Sep 15, 201714150 views

Community Keycap Set Design Contest

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⚠️ FINALIST VOTING IS NOW CLOSED:⚠️
Stay tuned to learn who won the contest


Now is your chance to bring your design to life.
This has been a long time in the making, and we’re excited to officially announce our first community keycap design contest! We hear from people all the time that they want more ways to get involved with the products we design especially in the Mech Keys community. This is a new way we're trying to give everyone the ability to take part in the process and to create new community designed keycap sets.
WHAT IS IT? The Mechanical Keyboard Community Keycap Set Design Contest is an event where community members can submit, vote on, and then buy community designed keycap sets.
We’re absolutely thrilled to be able to run this competition. We’ve received requests from countless community members for events like this and ways to be a part of the design and selection process. Our ability to make things for the community and by the community is what makes Massdrop special. That being said, this is the first time we’re doing this. We have a lot of ideas for how we can make this better over time, and would love to make something like this into a regular event. For this to work, we’ll need not just your participation, but also your feedback as we go through the experience and figure out what works and what doesn’t. At any time you have feedback, please submit it here: http://dro.ps/contestfeedback
THE CONTEST This isn’t your average contest. Anyone can submit their designs, but it’ll take a bit of skill to make sure it’s done right. We want to make it clear all along the way how you can take part as the process can be quite technical. In short, this is how the contest will go:
1. Submissions: Send your designs to us via this link: http://dro.ps/submitdesign **Note: if you have issues with the link or upload you can email your submission to communitykeyboards@massdrop.com 2. Voting Period: One week to build hype for your design. 3. Winner Selection: Most votes wins. 4. Drop Launch: The keycap set becomes available on Massdrop.com.
5. Keycap Production: Massdrop begins making the keycaps.
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DATES
· Submission Period Start: Friday, September 15th 5:00PM PST · Submission Period End: Friday, September 29th 11:59PM PST · Voting Period Start: Within ~7 days of submission period ending. · Voting Period End: ~7 days from start of voting. · Winner Announcement: Will be announced within ~7 days of voting period.
CONTEST NOTES When submitting your design, you’ll want to make considerations for the profile, material, and legends. Below, are the four main options that we’ll be able to design this keycap set for. Read the details below to learn more and ask us any questions if they arise. Please note: We know we’re going to receive a lot of creative designs and we’ll remain transparent throughout receiving everyone’s submissions to make sure we’re clear on what’s feasible and what isn’t feasible to produce.
Profile / Material / Legends
1. GMK Cherry / ABS / Doubleshot 2. DSA / ABS / Doubleshot 3. DSA / PBT / Dye sublimation 4. XDA / PBT / Dye sublimation
NOTE: SA profile is not available for this contest due to production lead times.
Novelties, Colorways, and Legends: If you have a great idea for novelty keycaps we encourage you to take a crack at it. Please note that there are manufacturing constraints for both doubleshot and dye sublimation. There are going to be instances where the design is not manufacturable. We will try to work with designers to arrive at a point where something can be made - but if this is not possible, we reserve the right to take that particular design out of the running.
In terms of colorway, we encourage you to be wild with it but with the caveat that more colors can equal more complications. There are instances where manufacturers have refused to make sets due to manufacturing constraints - or where what’s been asked is not possible period (i.e dye sublimating a lighter legend onto a darker keycap). In these instances we aim to alert designers to problems - but time constraints and other factors means we might have to take offending designs out of the running.
Legends on DSA / GMK doubleshot keycaps are based on the standard tooling that are available to Signatures Plastics and GMK respectively. While custom tooling (example here include the cyrillics kit for GMK Yuri) is potentially an option - it should not be expected unless you know what you are doing.
Legends for dye sublimation will use Signatures Plastics’ standardized DSA font unless otherwise noted. There are many constraints for developing new fonts / legends for dye sublimation and we reserve the right to take any of the running that are deemed unfeasible.
PROCESS
1. Keyboard Design Requirements: We’ve created templates so people know how to create a set. The sets will cover the following keyboards - Full Size, 1800, 980M, 96 Key, Winkeyless, 75% (KBD75, Duck Octagon, etc), Rama M65-A, Magicforce 68/VA68M, WhiteFox (all layouts).
There are two different templates you can use for the contest. When you decide which profile to design for, use the appropriate template below:
Uniform (DSA, XDA, etc): http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/gists/223ab9835bc3173e095eae6c4b060d79
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Sculpted (GMK, etc): http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/gists/9b4fbee9b389c1dabbb53e430dd79e09
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We require a specific template because that standardizes the process and makes this collaboration much more practical. In the future, we may add additional sets or have contests for specific sets.
NOTE: Make sure you view our contest rules below (and don’t do anything illegal and using copyrighted materials or infringe on existing keycap sets).
2. Keyboard Design Submission:
Submit your design by using the form here: http://dro.ps/submitdesign Follow the instructions in the form properly to make it easiest for us to process your design. If you have any issues at all with this, please e-mail communitykeyboards@massdrop.com.

