Author Topic: PMK G20 Semiotic retooled G20  (Read 1117 times)

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Offline Zobeid Zuma

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PMK G20 Semiotic retooled G20
« on: Mon, 07 February 2022, 20:57:05 »
Gotta start with a pic, know that's what you really want to see.
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Several years ago Signature Plastics PMK introduced their G20 profile.  This is a non-sculpted profile with a wide, flat top and rounded edges.  It's unusual in that every key has the same cross-sectional profile, right down to the space bars.  In fact, I have used G20 shift keys (2.25u and 2.75u) or backspace (2u) as my go-to source of mini-spacebars for split-spacebar keyboards, whenever I wanted to use a set that didn't come with its own.

I don't have any inside line with PMK, but my assumption is that G20 was intended to supplant DSA over the long run.  I also suspect that the design was ultimately aimed more toward PMK's enterprise and industrial customers rather than enthusiasts, but of course we are welcome to come along for the ride.

Personally, I find G20 remarkably comfortable to type on.  Most people will take a glance at it and their first impression is: no sculpting, no sharp edges to help guide my fingers, they look like toys, they look like candy or something, they must be awful to type on!  But then you actually try them, and turns out they work great.

That big flat area is ideal for dye-sub printing, and it makes these keycaps a great canvas for any designer.  From early on PMK have used the Semiotic set to show off the multi-color printing they can do on these.

After I became a big G20 fan and got a couple of sets from them, PMK stopped offering printed G20 keycaps.  We could still get blanks, but were told they were going to retool and it would be a while before printing was re-introduced.  Reading between the lines, I figured G20 had been an experiment, and everything had been produced using "soft" tooling which is inexpensive but has limited lifespan.  G20 would be re-introduced after the permanent "hard" tooling was made.  This turned into a long, frustrating wait.  But now it's here!  And the Semiotic set was the first thing they brought back.

Now check this:
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The new keycaps, produced from the new tooling, are cleaner on the inside, have thicker walls and straighter sides.  And although you can't see it in this photo, I was very pleased to find the shift keys and spacebar were flat!  It was never very hard to straighten warped G20 keys if you knew the trick, but it looks like we won't have to bother with that any more.  I also noticed the surface texture is slightly finer and more consistent than the old keycaps.  And you know. . . .  I personally thought the older G20 keycaps were okay, but it's nice to see they've been subtly improved in multiple ways.

And the printing!
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Man. . .  It is sharp!  The blacks are maybe not quite the blackest I've ever seen, but everything is crisp and clear.  Very nice work.  Thumbs up, PMK!

Offline treeleaf64

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Re: PMK G20 Semiotic retooled G20
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 11 February 2022, 21:45:04 »
Very very nice. I love that printing. I will see if I can get some for myself.
The pricing is the only thing I don't like

but it's SP so what do I expect.

i'll save up some money. will be great to bring to a meetup!
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Offline pixelpusher

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Re: PMK G20 Semiotic retooled G20
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 12 February 2022, 01:05:39 »
I picked up the extensions and 7u space bar to go along with my OG set from years ago.  They do look nice.  Unfortunately they are a lot whiter than my older caps.  I don't know if my old ones yellowed or if the plastic is just whiter on the new ones.  Just something to keep in mind if you are planning to mix these in with older sets, they might not exactly match.

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« Last Edit: Sat, 12 February 2022, 01:33:04 by pixelpusher »

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: PMK G20 Semiotic retooled G20
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 12 February 2022, 03:48:49 »
Thanks for mentioning this, there's another significant update sneaked in - ISO enter!

Still not available in blanks though, hopefully they will be updated.  I'd like to try this profile but Semotic is not for me.
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Offline pixelpusher

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Re: PMK G20 Semiotic retooled G20
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 12 February 2022, 15:28:56 »
Thanks for mentioning this, there's another significant update sneaked in - ISO enter!

Still not available in blanks though, hopefully they will be updated.  I'd like to try this profile but Semotic is not for me.

One thing to watch out for... there is no stepped caps/control key for G20.

Offline Zobeid Zuma

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Re: PMK G20 Semiotic — retooled G20
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 13 February 2022, 09:27:52 »
Unfortunately they are a lot whiter than my older caps.  I don't know if my old ones yellowed or if the plastic is just whiter on the new ones.  Just something to keep in mind if you are planning to mix these in with older sets, they might not exactly match.

Strange.  I don't have any of the old Semiotic set, but I do have plenty of blank WAN and WFJ white keys from a grab bag.  According to the specs on the website, the new Semiotic is supposed to be WAN.  According to my eyes, it's a near-perfect match for the older production blank WAN keys.  However. . .  Those blanks have been in storage, never put on a keyboard or exposed to much light.  So maybe it really is a case of yellowing with your older Semiotics.