Author Topic: [IC] KAT Iridescent ✨ - update: initial kitting tweaks  (Read 5859 times)

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Offline minicap

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[IC] KAT Iridescent ✨ - update: initial kitting tweaks
« on: Wed, 05 June 2024, 17:03:53 »
KAT Iridescent



IC Form
https://forms.gle/nXmUXBf2Rn3bMjAG6

Website
https://katiridescent.com





About

This set was inspired by the colours of my radiant acrylic Arisu:
 


Itís hard to believe one piece of plastic can give off so many different colours! Iridescence also appears gorgeously in nature (gems, shells, butterfliesÖ) and sometimes also in our everyday lives (soap bubbles!).

I aimed to capture this feeling in the gradient top row of the set as well as the multi-colour novelties. A lowercase serif font was chosen to give the set an elegant yet slightly whimsical look.

Manufacturer: Keyreative
Profile: KAT, 4-4-3-2-1-1 sculpt (like KAT Napoleonic / other sculpted profiles)
KAT usually uses a 5-4-3-2-1-1 sculpt, but I chose to use a 4-4-3-2-1-1 sculpt so that the base kit accent row can be used flexibly between the function row and numrow.
Material: Dye-sublimated PBT
Dye-sublimation was chosen over doubleshot KAT for more affordable pricing, given the all-custom legends.


Gradient top row

I adore accent numrows (e.g. Red Alert; my previous set KAM Sewing Tin also had one!), and thought itíd be an interesting way to showcase a gradient. I started with the accent numrow for 60-65% keyboards, and decided itís more appealing for the accent to be on the function row instead for larger boards. This also makes the accent row optional for smaller boards.

To allow more flexible use of the accent keys, they are all novelties. ✨

Smaller boards (<=65%) have one complete run of the gradient from blue to yellow; for larger boards or boards with numpads, the gradient wraps around. Hereís a graphic to show how the accent row works on different kinds of boards:




Why not a uniform profile?

A uniform profile (e.g. KAM) would make the gradient top row more flexible! It would make the biggest difference in the 40s/Ortho kit. However, I personally wanted to make this a KAT set as Iíve already designed a KAM set in the pastÖ and yes, Iím aware the profile for KAM Sewing Tin mightíve made more sense swapped too, but itís too late for that 😅. There is a question in the IC about KAT vs KAM - Iíll consider switching the profile if KAM would be significantly more popular.



Photos of samples
With so many colours in the set, I requested a full set of samples for the IC to give a more accurate representation of how the set will look, rather than relying on renders.

These colours are approved and will be used in the production of the set. However, please note that there may still be slight visual differences in what you see depending on your browser, display and lighting.

Photos of the sample keycaps in studio lighting & on the CKC Discipline in studio lighting are by dakfu. Photos can be viewed in an imgur album here.



Sample keycaps in studio lighting: these are the most accurate colour reference.




On a CKC Discipline in studio lighting




On a CKC Discipline in indirect sunlight




On a Promise TKL in indirect sunlight





On my radiant acrylic Arisu in indirect sunlight






Kits

I've intentionally kept the number of kits small as:
1/ Iíd like to run this as an in-stock set
2/ Keyreative now adds a percentage surcharge (sorting fee) for every additional kit beyond the 3rd i.e. more kits is now more expensive. (source: MOQ calculation spreadsheet in their discord server). This set is already going to have additional colour surcharges and Iíd like to make it as affordable as possible.

So, it has ďall in oneĒ kitting like older Keyreative sets like KAM Wraith, Kitty KAT, etc. That being said, Iím very open to kitting feedback and suggestions - please feel free to let me know your thoughts in the thread or in the IC form. I will consider doing more traditional KAT kitting if I really canít run this in-stock.

You can view all kits as an imgur album here.


Base
Supports TKL, 75%, 65% and 60% layouts. Add Numpad kit to support 100% and 1800.

For 100%, TKL and 75%, the accent row must be used on the function row.
For 65% and 60%, the accent row can either be omitted, or used as the number row.


 
40s/Ortho
Supports common 40% layouts including Minivan (12.75u), JD40 (12u), JD45 (13u), Dimple/UT47.2 (12.5u), prime_e (13u Alice), Bolt (12.75u Alice). Has physical support for QAZ with a 5 colour gradient rather than 6, since that looks more balanced.
Supports ortho including Preonic, Planck and ortho splits including Lily58, Iris, Corne
Supports 40s boards with partial numrow like V4N
With numpad, supports Milk Truck, Garbage Truck. Candybar supported with split backspace only (no 2u backspace, ask in IC if you want it added)

Two versions of the accent row are included: R3 for 40s boards (replaces qwerty row) and R4 for 5-row Ortho boards (replaces numrow). The accent is optional for 40s but must be used for 5-row Ortho boards as a cost compromise (as kit does not include regular numrow).

