile pleases the most people?
  • What alternate & extra keys should be included as a minimum?
  • Are there any good templates out there for other keycap styles?
  • Is there anything else I should know?
Thanks!
Richard Flanagan
www.richardeflanagan.com
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rumlyne, JiL_23, and 60 others
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I didnt know i needed these until just now. Eagerly watching.
Nice set & hope you can provide an alternate kit for staggered 40s and non standards.
AH! I orderd 61key.^^
It is really calm and unique design. I really want to have these keycaps. I wonder when it will be a drop.
Hey! Wondering if you ended up making these or if they're still in the works. Love the design!
That looks great! A lot of the really popular keycap sets such as SA Carbon, you can look those up here on Massdrop and see what they have for kits outside the main alphas and modifiers, and see their sale numbers. Might help you get an idea of what kits might be worth your time making.
I'd love to know if these are still on their way! I've got a Planck on order that is in dire existential need of this design. :)
These look great! Can I ask what program you design them in? I've looked into max keyboard producing custom caps, but you need to have a certain file format... I'd like to see these turn out...
http://www.maxkeyboard.com/products/cherry-mx-keycap/custom-color-printed-keycap/
Johnny831
Illustrator, good luck!
Hey, congrats on getting your design featured over at WASD!
http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/catalogsearch/result/?q=Semiotic
Please do include a set of UK keys!
I love this, but perhaps the main keys should have a darker color for the writing.
Have you checked out https://www.reddit.com/r/keycapdesigners/ ? The sticky has some good info and you can get some feedback there too.
Dgordon
Will do
Looks like it could be an interesting set!
A few things of note when it comes to custom keycaps: -If your legends are lighter than the keycap color, it has to be doubleshot or pad-printed -If legends are darker than the keycap color, its theoretically possible to use dye sublimation. Although I have no idea if dye sub has a wide enough color gamut to get colors similar enough to be slightly darker variants. -Ultimately the first step is figuring out which keycap profile you aim to do it in. Obviously there are caveats in the manufacturing process, as you likely wouldn't be able to get a complete custom font (as in all new alphas) from companies like GMK or SP.
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WASD keysets are all basically all pad printed. And generically, companies will only do black dye sub. If you are interested in OEM profile, it might be good to see if Tai Hao is a possibility as they've done a lot of random doubleshot customs recently.
DSA would definitely be a possibility since Signature Plastics have done a bunch of random sets as there haven't been any major group buys for the profile recently. Would probably fit well with the aesthetic, or possibly XDA if you had a design for black dye sub on some other color.
Cyphre
This is super helpfu, thank you!
Be sure to msg me when you do. Either here or twitter. I am excited to buy into this. I was going to get a Mac classic maker one, but will hold out for this instead.
OK, I’m going to make these, but I need to figure out how! Any help/guidance/advice is greatly appreciated - I’ve added some questions that I’d love help with to the origin post.
Thank you! 🙏
Alien is one of my favorite movie franchises. I’d love to see this happen.
Theres lots of potential for artisans. I want a facehugger Keycap.
Definite interest here.
There is already a semiotic keyset (although it's a bit busy and in G20 which isn't to a lot of people's tastes). Regardless, this is a pretty interesting set and pretty darn good for a first go at keyset design.
nuclear_wizard
Yeah, I’ve seen those. It’s a direct (if well done) lift of Ron Cobb’s work - which is cool if that’s what you’re after!
this is hella tight. I would buy in a heartbeat.
Would prefer darker legends on the alphas/numbers truth be told.
ChuckDee
You weren’t the only one - I already tweaked them to have more contrast 👍
just have updated the render
phosfiend
Better, definitely. But any reason for white instead of black? Or have you tried that already and discarded it? It would definitely help on the grayish keys, that the contrast still looks a bit off on.
Would pay for optional Weyland Yutani branded spacebar.
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Absolutely valid point. I'm not sure who owns it at this point and I'm sure if it was used, they'd want a cut. xD
This on the space bar.
This looks great! I usually dislike sets with mods that are several different colors but this one really pulls it off. I’d buy it in a heart beat.
Great job! I hope this set goes into production. I’m an SA fan, but this is one design that should be in nothing but Cherry profile.
Buckbrick
Personally, I think it would be a great set for Matt3o's MT3 profile. https://matt3o.com/about-mt3-profile-and-devtty-set/
Starius
+1 on the MT3 profile. Super excited to follow this project.
I really like this, though I would want/need the 6 or so ISO keys
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Thank you & thank you!
Hi somethink like the UK and NorDe kits on the scrabble keycap set that is on mass drop at the moment, the enter key is a different shape, and one of the shifts is a different size, then there are a few changes to the legends in some of the 1U sized keys.
Definitely, will all in.
OldCat
Cool 👍
Will this be available for nonstandard bottom row keyboards? Please say yes...
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Hello, An example of a Non-standard bottom row keyboards is: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiC95bDiZnaAhUJnOAKHc97CFIQjRx6BAgAEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.keychatter.com%2F2015%2F03%2F16%2Fhow-to-easily-tell-if-a-keycap-set-will-fit-your-cherry-mx-mechanical-keyboard%2F&psig=AOvVaw2q3IbNoLZ1ZXXeq36mk_VN&ust=1522672041140967 While a standard bottom row keyboard is: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwivgenaiZnaAhXymeAKHZAbDR4QjRx6BAgAEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.keychatter.com%2F2015%2F03%2F16%2Fhow-to-easily-tell-if-a-keycap-set-will-fit-your-cherry-mx-mechanical-keyboard%2F&psig=AOvVaw3MKJwZ5HM1-6uSUV5Rj6BA&ust=1522672082590973 As you can see: in the second photo with the standard bottom row you can see that every key in the bottom row (not including the spacebar) has the same size. You may ask, which manufacturers make keyboards with nonstandard bottom rows? Some of the most popular ones are corsair, razor, and logitech. For some reason, they don't come with a standard bottom row, which makes keycap replacement for the bottom row nearly impossible. :( If you need more help, then feel free to contact me!!!
topreisdopre
Awesom, thank you. I’ve got research to do, but I may ping you if I have questions!
That is simply gorgeous!
rraadd
Cheers
I'd buy this in a heartbeat.
Garglebuns
Rad
I literally was looking at doing something like this the other night, and lo-and-behold...!!! wow. Its like.. you were right here at my desk. Creepy.
I am curious to see what you come up with. If you want any help I would be glad to assist.
I would suggest for the font going with the title font from 2001 as side note. Or something close. Personally I was going to use Asgalt.

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Bravo!
Jacebot
https://typesetinthefuture.com/2014/01/31/2001-a-space-odyssey/ and then I realized were having this convo on twitter too 🤦‍♂️
asgalt is nice! A bit condensed for what I’m feeling on this layout, but I could see using that in the future for sure
I'd buy these! They look great.
loken
Thank you!