Changing your keycaps to make your keyboard unique is cool, but designing your own custom keycaps is even cooler.
That’s right. You don’t have to wait around for someone to create a set of keycaps that interests you. You can create your own.
Why Design Your Own Keycaps
Who doesn’t love getting exactly what he or she wants instead of trying to find the closest option? Custom gear is cool, and completely designing your own keycaps is badass.
Custom keycaps can be more satisfying than buying premade sets and can be tailored to your exact needs and desires.
Instead of hoping a manufacturer will make a custom set that fits your exact specifications or settling for something less appealing than your dream, keycap lovers are designing their own sets.
Though the process can be labor intensive, customizing keycaps is fairly popular. There’s even an active subreddit dedicated to keycap designers that discusses the process in detail, as well as serves as a community to share designs and ideas.
How to Design Your Keycaps
You’ll need to start by deciding which keys you want to replace, what your layout will be, and how your keys will look.
Keyboard-layout-editor.com is a commonly used site to help designers plan their keycaps before investing time and money into production.
If you’re designing your own images, you can create your own vector graphics that will allow you to utilize colors and typefaces in unique ways.
Your design will be best if you choose a theme you can design your keycaps around, such as a specific aesthetic or color scheme.
Do some research to find images that are inspiring before you begin to help create a unified design.
You may want to enlist the help of an artistic friend if rendering computer-based graphics isn’t a skill you’re comfortable with. Whatever you design is what will print on the keys, so you want to make sure the designs are high quality and matches to your likings before printing. Once you have a design, you need to do some research on which vendors have the best pricing, product quality, and customer service policies.
It can be expensive to have a company print your own designs. If shelling out that much cash isn’t an option, you can try to interest others in your custom designs online and order the keycaps in a group to reduce costs.
You can also sell keycap designs or offer discounts to others who may be interested in your designs when purchased in bulk.
If you plan to offer your keycaps to others, you may want to check before designing them for interest and feedback from potential buyers.
If you haven’t found any keycap options that is appealing yet, consider designing your own. Not only will you love customized gear design, but you can totally make your friends jealous with your unique keyboard.
Have you designed your own keycaps or plan to? What are your tips for beginners?