3. Vote on Your Favorite Designs: Once all the designs have been submitted and verified, we’ll be posting them for a vote and inviting the whole mech keys community to vote on them.
4. Winning Design Announcement: We’ll contact that designer to sign our partnership agreement. Then we’ll announce the winner via an email and a new drop!
OFFICIAL CONTEST RULES
1. Cannot infringe on copyrighted materials. 2. Cannot infringe on keycap sets that have already been made. 3. The winning set will be produced so long as the winner signs our standard royalty agreement. 4. Due to long lead time, SA is not an available for this contest (we can make something for SA as a standalone in the future if these contests prove to be popular). 5. The terms of the agreement for the winner of this contest will be Massdrop’s standard 2% royalty on the design, and Massdrop will get exclusive rights to produce, manufacture and sell this design. If the winner based on votes does not agree to these terms within 5 business days, we’ll move on to the next winner by votes.
Full official contest rules here: https://www.massdrop.com/keycapdesigncontestrules
Please note: the winner can choose to opt out of the contest if they don’t want to agree to our standard royalty agreement.

New to keyboard layouts? Here’s a handy talk post that explains the basics: https://www.massdrop.com/talk/947/keyboard-layouts-explained-in-detail-many-pics
And here's another talk post that should help explain the basics of keycap creation:

Questions? Ask us in the discussion below. Feel free to submit any feedback you have here:
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Axie, Ben Kunkle, and 35 others
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thank you!! thank you every one! GMK Neighbor go to the finals !!
Ok I want to just say.... this is hard decision. There only one set I am luke warm on... the others are pretty amazing.
THE FINALIST VOTING ROUND IS NOW OPEN: http://dro.ps/finalists
Voting ends on Wednesday, October 11th at 11:59PM PST!!
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Thanks! I completely missed that.
elFick
No worries. We're basically at the 'preparing the official drop' stage so you're basically all caught up. I'll be updating the Talk Post I just linked you when there's another update.
Updated my submission! Just in case people forgot how fluffy the Despicable me unicorn is hehehe.
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GMK Phantom
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briano1905
Briano.G
God yes please
Briano.G
thats nice
🔴 Greetings all! Voting has begun! See the Voting Talk Post here: https://www.massdrop.com/talk/2428/place-your-votes-in-the-keycap-set-design-contest
Best of luck to everyone!
QUICK UPDATE:
Hey folks. All the designs are in and we are now setting up the voting process! There are still some designs that need to be confirmed in the contest so we're working very hard to determine the final entrants. Big shoutout to Yanbo and Livingspeedbump for their help with this, and a big thanks to everyone who has entered, and who I've spoken to already.
@yanbo, @livingspeedbump and I have been reaching out to people over the weekend and will continue to do so to make sure people make the right tweaks to their designs, or fully understand what's feasible within this particular contests' limitations. Some designs have been too intricate to produce, while others simply need to be adapted for a different profile. At any rate, remain patient with us as we reach out and confirm everyone.
We're aiming to start the voting process Thursday afternoon so stay tuned for more details on that!
Thank you all for participating. We really, really appreciate it. We're very much looking forward to the next steps.
:Duncan
Two colors is not enough colors. Here is a keyboard layout inspired by my editor color scheme (Espresso Libre). Also this is my first layout, all critics are welcomed.


