Author Topic: Signature Plastics Update  (Read 21652 times)

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Offline SMKNGNZ

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Signature Plastics Update
« on: Sun, 28 January 2024, 14:52:49 »
Following the release of DCS Lilly in August 2013, Signature Plastics has manufactured over 300 custom keysets for enthusiasts worldwide in the mechanical keyboard community. Ten years later, the company is now adjusting to several major changes in the marketplace and in the business.

Interest in group-buys, with their traditional long lead times, is giving way to customers wanting off-the-shelf products delivered to their door the next day, even though lead times for new group-buy keysets are currently only six to eight weeks. The post-COVID era saw the emergence of dozens of small start-ups eager to capitalize on the mechanical keyboard wave. Unfortunately, this resulted in many of the more popular keyset designs being copied, without designer approval, which negatively impacted the creative spirit that once flourished in the enthusiast community. The future of this unique art form is now in jeopardy as fewer designers are willing to have their creations compromised. Even though the market is being flooded with low-quality, inexpensive, keyset clones, interest in high quality double-shot keysets being produced by companies like GMK and Signature Plastics is still very strong.

One of the biggest challenges Signature Plastics will experience in 2024 will be a change in ownership as Bob Guenser prepares for retirement and Melissa Petersen, the Queen of Keycaps, contemplates new opportunities outside the world of keycaps. Its been a great ride, and its not an easy decision, but we both feel the time has come to end this journey and move on. We are currently searching for buyer candidates who appreciate the role the company has played in the evolution of computer keyboards over the past 50 years, and who are also committed to preserving and continuing the legacy tied to that history.

If you are interested in owning/operating a small injection molding company, with a successful track record in the commercial and consumer keycap markets, please contact us.    bguenser@solutionsinplastic.com   mpetersen@solutionsinplastic.com

I would like to make one other comment regarding sustaining the business that SP and the community has created. This is an appeal to the designers in the community. Melissa and I appreciate the fact that your incentive to create new keyset designs has been severely impacted by companies not respecting your creations and cloning them for their own benefit. This has basically destroyed the group-buy concept which previously was the vehicle that sustained this hobby. But to avoid the past ten years from becoming simply a passing era, we need the designers to reengage and once again share their works of art with the community.
« Last Edit: Thu, 01 February 2024, 02:06:38 by SMKNGNZ »

Offline pixelpusher

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Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 28 January 2024, 16:18:44 »
I can't imagine the keyboard world without you guys.  The one thing that is constant is change, I suppose.  I hope you find a good fit, and as you put it, someone committed to preserving the legacy.  I wish you the best.

Offline ankit

  • Formerly ankit-sachdeva
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Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 28 January 2024, 16:57:13 »
 :(
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Offline Rayndalf

  • Posts: 476
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 28 January 2024, 16:59:04 »
Damn. I hope SP can find it's footing moving forward and keep making great stuff.

Offline mini_ninja_64

  • Posts: 21
  • Location: UK
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 28 January 2024, 17:09:26 »
Thank u for all the caps over the years 🫡

Offline lbassett21

  • Posts: 41
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  • Plastic and Metal Enthusiast
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 28 January 2024, 17:13:28 »
Thank you for all the creative work that you all at SP have inspired and made a reality. Without the work that you all have done, the keyboard hobby would not be where we are today. Thank you for everything, and I am wishing you all the best for the sale. I hope to see more of SP in the future!

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Keycaps:
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Offline a_saker

  • Posts: 15
  • huh?
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 28 January 2024, 17:15:58 »
🫡 This is really sad to see. Hopefully there will be good candidates to transition the ownership of SP

Offline Rhienfo

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Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 28 January 2024, 17:25:18 »
This is a big shame. Hopefully you find a new fit that can continue to the make the caps at the same quality it has been.
keyboard collection - fjell
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cherry blacks - unlubed - filmed and springswapped with tx 55g mediums - alu Plate | pretty happy with this, the blacks were cherry picked so they weren't that scratchy to begin with, but currently breaking them in, may lube them with a dry lube like ro59 or ptfe powder.
| hhkb bt
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lubed with tribosys 3203 | like topre a lot, prefer it lubed but did make less tactile but that might have been a skill issue. probably will get more tactile over time as the domes age.
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bad orange alps lol | definitely needs a restoration. planning on wax boiling them and maybe a replacement pcb because the board has only 2 key rollover apparently.
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gateron yellows - lubed with 205g0 - 62g tx mediums - pc plate | probably my favourite keyboard already, feels super nice and sounds pretty good, it's got a great layout as well. probably gonna build this with mx browns, I feel like it would suit the board more.
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stock with silent reds | Pretty cool looking board, the silent reds are actually good, they are smooth and I don't mind the mushiness (it's not even that mushy as well). the layout is pretty weird, but is useable. will probably mod this in the future. maybe a pcb and plate swap, change the keycaps to something dolch like, and also spring swap the springs in the silent reds.


