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geekhack Marketplace => Interest Checks => Topic started by: openkeydesign on Sun, 22 November 2020, 09:42:38

Title: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.3]
Post by: openkeydesign on Sun, 22 November 2020, 09:42:38
Less But Better
A cherry profile dyesub keycap set
(https://i.loli.net/2020/11/22/oBhEmTsl8edvMS5.jpg)

Hi, this is Killer from OpenkeyDesign. And we are a group of keyboard enthusiasts. We got a lot of inspirations from Dieter Rams' design so we decide to design our first keycap set as a tribute.

Here are the kits
(https://i.loli.net/2020/11/22/Qmq941nHk3NVREv.jpg)
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(https://i.loli.net/2020/11/22/1ph8DaACtqIoHbU.jpg)
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(https://i.loli.net/2020/11/22/pF4aAGZ9nXmEc3x.jpg)
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(https://i.loli.net/2020/11/22/LWmjz23kZ9X7tnh.jpg)
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(https://i.loli.net/2020/11/22/DZzGxXgVbUdfyvh.jpg)
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(https://i.loli.net/2020/11/22/QfIved7V8wo5CzT.jpg)
-
(https://i.loli.net/2020/11/22/6YLW7tMBko4xSdQ.jpg)
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(https://i.loli.net/2020/11/22/NjfxtmCBDFMiyck.jpg)

We are still working on the renderings with keyboards, so please give us some more time. And we may not have time to reply you all, but your comments and suggestions will make this keycap set better. Thank you very much!

Renderings
Please be noticed that these renderings are just for illustration purposes only. We will put more work on details with EPBT next.

(https://i.loli.net/2020/12/02/DdfJBMjyu1SHcaG.jpg)
(https://i.loli.net/2020/12/03/Z3YjcFJthq5CPyL.jpg)

Thanks to Hineybush, we use most of mx keycap 3D models made by him.


Manufacturer: EPBT
Vendor: kbdfans
GB Date: TBD

History Log:
[2020/11/22]Initial IC was submitted .
[2020/11/29]Manufacturer and Vendor were confirmed.
[2020/12/2]Update renderings.
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: hali on Sun, 22 November 2020, 09:45:01
loving how clean and unique this feels already
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: yoot on Sun, 22 November 2020, 09:49:17
This looks pretty good. Any info on manufacturer?
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: cijanzen on Sun, 22 November 2020, 09:50:01
I see the inspiration clearly and I appreciate the use of those iconic calculator colours but I’d be concerned that you’ll have a difficult time with such a thin font weight. Perhaps dye-sub has gotten better but I can’t imagine they’ll be able to achieve such consistent strokes very easily.
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: Janoma on Sun, 22 November 2020, 09:52:10
Extra B please

Looks nice, not really digging the novelties.
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: hayt on Sun, 22 November 2020, 10:09:50
Pretty cool
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: nico.psd on Sun, 22 November 2020, 10:10:56
I like the number of possible novelties that could make this board feel unique while carrying the minimalism aesthetic. Really interesting set, will be watching! Would also be nice to own a Cherry profile set.
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: gnho on Sun, 22 November 2020, 10:27:53
Can the mods have either icon or text since simplicity is the goal?
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: mengsicheng on Sun, 22 November 2020, 10:36:33
Really impressive design!  I also need an extra B for my ergo. Anyway, do you consider a plan to design mats for this theme?
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: Fearian on Sun, 22 November 2020, 10:52:15
Really nice design. I do dig the novelties, but I think you will have to show them in situ to sell people on it.

One problem for me: The R2 Pg Up key for 65 & 75% boards is missing it's corresponding R3 Pg Down! I would like to see a 75% compatible "Home, PgUp, PgDown, End" stack in the extras. Having 3 novelty sets but not supporting 65% feels like this is more concept than function.
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: ggggggg on Sun, 22 November 2020, 10:52:42
I'd like icon only mods personally, but text only would be cool as well. On that note, the shift symbol looks like a control symbol to me. Love the b&w novelties.
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: lush_bunny on Sun, 22 November 2020, 10:55:09
yo this looks cleeean. But with lines that thin, wouldn't dyesub sort of... bleed out?
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: Jefff on Sun, 22 November 2020, 10:56:35
Very interesting! I'm not a huge fan of the font, but the theme and execution is amazing!
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: packman86 on Sun, 22 November 2020, 11:03:42
Very intriguing! Looking forward to seeing updates to this.