I originally planned omitting the R4 keys also for cost, meaning 3-3-2-1-1 profile instead of 4-3-2-1-1 profile for those ortho boards, but in the end decided to include them for the 5-row ortho users.



Ergo
Supports Ergodox, Boardwalk and Sol.

I wanted to be able to use the set on my own Ergodox, and think the top row gradient works well split across the two halves! To keep the kit more affordable, the gradient must be used on the top row (no regular numrow is provided), and there are many novelties to give more flexibility with legends. Text mods were chosen based on frequency of use in NoPunIn10Didís KAT ergo kitting guide.



Numpad
Combine with Base Kit for 100% and 1800: 1800 users have the choice of using the R4 gradient as the numrow or not.

Combine with 40s/Ortho for Candybar, Milk Truck and Garbage Truck. R3 gradient can be optionally used as qwerty row.






Tailor

The interactive configurator from KAM Sewing Tin returns, with new boards and a new feature, changing the case colour!

You can try it out here: https://katiridescent.com/#tailor

Here's a GIF preview of the functionality:






Next up

- Deskmat designs
- Finding collabs
- Finding vendors



Credits

- Keyreative for the lovely samples and fantastic partnership
- dakfu for the gorgeous photography
- NoPunIn10Did for the KAT ergo kitting guide
- Everyone who supported KAM Sewing Tin, for giving me the energy to make another set 😊
 



Contact

Email: hi@katiridescent.com
Discord: minicat.
Instagram: @minicap.cat

Updates will be regularly posted to this thread as well as to my Discord server.





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IC Form

https://forms.gle/nXmUXBf2Rn3bMjAG6

Thanks for reading this far! If youíre interested in the set or have any feedback, please fill out the IC form - Iíll be reading every response 💙
« Last Edit: Mon, 24 June 2024, 21:05:29 by minicap »

Offline minicap

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Re: [IC] KAT Iridescent ✨
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 05 June 2024, 17:04:17 »
Update log

2024-06-24: 40s/Ortho kit updated: added 2u r3 backspace (gradient and non gradient versions) and changed 1.75u r1 lock to a novelty
« Last Edit: Mon, 24 June 2024, 21:16:43 by minicap »

Offline PhoenixUNI

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Re: [IC] KAT Iridescent ✨
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 05 June 2024, 17:58:21 »
Will you consider additional homing keys to cover Colemak or Dvorak users?

Offline minicap

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Re: [IC] KAT Iridescent ✨
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 05 June 2024, 18:20:49 »
Will you consider additional homing keys to cover Colemak or Dvorak users?

Thanks for the question! Someone asked similar in my Discord just now - not sure if you're the same person, but I'll copy my response here so folks on GeekHack can see it too :D

This is currently not planned, though depends on what feedback I get in the IC

Since it's a sculpted profile, full Colevrak support would also require alternate alphas on top of the additional homing keys (included KAT Refined's Colevrak kit below as an example) and I chose not to include this in the initial kitting since in KAM Sewing Tin's GB only 11 Colevrak kits were purchased compared to 385 base kits / alphas - and that one was cheaper since it was a uniform profile. Similar reason for not supporting NorDe which only sold 6 kits in Sewing Tin's GB



With Keyreative's new pricing, each additional kit beyond 3 now makes the whole set more expensive - between that and wanting it to be in-stock I did make some tradeoffs to keep the kitting lean. But again, I do plan on seeing what feedback I get in the IC and making changes accordingly ^^

Offline keebibi

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Re: [IC] KAT Iridescent ✨
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 05 June 2024, 19:01:43 »
So pretty! GLWIC!

Offline DerBonk

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Re: [IC] KAT Iridescent ✨
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 06 June 2024, 02:15:42 »
This looks amazing and the kitting sounds very well thought out.

Offline LMNPI

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  • QAZ is love.
Re: [IC] KAT Iridescent ✨
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 06 June 2024, 06:04:25 »
In love with the colorful Qwerty row as a 40s user this is so great to see!

+1 for Colevrak support

Offline TyPo.mk

  • Posts: 325
Re: [IC] KAT Iridescent ✨
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 06 June 2024, 10:21:02 »
This is a very nice interest check

Offline minicap

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Re: [IC] KAT Iridescent ✨
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 07 June 2024, 16:08:42 »
So pretty! GLWIC!

This looks amazing and the kitting sounds very well thought out.