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Offline hali

  • Posts: 500
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Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 28 January 2024, 17:50:17 »
godspeed sp

Offline Puddsy

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Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #9 on: Sun, 28 January 2024, 17:50:26 »
the earliest GBs would not have been possible without SP

an absolute cornerstone of the community, more than many of the newest members of our community will ever know
QFR | MJ2 TKL | "Bulgogiboard" (Keycon 104) | ctrl.alt x GON 60% | TGR Alice | Mira SE #29 | Mira SE #34 | Revo One | z | Keycult No. 1 | First CW87 prototype | Mech27v1 | Camp C225 | Duck Orion V1 | LZ CLS sxh | Geon Frog TKL | Hiney TKL One | Geon Glare TKL



"Everything is worse, but in a barely perceptible and indefinable way" -dollartacos, after I came back from a break | "Is Linkshine our Nixon?" -NAV | "Puddsy is the Puddsy of keebs" -ns90

Offline HubertThemad

  • * St. Jude Supporter
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Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #10 on: Sun, 28 January 2024, 17:52:06 »
I appreciate SP and everything you all have done for the hobby.

Offline SeedyOne

  • Posts: 485
  • Location: Los Angeles
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #11 on: Sun, 28 January 2024, 18:09:25 »
The MK world certainly has evolved in the last few years but I'll never forget my first two pickups in the scene, SA Modern Selectric & Danger Zone. Thick, center legends, classic. As much of a chore that navigating wait lists and grab bag chaos may have been, it provided me the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and deck out the tool I work/play with every day. If it ends here, it's the end of an era.

Long live the shine.

Offline lampmk

  • Posts: 23
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Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 28 January 2024, 18:12:43 »
o7 enjoy retirement! thank you for all that y'all have done for the keyboard world.

[/url]

Offline Kokaloo

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Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #13 on: Sun, 28 January 2024, 18:41:31 »
wow... such very sad news. but nothing lasts forever! i hope you all have wonderful fulfilling lives after SP. your company has brought such joy and curiosity to me, and likely my children as well once they start playin with all my crap. see ya!

Offline Fnzzy

  • Posts: 723
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Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #14 on: Sun, 28 January 2024, 18:41:40 »
Very sad to see. Good luck moving forward!

Offline Bachoo

  • Posts: 288
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Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #15 on: Sun, 28 January 2024, 18:50:37 »
o7

Offline Erinkaze

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Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #16 on: Sun, 28 January 2024, 19:36:59 »
Hope that you can find a good buyer. GL with the future endeavors  :D

Offline pr0ximity

  • Posts: 2706
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Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #17 on: Sun, 28 January 2024, 20:07:37 »
Thank you for all of your work in the community over the years, and best of luck in whatever comes next for you all. SP is truly a special company and Ill always cherish the caps I have from you folks. <3
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Offline VoodooBear

  • Posts: 51
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #18 on: Sun, 28 January 2024, 20:23:03 »
SP is a foundational pillar of this community. Safe to say the hobby would be in a different place without you guys. Wish ya'll the best. 🫡

Offline SwitchKeys

  • Posts: 307
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Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #19 on: Sun, 28 January 2024, 20:31:31 »
Incredibly sad to see. Best of luck Melissa and team, you've been fantastic over the years we've done business together.


Offline ppatches24

  • Posts: 62
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #20 on: Sun, 28 January 2024, 20:43:57 »
Wow

Congrats on all the success over the years and being a strong part of the community. Thank you for the great sets you have helped bring to life.

Very sad to see and good luck to whatever comes next to all involved!

-Godspeed SA,
Ppatches

Offline Chippy

  • Posts: 268
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Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #21 on: Sun, 28 January 2024, 23:00:53 »
It was an absolute pleasure working with you the last few years. Best of luck to you and the team!
1.2og | Buddy 6xx | Le Fishe V1 Proto | xyz60 Rev2 | Quartermaster | Chimera65 | Satisfaction75 | Realforce 84u | Zenith Z-150 | Realforce 86u | 378
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This and the swiss cheese keyboard is the next generation of keyboards

Offline mcmaxmcmc

  • Posts: 52
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #22 on: Sun, 28 January 2024, 23:06:30 »
I will definitely miss you, SP crew!  The keyboard scene and the computer scene at large would not have been the same without you.

I wish you the best of luck moving forward and I hope to see SP survive and thrive moving forward, as different as it may be.  Godspeed!