 :thumb:
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: Macmutant on Sun, 22 November 2020, 11:51:18
I love the clean aesthetic. Looking forward to seeing how the design develops.
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: wolverine92 on Sun, 22 November 2020, 12:11:05
Are you considering an ortho set as well?

Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: Disintro on Sun, 22 November 2020, 12:17:35
Quite a good minimalistic set. I quite like the lower case legends. Good job!
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: prkns on Sun, 22 November 2020, 12:44:46
Really like this idea... definitely keeping an eye on it 👍
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: treeleaf64 on Sun, 22 November 2020, 13:36:16
Good luck
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: Lenux on Sun, 22 November 2020, 13:45:58
Really fine looking keyset ! Glwic !!!

Sent from my Mi A2 Lite using Tapatalk

Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: macclack on Sun, 22 November 2020, 18:27:18
Bravo. I will purchase this if it goes to GB. GL
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: iindigo on Sun, 22 November 2020, 19:53:58
Nice, very clean, and it's always refreshing to see sets that use non-standard icons + typeface.
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: samanth on Sun, 22 November 2020, 20:03:36
Extra B for Alice / em7 like layouts pls.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: santela on Sun, 22 November 2020, 20:45:58
Very clean and minimalistic, I'm digging it.
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: MIGHTY CHICKEN on Sun, 22 November 2020, 21:03:13
Chicken enjoy, buck buck
seems like a lot though shrugs
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: Dafraz117 on Sun, 22 November 2020, 22:01:42
First off big fan of Dieter Rams and love to see a set designed around him.

Id love to see the brown and/or green accents replaced with red or cream or light grey as they are colors he used quite often in his designs. I can only think of the calculator keys being the one time he used brown and a forest green (not a bright green). Red is also quite prominent in his own home office which you can see on YouTube:
Maybe I’m wrong though.

One way could be to add mods kit with red or orange legends and a light grey background as light grey is often used in his designs. Not sure if that would look weird or not.

Would love to hear what color the keycaps would be as I think getting the right color would be important for this set. The color chosen reminds me of his 606 universal shelving system which is a nice choice.

Love everything else about the kits great work. I’ll be in for all kits no matter what you decide.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: Dafraz117 on Sun, 22 November 2020, 22:04:17
Oh yea and also +1 for extra b!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: keebieweeb on Sun, 22 November 2020, 23:14:56
This is really nice - like a breath of fresh air


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Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: EURA on Mon, 23 November 2020, 00:52:25
Absolutely in love with this and the novelty designs! I'd like to point out that you're missing the extra "b" in the base kit, and in the caps alphas kits, the non-barred "G" should be "J" instead. I'd also like ask if it was an intentional decision to have the extra "B," in the Caps Alphas kit, be a blank instead of the actual "B?" Also, in the renders, none of the novelties are centered, but I'm not sure if that's part of the design or not?
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: santela on Mon, 23 November 2020, 02:42:12
Btw the kitting right now has a lot of problems, but I understand this is early stage. In terms of the design I think you'll have no problem getting a lot of interest, but you might want to think about the manufacturing process. Double shot abs is probably impossible, but dye-sub pbt may also suffer from bleeding if you are gonna have thin lines like that. In the end you might have to make some compromises.
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: i luv chuletas on Mon, 23 November 2020, 02:44:42
Love the theme and the direction behind it, but I think the icon+text mods are way too busy for the "clean" aesthetic. They detract from the overall crispiness of the theme.