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GMK neighbors ( DCS Rendering ) Unfortunately, I do not know how to make novelty. I'll make it if you help me. Tell me how
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and final design
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My color - (keycolor, legend color) (L9,N7) (AE,L9 ) (CC,L9)
Thank you!!! Thank you so much!! Is it possible to design a taro leaf?
Could you send me my design material by e-mail? chi1391@naver.com
I am waiting for your reply.
Please make sure to add ISO and nordeu caps to the winning submission, we in the nordics are always left out.
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DSA Dolomite
Hi all! Here is my proposed keyset, pulling influence from my current setup in the office (DSA Granite), and the polar opposite DSA Dolch. This design combines the two together, with a glint of colour to give a little flare. In my mind, the overall look reminds me of a cluster of bright minerals embedded into rock, tying in well with the name. It calls back to classic keyboard styling, while also staying quite modern. If I could design a single dark keyset, this would be it.
Also I focused mainly on the colour scheme when putting this design together, so please ignore the mismatched legend sizing!
AstralTeam
Its Dolomite, Baby
This is the drawing I brought to the contest. DSA Poseidon
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Here is my set: MATRIX. I see it's not going to be the only matrix keyset... :)
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I like the idea of the phone on the ESC key :) Although I think the red and blue pill texts would highlight the obvious, and leaving them without text seem more like pills:) I also prefer that the ESC key is the red pill because it is the one that makes you escape from the matrix and the ENTER key is the one that makes you enter the matrix.
panaromico
Is this a custom made 3D render? Would you mind sharing the file for other keycaps designers? This is the highest quality rendering I've seen and would be extremely useful 🙏🏼
GMK render
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ALL this contest bullshit... ARE YOU SURE YOU WILL DELIVER THESE KEYCAPS PROPERLY OR YOU GONNA F SOMEONE AGAIN WHEN DELIVERY TIME COMES? BEFORE YOU DO WHERE THE FUCK ARE THE REPLACEMENT KEYCAPS FROM GODSPEED?
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Well the best thing you can do is keep a level head and figure it out, wait I mean... CALM DOWN MAN WHAT THE HECK!
You might want to consider RMAing your keyboard; it looks like your caps lock switch is broken.
Matrix!
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GREETINGS EVERYONE! Today is the last day for design submissions! So if you're still working on it, make sure to get them in by 11:59PM PST aka MIDNIGHT CALIFORNIA TIME. We're honestly blown away by how many of you have joined this contest and are very much looking forward to the voting round. (Some of you have messaged me personally. I see you, and will be getting back to you today so no worries!).
We're going to need a few days to process everyone's designs, and then late next week we can begin the VOTING ROUND. Myself, @yanbo, and @livingspeedbump will be reaching out to people to confirm official design names, help people with questions, novelties, feasibility issues, and anything else. It's a great deal of communication so please be patient with us :). We really, really, really, really appreciate everyone that's taken the time to submit their designs and are looking to learn as much as we can as we go along so we can do this again.
Stay tuned for more details on the voting process! Since there are so many, we're making sure to account for everyone's designs and to make it easiest for everyone to take part.
THANKS!
Hey everyone! Here's my submission, based on the Compucolor II Deluxe from 1976. Colors are rough matches based on what images I could find, and the legends are as original as I could make them. Think it would work well as an XDA profile. It's a lot of colors, so I could trim that down, as well. Thanks for looking!
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puddingfarmer
Ohhh, what font did you use here to match the Compucolor?
tim_erickson
It's actually just the default DSA font on KLE.
Hey!
I'm designing this set called GMK fortune. It's based on the colors of the Fortune 32:16 keyboard. The set's philosophy is to combine muted colors with saturated colors, but still be soothing. I feel like it achieves its purpose.
Any and all feedback is appreciated! :)
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It has beige alphas (chocolate brown or grey legends undecided ATM) and faded teal modifiers.
Here are some nice renders.

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SaturatedFat
I like the alphas and how most of the keys have black lettering which you then contrast with the white keys it makes very nice effect, I know a couple of blue lovers that would really dig this set. Just make sure to include some novelties if possible because that really adds some character to the board and always grabs my attentions :)
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May the FORCE be with you...
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muni_chang
Reminds me of SA camping :D
TheSkeleton
Yes, but camping's alpha is kind of white, my Yoda is custom Khaki :D
Here's the set I've been working on. I call it GMK dip, it is inspired by split keyboards like VE.A, and by color schemes of D.Va from Overwatch and Audio-Technica dip headphones. I'm trying to use stock colors here to keep the price down as well.
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Yeah, fingers crossed!
apolotary
Very niceee
I am so excited to see what people submitted and this should be a good way to judge community's thoughts on any given set depending on how popular the voting is! Goodluck everyone who entered!
So many amazing submissions... :D
Enough teasing... Here is my set:
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Any comments and suggestions for improvement are most welcome! I hope this set will find a broad audience, including you :)
BTW: great work everyone!
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LastBrat
Looks great. Including some black f keys and white j keys would be nice.
tomusan
Thanks! We'll see how many alternative keys and novelties will be allowed, I'd love to put in some more.
My submission is inspired by the mighty Roland 808 drum machine.
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More mockups including GMK with alt colorways here: https://imgur.com/a/lRLEe
gluck to all!
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I didn't think posting on GH until after round 1 voting closed. >< If we make it to round 2 i'll definitely post!
Kiryu
What would this look like on a Planck? Any chance for a version that includes support for 40% keyboards?
May the force be with all...
Sorry to anyone who liked the other design I previewed, I decided to submit my Tropical Ocean design which I previewed on r/mk a few months ago, due to the extremely positive feedback I received on that design and imo it looks better. So here is my contest entry, let me know if there is anything I have missed in my design.
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Niten001
This is hot ;)
GMK Fanny Pack Inspired by those old colorful fanny packs
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PrincessMoo
Reminds me of the GMK skeletor set... which is probably why I like it so much... Score: would buy/would buy
PrincessMoo
Very 90ies in the bad way. :P ...I'm missing the "Haha"-reaction from Facebook.
Are we allowed more than 1 submission?
skabei
No, it says you are only allowed one submission in the contest rules.
GMK Yosemite
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Inspired by Yosemite National Park