Offline Azernith

  • Posts: 25
  • board enjoyer
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #23 on: Sun, 28 January 2024, 23:29:14 »
Thanks for everything SP :((((((((((((((((((((((((((

Offline DirtyGingy

  • Posts: 195
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #24 on: Sun, 28 January 2024, 23:38:43 »
Were I someone with the money and position to take over and try to keep the legacy going, I would love to. Oh the joys of being broke on the scale of businesses and property. I hope someone with good intentions comes around.

I do wonder, this does seem sudden, but I'm hoping that the actual wind down/shut down is something that is gradual and not just instant

Offline stacksofkeyboards

  • Posts: 10
    • Stackskb
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #25 on: Mon, 29 January 2024, 00:32:53 »
Happy retirement and best of luck with your next venture!

Offline ilouis_07

  • Posts: 652
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Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #26 on: Mon, 29 January 2024, 01:11:57 »
Recalling the day I received my first set of customized keycaps, the SP SA Carbon, many years have passed since then. Even now, they hold a special place as one of my all-time favorite keycaps. The news brings a sense of sorrow. Gratitude to SP company for consistently delivering high-quality products over the years. It's been a rewarding journey of 5 years working together with you guys, and I extend my best wishes for the future. :)

Offline LMarci

  • Posts: 127
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Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #27 on: Mon, 29 January 2024, 01:30:33 »
o7

Offline keyreative

  • Posts: 8
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    • keycaps
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #28 on: Mon, 29 January 2024, 01:55:28 »
Totally understand the final decision you have made. Your company has been a great inspiration for our technology as well, thanks for all the years you have contributed to this industry.
It's not necessarily a bad thing and I hope you guys can enjoy your life.
⌨KAT/KAM profile owner
We make keycaps

http://www.xbigcat.com/
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Offline johntron25

  • Posts: 131
  • Location: 31st State
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #29 on: Mon, 29 January 2024, 02:19:03 »
Sad day. My first set was either SA Jukebox or SA Nantucket Selectric. I remember photos of my board were shared in PMK Facebook page. Time flies during fun times.

Offline zuiKatsu

  • Posts: 7
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Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #30 on: Mon, 29 January 2024, 02:48:58 »
Thank you so much for your contributions to the hobby. Hopefully whoever picks up the mantle is half as dedicated as you were, I still remember you guys showing up at our meet in Vancouver and being excited to share your processes and products.

Offline Jae-3soteric

  • Posts: 745
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Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #31 on: Mon, 29 January 2024, 03:00:26 »
Over at Prototypist we have worked with you on tons of great projects and you have always been fantastic to work with. On a personal level I can remember getting my first few sets of SP produced caps from DSA Hyperfuse and some of the 7Bit 'Rounds' over a decade ago.

I'm hoping that someone who cares for the history, journey and product is who can ultimately pick it up the company and keep the amazing products you make alive!


Offline twitchytheinsideman

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Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #32 on: Mon, 29 January 2024, 03:55:01 »
sad

I love all my SP products
« Last Edit: Mon, 29 January 2024, 03:59:52 by twitchytheinsideman »

Offline kustom3

  • Posts: 139
  • bonjour
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #33 on: Mon, 29 January 2024, 04:25:08 »
End of an era.

Offline acerb

  • Posts: 51
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #34 on: Mon, 29 January 2024, 04:27:13 »
Sad story indeed. Hope you will enjoy your new path...
And that some (one, company) will be able to successfully take over your fantastic legacy! Cheers

Offline WoobEC

  • Posts: 54
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Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #35 on: Mon, 29 January 2024, 07:43:30 »
Incredibly sad news. Always been an absolute pleasure chatting with Melissa over projects. Good luck and thank you for so many years of dedication to the craft💖






Offline TomahawkLabs

  • Posts: 115
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #36 on: Mon, 29 January 2024, 08:48:25 »
Signature Plastics was the company to get your set made 10 years ago when I started the hobby. Almost all the best SA sets were all produced by Signature Plastics. I daily drive SP SA Camping on my home board and despite getting offers for it, it'll stay in my collection forever. SP Keycaps are heirloom keycaps.
Always looking for Alps SKCM/SKCL switches. Feel free to DM.
AMD 5600x | RTX3080 | 2x 1TB NVME + 4x 4TB HDD | B550M Pro-P | 32GB RAM | RM850x | Node 804 | Schiit Modius/Magnius + Audeze LCD-2 | Dell S3422DWG
GMMK 1 Full Size Barebones | Zealio 67g ; Apple M3501 handwired | Alps SKCM Damped Cream
SA: Camping