Would love to see a kit for icon mods or text mods at least, otherwise beautiful work on the set man.
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: directheatedtriode on Mon, 23 November 2020, 06:00:44
I love the set as well but am also concerned about dye sub getting razor sharp lines on the alphas/text mods. I'd think new mold GMK would be the way to go given the popularity?
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: ddrfraser1 on Mon, 23 November 2020, 06:45:18
Sexy stuff gentlemen, and ladies if girls contributed
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: Dafraz117 on Mon, 23 November 2020, 07:07:24
I had some other thoughts last night. Very excited with the idea and a lot of good stuff here. But a few more ideas...Dieter rams was very against using anything that was not needed aka less is more. One of his ten design principles is that it uses as little design as possible. I understand the novelties and less kits are inspired by his other designs but are they betraying his design ethos? For example I don’t think putting a speaker design on a key would be something he would do because it does not involve the function. I also think it would be very unlikely that he would put a quote like “less is more on keys”. I think the idea of novelties in general to dieter would be frowned upon. So I think the less and novelties kits are not in line with his design philosophies if that is your aim. But I see what you were doing by taking his design ideas for things like speakers and putting them on keys. So it depends on what direction you want to go. Finally if you get rid of the novelties(less/novelties) then I think with the other kits capital alphas would seem quite strange as the mods are lower case and I love the the lower case look very cool. Just some more ideas... really excited for this.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: UberPlatypus on Mon, 23 November 2020, 07:33:07
Really love the novelties. Such thing font is awesome however this seems difficult to achieve with a high success rate.

Sent from my HD1925 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: Vhawk on Mon, 23 November 2020, 10:33:01
This as a CRP set would be WILD
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: xiaoxiaoQAQ on Tue, 24 November 2020, 03:08:31
I want.
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: hottrout on Tue, 24 November 2020, 05:08:19
Interesting.  You should crop your images tighter to allow the detail to be seen better.
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: kohalified on Tue, 24 November 2020, 20:27:14
Looks solid. Like the inspo.
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: CrlaoSvloadr on Tue, 24 November 2020, 21:22:09

Wonderful looking set, getting all the things the others didn't- and for that I am absolutely looking forward to this set!
Great job and hope to hear more from this thread!
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: juice_pouch on Tue, 24 November 2020, 23:22:41
Agreed on the cropping, the images are 1/3 your design elements, 1/3 keys, and 1/3 emptiness. Can barely see the details without opening the images standalone in a new tab
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: konstantin on Wed, 25 November 2020, 04:48:16
Not a fan of the typographic solution you opted for here. Doesn't work well on a keycap set, imo. Some of the legends also look off-centered/misaligned.
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: openkeydesign on Sun, 29 November 2020, 09:09:08
This looks pretty good. Any info on manufacturer?

Thank you. We just confirmed the manufacturer.
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: openkeydesign on Sun, 29 November 2020, 09:13:43
Really nice design. I do dig the novelties, but I think you will have to show them in situ to sell people on it.

One problem for me: The R2 Pg Up key for 65 & 75% boards is missing it's corresponding R3 Pg Down! I would like to see a 75% compatible "Home, PgUp, PgDown, End" stack in the extras. Having 3 novelty sets but not supporting 65% feels like this is more concept than function.

We will try to improve that next. Thank you for your suggestion.
Title: Re: [IC] Less But Better
Post by: openkeydesign on Mon, 30 November 2020, 07:34:43
Extra B for Alice / em7 like layouts pls.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk

Extra B will be added.
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED Nov.29]
Post by: mengsicheng on Mon, 30 November 2020, 08:02:17
Great!So the next thing that I eager for is the renders.  Keep my eyes on this page and hope to see more new interesting stuff.
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED Nov.29]
Post by: LeoZ on Mon, 30 November 2020, 10:04:44
lowercase best case, count me in :)
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.2]
Post by: openkeydesign on Wed, 02 December 2020, 01:52:34
Will continue to update renderings
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.2]
Post by: bansheetango on Wed, 02 December 2020, 02:08:15
No EU vendors? :(
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.2]
Post by: GentooSG on Wed, 02 December 2020, 02:34:38
(https://store.storeimages.cdn-apple.com/4982/as-images.apple.com/is/MQ052?wid=1144&hei=1144&fmt=jpeg&qlt=95&op_usm=0.5,0.5&.v=1495129815011)

Personally not the biggest fan of grey on white, but I get the look. I'd go for a different typeface and pick either all symbols or all text for mods.
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.2]
Post by: Charks! on Wed, 02 December 2020, 02:51:12
I think there's some jumble up on the R1,R2 etc indicator in Base kit picture...can you double confirm?
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.2]
Post by: openkeydesign on Wed, 02 December 2020, 09:35:33
I think there's some jumble up on the R1,R2 etc indicator in Base kit picture...can you double confirm?

