Alien semiotics keycaps for your mechanical keyboard


Originally published at:


I want!



Look at what else they have!


oh dear. I need this in my life.


I guess these are no less useful than a Keyboard without any markings on the keys. Still, I think I’ll stick with key caps that actually correctly indicate what is going to happen if I type a particular key.

I know, I know, such UI niceties are totally out of fashion these days. I. don’t. care. As far as I am concerned, the designers responsible for the new fad of touch screen gestures instead of buttons and blank keys or alien keys instead of proper key caps are a bunch of mindless jerks who deserve to be among the first against the wall when the revolution comes.


I learned to type in Junior High. We had typewriters with no markings whatsoever.

20 years later somebody at work tried to play a prank on me by switching my “m” and “n” keys. I didn’t find out until months later when a member of our desktop support was trying to fix an issue on my computer and kept screwing up his admin password.


You mean HAD. they produce the sets occasionally and you can be notified when they are in stock, but you better be ready to buy cause they sell out immediately. Also, they rarely have a complete kit at one time so you’ll need to chance buying alphas, then wait many months for a numpad or mods. Your best bet is still getting in on a group buy at geekhack or deskthority, or buy used on r/mechmarket.




I can’t see paying more for a set of keycaps than I did for the keyboard… though some of their sets are pretty.


Yep, when dealing with custom keycaps you need the patience of a saint, or not be too picky. I’m still trying to assemble complete “Round 5 Honeywell” set


Can’t blame you for wanting the honeywells. Those look super spiffy.


In high school in the 80’s, we had to take typing before we could take any of the nascent computer classes. Computers were still considered “business devices” and you had to be able to type before you could take any of the other business classes. At the time I heavily resented it, but that’s probably been the single most useful class of my entire HS experience. I’ve certainly used it almost every day of my life for the past 30 years or so!

If someone switched around the keys labels, I’d be fine for alphanumeric operations or numpad functions as I don’t think I’d notice either, really. The special functions, however, might be a bit less obvious. (Which one of these mutes the sound again?)


Alien semiotics

I prefer the term non-indigenous.


This one’s… interesting:


You might think this is an odd thing to be written on the keyboard of an emergency destruction system. You would be correct.

This might also explain why the key to the left of “AGARIC FLY” is labelled, simply, “TRIP”:


You have failed me. How can this thread have gotten this far without anyone noticing that “Alien is… an in-joke about the futuristic design of unreliable British electrical appliances” is a reference to Ash.


I have the Tai Bao knock off of 1976


“‘It’s the wild colour scheme that freaks me out,’ said Zaphod, whose love affair with the ship had lasted almost three minutes into the flight. 'Every time you try and operate these weird black controls that are labeled in black on a black background, a little black light lights up in black to let you know you’ve done it.’”

  • Douglas Adams


Have I ever mentioned that my older brother threw a typewriter at his teacher in junior high? The very same teacher I would have three years later. :confused:


Is this keyboard also a reference to something? Googling “1976 keyboard” finds people selling keyboards and keycaps but no explanation as to why.