Offline rooski15

  • Posts: 144
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #37 on: Mon, 29 January 2024, 09:09:43 »
I, like many others here, found my first custom keyset from SP. And before that, it was SA 1976 that drew me in. This hobby, plain and simple, wouldn't be the same without you. Thank you for being a big part of the excitement over the years; I sincerely hope we can keep it going and that you can find some peace after the work. ❤️

Offline mohawk1367

  • Posts: 247
  • Location: Rochester, New York
  • Typing on: HHKB Pro Hybrid Type-S
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #38 on: Mon, 29 January 2024, 09:26:53 »
please dont leave us with GMK  :'(
someone needs to make an aussie keyboard community called QMƎɹ┴⅄. get it? haha :D

Offline filefish

  • Posts: 63
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #39 on: Mon, 29 January 2024, 09:34:03 »
I really hope a buyer surfaces who will continue production of the current profiles, even while innovating. Almost all of my zillion boards sport SA caps; nothing else remotely feels right to type on. The clone caps all feel weirdly light and cheap, have clear issues with their doubleshot legend uniformity, and lack any sense of specialness that comes from involvement from an actual designer.
« Last Edit: Mon, 29 January 2024, 09:39:04 by filefish »

Offline mohawk1367

  • Posts: 247
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  • Typing on: HHKB Pro Hybrid Type-S
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #40 on: Mon, 29 January 2024, 09:36:55 »
I really hope a buyer surfaces who will continue production of the current profiles, even while innovating. Almost all of my zillion boards sport SA caps; nothing else remotely feels write to type on. The clone caps all feel weirdly light and cheap, have clear issues with their doubleshot legend uniformity, and lack any sense of specialness that comes from involvement from an actual designer.

yes SA is the best custom keycap profile
someone needs to make an aussie keyboard community called QMƎɹ┴⅄. get it? haha :D

Offline upas

  • Posts: 386
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #41 on: Mon, 29 January 2024, 09:44:36 »
My very first keycap group buy was DSA Borealis in 2016. As we've established ourselves as a vendor, Signature Plastics has always been amazing to work with, and we will absolutely miss working with you.

Wishing both of you all the best moving forward, and also hoping we can continue to work with new SP ownership.

Offline Fraaaan

  • Posts: 383
  • Location: cucked (EU)
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #42 on: Mon, 29 January 2024, 09:49:47 »
This is very sad news. Signature Plastics has been a pillar in the custom keyboard community since the early days of the hobby. I'm not crying, you're crying.

I wish Bob and Melissa the best in their future endeavors!

Offline dededecline

  • Posts: 471
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Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #43 on: Mon, 29 January 2024, 10:34:19 »
Signature Plastic produced so many of my favorite sets over the tears. Im glad to have had the pleasure of working with yall and hope you find an incredible new owner for the business!

Offline syberghost

  • Posts: 74
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #44 on: Mon, 29 January 2024, 10:54:53 »
You will be missed. Good luck, all of you.
yes, I'm the guy who put box jades on a Polaris

Offline Afresh

  • Posts: 364
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #45 on: Mon, 29 January 2024, 10:59:04 »
it was nice to work with you guys, thank you and good luck!

Offline MikeTheTiger

  • Posts: 824
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Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #46 on: Mon, 29 January 2024, 11:38:49 »
Best of luck to you guys. Its been a pleasure working with Melissa on my crazy projects.

Offline nickthaskater

  • Posts: 60
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #47 on: Mon, 29 January 2024, 12:20:22 »
Sell to GMK  :thumb:

RIP though, seriously. SP SA is my favourite profile and the quality has always been fantastic (Polyclear not withstanding).

I hope that this doesn't relegate SA to the Chinese clones alone.

Offline popkorn62

  • Posts: 602
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    • Mekibo
Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #48 on: Mon, 29 January 2024, 12:29:04 »
Wow this is so sad...

The very first high end keysets I owned were all SA and DSA before my first GMK set way back in 2016-2017. Wish you all the best with retirement and Melissa with new opportunities!
==============
https://mekibo.com/

Offline GarrettSucks

  • Posts: 283
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Re: Signature Plastics Update
« Reply #49 on: Mon, 29 January 2024, 12:45:41 »
Signature Plastics is a legend in the space and everyone in this hobby owes y'all a huge thanks for where this space has grown to. Many of us companies in the space are dealing with the same challenges you described and it makes me sad to see a pillar be brought down because of them. No one believed us when we said that buying clones could be the death of the hobby, and this is a taste of that exact thing happening. Maybe this will be a wakeup call.

Thank you for everything Melissa over all these years. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with you with all the projects! You always seemed to get color matching right on the first try and it always blew my mind!

As you embark on new endeavors, I wish you all the best and hope we can stay in touch. Your presence in the community will be greatly missed.