Yes. Thank you. We will make it right in the next version.
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.2]
Post by: Techlet on Wed, 02 December 2020, 12:41:06
I like the overall looks of this set. However, none of the text only mod keys are horizontally/vertically centered where you would normally expect them to be. For example, escape and the R4 mods in the base kit all sit low; and R1 delete, end, page down all sit high and to the right.

Is this an issue with the renders or are the keys meant to be like this?
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.2]
Post by: openkeydesign on Wed, 02 December 2020, 23:06:37
No EU vendors? :(

Kbdfans could accept orders from EU I think.
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.3]
Post by: bansheetango on Thu, 03 December 2020, 04:05:00
They do, import is a hassle though.
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.3]
Post by: spamnyams on Thu, 03 December 2020, 10:02:04
Ooooooo  :thumb:
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.3]
Post by: Prestley on Thu, 03 December 2020, 22:29:35
Really dig this set. Just ordered from kbdfans too so I could get a few dollars off when this goes up!
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.3]
Post by: Convergence on Fri, 04 December 2020, 20:06:40
Very clean, the only thing that would made this perfect for me is purple accents in the color dots kit and a 1.5u fn in the base kit.

I do share the sentiment that an EU vendor would be much appreciated, importing can be a nightmare.
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.3]
Post by: whirlwind on Fri, 04 December 2020, 23:47:08


No EU vendors? :(

Kbdfans could accept orders from EU I think.

What do you mean "you think"?

Did you not try to find any EU vendors for us and by assuming that we can order from KBDfans that will magically solve your problem? Are you aware we pay import tax from vendors such as KBDfans?

If that's the case, I'm voting with my wallet and I will not buy this set I think.

Sent from my XQ-AS52 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.3]
Post by: Ry0t@ on Sun, 06 December 2020, 08:09:53
That looks amazing! I'd be 100 percent in, if only it had a NorDe kit! No plans for that?
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.3]
Post by: clackeys on Sun, 06 December 2020, 17:32:41
Very excited for how clean this is looking, belongs on one of our white boards.
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.3]
Post by: dibkib on Thu, 10 December 2020, 02:37:26
I really like this, but as discussed by others, I'd really appreciate an EU vendor.
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.3]
Post by: PHYLO on Wed, 16 December 2020, 10:07:00
I genuinely wish more keycap sets tried out different typefaces/fonts for the legends. These are the best ones I've seen so far.
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.3]
Post by: loop | esc lab on Wed, 16 December 2020, 12:28:54
I had some other thoughts last night. Very excited with the idea and a lot of good stuff here. But a few more ideas...Dieter rams was very against using anything that was not needed aka less is more. One of his ten design principles is that it uses as little design as possible. I understand the novelties and less kits are inspired by his other designs but are they betraying his design ethos? For example I don’t think putting a speaker design on a key would be something he would do because it does not involve the function. I also think it would be very unlikely that he would put a quote like “less is more on keys”. I think the idea of novelties in general to dieter would be frowned upon. So I think the less and novelties kits are not in line with his design philosophies if that is your aim. But I see what you were doing by taking his design ideas for things like speakers and putting them on keys. So it depends on what direction you want to go. Finally if you get rid of the novelties(less/novelties) then I think with the other kits capital alphas would seem quite strange as the mods are lower case and I love the the lower case look very cool. Just some more ideas... really excited for this.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


I love the intention of this set as a fellow Dieter fan, but I agree that this could use improvements in terms of aligning with his 10 principles.

I'll offer some thoughts once I grab some coffee..
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.3]
Post by: nettik on Wed, 16 December 2020, 13:59:09
I really like the theme behind this set, but a few things to think about:

Do you really need capitalized alphas if everything else is lowercase? I get some people might want all caps, but if literally all the mods are lowercase, the contrast is not going to look nice.

The novelty with six lines (I'm assuming that's a speaker grill or something?) is way too heavy in comparison to the rest of the set. Best example of what I mean is that first picture in your post - if you look at it from a glance, everything else looks the same uniform and pleasing weight except for those caps. It draws too much of your attention. Also the fact that I can't tell what it is tells you it's not a good idea for a novelty. I'm also not personally into the novelties (I keep misreading the 'but better' keycap as butter for some reason) but that might change with more renders.

Are you sure EPBT is the best choice for this set? EPBT caps can be blurry and I don't think it will work well for this font.
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.3]
Post by: loop | esc lab on Wed, 16 December 2020, 20:32:36
First of all, kudos for all the effort you put into both the keycap set design + the IC. Lots of attention to detail and illustration efforts.

I do want to preface that I understand this is your interpretation of Dieter Ram's design principles -- it's your creative direction to do it however way you like. There's no right answer, so only take what I say as suggestions. His principles are guidelines, not rules. Great designers break them every day. Design would be boring as hell if there was only one way to do things.

But let's get get to the feedback.

1. Legibility

I think this is the biggest issue with your set right now. I understand the intent to use what I am guessing is Helvetica Neue Light (or even Ultralight) in your legends. But the legibility is incredibly low, even after I expand the image. I'm not a fan of lower case fonts for legends. If you look at the Magic Keyboard from Apple (which is heavily inspired by Rams' work, and also a keyboard I own), they use all-caps + centered legends for alphas. The font weight is also higher, although not as thick as default GMK fonts.

While Helvetica Neue Light/UL is a very aesthetically pleasing weight, it was never intended for great legibility. You'll rarely see it used in places where readability matters (and in legends, it matters). It's often used as an accent font, or in large illustrations.

Suggestion: Capitalize the legends (to increase consistency of legibility) + increase the font weight.

2. Attention to detail

From my cursory look into all your individual sets, I found a few instances where legends aren't properly horizontally and vertically centered. This is something you must fix. For a set inspired by Rams, you really shouldn't be violating "design is thorough down to the last detail".


3. Novelties

I can see you spent a lot of time on the novelties and they look beautiful.

However, I'm personally not a fan of novelties. One of Dieter's design principles (of the 10) is that "design makes a product useful", "design makes a product understandable", and "is unobtrusive". I see that you are borrowing details from some of his most popular products as an homage to his iconic designs, but in doing so, violates those principles because they don't add anything to the design other than as an aesthetic homage. Rams aims not to add design for just the sake of design (such as purely aesthetic choices). There's few reasons to have those design details in the novelties.

Suggestion: Dig deeper into the 10 design principles, and really explore what would make sense as novelties.

4. Color dots

As an opposite, I think the color dots makes sense - they are both aesthetically pleasing and useful. The dots will replace keys that have axillary uses that aren't labeled. They let the user define the utility. It's both aesthetically pleasing and serves as a function. I love them. Good work here.

5. less

This is the one group that I am really not a fan of. The text "less, but better" serves as a complete anti-thesis to what the text itself is trying to say. By adding that text, you aren't introducing less, nor are you adding anything better to the design. Dieter himself would never add text like this into his designs. Never.

Suggestion: Remove this.

6. Manufacturing

Let's say you do choose to go ahead with manufacturing (and it seems like you have, considering you've already chose ePBT), the legibility will be my biggest concern. ePBT is quite flexible when it comes to the type of designs + fonts, so it'll be better for you, but I would order samples of the Helvetica Neue Thin/Ultrathin to make sure the print does not bleed, and/or is legible.

Suggestion: Order samples and make sure readability is emphasized.

7. IC post suggestion

Due to the small font weight + lots of whitespace in your renders -- I found it quite hard to get a read of your keycap set in general. I would reduce the whitespace in your renders more, so people don't have to zoom into each picture as much.

Your hero shot (the first image with all the renders at once) is essentially unreadable even while the image is expanded.

I would personally also take out the "less, but better" in every render. I understand this is the name of your keycap set, but it's a little redundant and even stretches into corniness when overused.

I would also start both a Discord and Instagram account. The former helps you build your community and provide instant updates to your supporters. Instagram helps you build an audience for your set. A design language like this will get you quite a good number of followers if you keep your posts consistent.

Suggestions: Reduce the white space in your renders so us readers can quickly scan your IC post with minimal interaction. Start a community via Discord and IG.




All in all, I think your IC is very very polished. My feedback does not take away the effort + heart you put into this design.
I actually tend to write a lot when I see something that has a lot of potential but can use a bit of a push to become even better. I especially love the small Rams details you included in the IC such as the radio dial-type design details that is signature to his style.

Rams' design principles are like he says.. principles. They're not rules. Some of the best design in the world may not even follow close to Rams' work. It is up to you, the designer, to make these design choices. But since you said you are designing something inspired by Rams, I applied my feedback through the lens of his principles.

Really looking forward to what you do moving forward and any further updates.

GLWIC.

loop @ esc lab
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.3]
Post by: Jefff on Wed, 16 December 2020, 21:06:26
First of all, kudos for all the effort you put into both the keycap set design + the IC. Lots of attention to detail and illustration efforts.

I do want to preface by me understanding this is your interpretation of Dieter Ram's design principles -- it's your creative direction to do it however way you like. There's no right answer, so only take what I say as suggestions.

1. Legibility

I think this is the biggest issue with your set right now. I understand the intent to use what I am guessing is Helvetica Neue Light (or even Ultralight) in your legends. But the legibility is incredibly low, even after I expand the image. I'm not a fan of lower case fonts for legends. If you look at the Magic Keyboard from Apple (which is heavily inspired by Rams' work, and also a keyboard I own), they use all-caps + centered legends for alphas. The font weight is also higher, although not as thick as default GMK fonts.

While Helvetica Neue Light/UL is a very aesthetically pleasing weight, it was never intended for great legibility. You'll rarely see it used in places where readability matters (and in legends, it matters). It's often used as an accent font, or in large illustrations.

Suggestion: Capitalize the legends (to increase consistency of legibility) + increase the font weight.

2. Attention to detail

From my cursory look into all your individual sets, I found a few instances where legends aren't properly horizontally and vertically centered. This is something you must fix. For a set inspired by Rams, you really shouldn't be violating "design is thorough down to the last detail".


3. Novelties

I can see you spent a lot of time on the novelties and they look beautiful.

However, I'm personally not a fan of novelties. One of Dieter's design principles (of the 10) is that "design makes a product useful", "design makes a product understandable", and "is unobtrusive". I see that you are borrowing details from some of his most popular products as an homage to his iconic designs, but in doing so, violates those principles because they don't add anything to the design other than as an aesthetic homage. Rams aims not to add design for just the sake of design (such as purely aesthetic choices). There's few reasons to have those design details in the novelties.

Suggestion: Dig deeper into the 10 design principles, and really explore what would make sense as novelties.

4. Color dots

As an opposite, I think the color dots makes sense - they are both aesthetically pleasing and useful. The dots will replace keys that have axillary uses that aren't labeled. They let the user define the utility. It's both aesthetically pleasing and serves as a function. I love them. Good work here.

5. less

This is the one group that I am really not a fan of. The text "less, but better" serves as a complete anti-thesis to what the text itself is trying to say. By adding that text, you aren't introducing less, nor are you adding anything better to the design. Dieter himself would never add text like this into his designs. Never.

Suggestion: Remove this.

6. Manufacturing

Let's say you do choose to go ahead with manufacturing (and it seems like you have, considering you've already chose ePBT), the legibility will be my biggest concern. ePBT is quite flexible when it comes to the type of designs + fonts, so it'll be better for you, but I would order samples of the Helvetica Neue Thin/Ultrathin to make sure the print does not bleed, and/or is legible.

Suggestion: Order samples and make sure readability is emphasized.

7. IC post suggestion

Due to the small font weight + lots of whitespace in your renders -- I found it quite hard to get a read of your keycap set in general. I would reduce the whitespace in your renders more, so people don't have to zoom into each picture as much.

Your hero shot (the first image with all the renders at once) is essentially unreadable even while the image is expanded.

I would personally also take out the "less, but better" in every render. I understand this is the name of your keycap set, but it's a little redundant and even stretches into corniness when overused.

I would also start both a Discord and Instagram account. The former helps you build your community and provide instant updates to your supporters. Instagram helps you build an audience for your set. A design language like this will get you quite a good number of followers if you keep your posts consistent.

Suggestions: Reduce the white space in your renders so us readers can quickly scan your IC post with minimal interaction. Start a community via Discord and IG.




All in all, I think your IC is very very polished. My feedback does not take away the effort + heart you put into this design.
I actually tend to write a lot when I see something that has a lot of potential but can use a bit of a push to become even better. I especially love the small Rams details you included in the IC such as the radio dial-type design details that is signature to his style.

Rams' design principles are like he says.. principles. They're not rules. Some of the best design in the world may not even follow close to Rams' work. It is up to you, the designer, to make these design choices. But since you said you are designing something inspired by Rams, I applied my feedback through the lens of his principles.

Really looking forward to what you do moving forward and any further updates.

GLWIC.

loop @ esc lab

Great feedback!
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.3]
Post by: _rubik on Wed, 16 December 2020, 22:25:37
The type isn't quite to my taste, but I _love_ those novelties. Super cool  :thumb:
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.3]
Post by: ryukomatoi on Mon, 21 December 2020, 15:08:19
I see a potentially great product and the community has some pretty good feedbacks.

I will agree that it may not be easy for ePBT to implement the thin fonts. If it can be executed, then great. If not, I honestly wouldn't mind the legends to be bolder.

I do appreciate the "less but better" concept, however I feel that the design aesthetic doesn't completely follow. My only gripe is the modifiers. When modifiers have both symbols and legends, it just looks too busy in my opinion. To respect the less-but-better concept, I feel that it should only have one or the other, not both. A nice example would be to take a look at ePBT's GoK x BoW keycap set.

Regardless, I look forward to see new renders and sample keycaps. Having mentioned the GoK x BoW set, you can already tell that I'm a sucker for a WS2 white keycaps with CR legends, especially made by ePBT.
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.3]
Post by: Jacki on Mon, 21 December 2020, 15:12:19
I wish the Font was bigger and darker so it's more visible
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.3]
Post by: mrvco on Sun, 27 December 2020, 14:57:18
Text + Icons on the mods is a bit much, one or the other would be my preference.  I'm not a fan of the 'Less' kit (way too busy) and some of the 'Novelties' are ok (the horizontal line keys are a bit overwrought for my tastes), but I do like the 'Dots' kit.  All that being said, it would be good to hear some feedback on your confidence that ePBT can pull off these legends as PBT dyesub.
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.3]
Post by: geveent on Sun, 27 December 2020, 19:19:01
I want it now. Please start selling the keycaps. The keycaps are perfect. You don't have to change anything.
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.3]
Post by: Casserole on Sun, 27 December 2020, 21:13:09
really digging this set. Love the novelties! Share the concern with others about how thin characters are on the set. Hope to see it soon!
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.3]
Post by: PerforatedBinderPaper on Sun, 27 December 2020, 22:10:00
I have to say, I am still concerned by the thin legends. I am not sure if ePBT will be able to do this level of detail considering their previous issues with regular thickness legends. Regardless, I will be pleasantly surprised if it does actually come out properly. good luck!
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.3]
Post by: cogitoergofemme on Wed, 30 December 2020, 22:00:33
This is really well executed!
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.3]
Post by: santela on Thu, 31 December 2020, 00:59:22
I have to say, I am still concerned by the thin legends. I am not sure if ePBT will be able to do this level of detail considering their previous issues with regular thickness legends. Regardless, I will be pleasantly surprised if it does actually come out properly. good luck!

Same. Given how thin these lines are, I am pretty doubtful.
Title: Re: [IC] EPBT Less But Better [UPDATED DEC.3]
Post by: Corruto on Thu, 14 January 2021, 04:36:57
I would love an International Kit. Really want this!