This is a very nice interest check

Thank you for the kind words!! 💖

In love with the colorful Qwerty row as a 40s user this is so great to see!

+1 for Colevrak support


Yes, wanted to make sure small boards would get to have the gradient too :D Noted on the +1!

Offline nebulazy

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Re: [IC] KAT Iridescent ✨
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 11 June 2024, 12:40:15 »
i love the accent row! ive been wanting to test KAT so this will be a great intro for me. i think this is super cute and i appreciate the alice support. i have a monka alice67 and it has huge bezels so it looks great with cute keycaps and i'd love to put this set on it

Offline minicap

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Re: [IC] KAT Iridescent ✨
« Reply #10 on: Sun, 16 June 2024, 15:22:37 »
i love the accent row! ive been wanting to test KAT so this will be a great intro for me. i think this is super cute and i appreciate the alice support. i have a monka alice67 and it has huge bezels so it looks great with cute keycaps and i'd love to put this set on it

Thank you for the kind comment!! I personally find KAT really comfy to type on :D I hadn't seen the monka alice67 before but just looked it up and those rounded edges are cute, hopefully will get to see Iridescent on it one day :D

Offline minicap

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Re: [IC] KAT Iridescent ✨ - update: initial kitting tweaks
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 24 June 2024, 21:15:23 »
Thank you everyone for the comments, IC responses, etc so far! It's been a couple of weeks since the IC launched, I've been reading every single response & comment and really appreciate the kind words and enthusiasm 💙 I've made a few small kitting changes, and have several other things I'm monitoring but want to collect more IC feedback about first before actioning as they are larger changes.

Wanted to share my detailed thoughts for those who are interested but will put a tldr/summary first:

Summary
* 40s/Ortho kit has been updated: added 2u r3 backspace (gradient and non gradient versions) and changed 1.75u r1 lock to a novelty
* Revisiting idea of novelty/gradient spacebars & looking into base kit capslock novelty (either text novelty or image novelty)
* Will be continuing to collect IC feedback to inform larger changes - may make more kitting updates in the future
* Set is staying as KAT
* Deskmat design up next
* Artisan collabs will come when set is further along (hesitant to reach out to makers this early)

General feedback
* 4 requests for different font/capitalised alphas: The lowercase serif font and the gradient top row are the two main features of the design in my mind so I'm not planning on changing those, though I understand the quirkiness will be a draw for some and a dealbreaker for others. The set does use Keyreative's stock white, so it's theoretically mix-and-match-able with other KAT sets like KAT Alpha (which has blanks): https://divinikey.com/products/kat-alpha-keycap-set-dye-sub-pbt
* 3 requests for Colevrak support: this isn't enough for me to justify adding a new kit for it yet (as each additional kit makes the whole set more expensive) but I'll continue monitoring IC feedback about this. Similar for the 1 request about iso fr support and 1 request for night version
* 3 requests for more colour: I previously looked into gradient spacebars but personally found it too distracting & preferred having the top row gradient as the main focus. I'll be picking this back up to see if I can find something I'm happy with
* 2 requests to have alpha legend gradient in 40s/ortho: will not be happening as it would require additional keys to be added (as depending on the board, some keys could be different colours e.g. on a minivan, W would be purple, but on a QAZ it'd be blue)
* 1 request for icon mods: I actually did originally want to do full, custom icon modifiers that matched the font/theme but I wasn't able to design a set I was happy with, hence the text mods instead 😔

Specific kitting requests
For these, I'm balancing making sure the kits work to cover as many boards as possible while also trying to keep the cost of the set affordable. As such, I'm prioritising adding keys that add net new support over keys that already have alternatives (i.e. physical support already exists), and also prioritising keys that are more flexible (e.g. a novelty over specific legends)

Here are the minor changes I've already made based on feedback, both in the 40s/ortho kit:
* change 1.75u r1 Lock to the iris novelty; this allows it to be used more flexibly (e.g. as a second shift on boards with 2 x 1.75u Shift). This is the same novelty as 1.75u r2 Enter, AFAICT there aren't boards where you'd have to use both together, but I made it face the other way for variety anyway
* Added 2u r3 Back for Candybar

Here's a summary of the other feedback and how I'm thinking about it:
Base kit
* 1 request for r2 1.75u fn - base kit currently has caps and ctrl. I'll be considering replacing these with a text novelty or image novelty if I can think of something that works well
* 1 request for Mac legends (cmd/opt) - punting for now as novelties can be used instead of ctrl, and "shine" is already OS neutral
40s/Ortho
* 2 requests for ISO enter - punting for now due to cost; there are two iso enters in the base kit, so i think it'd be possible to get the ISO keys affordably aftermarket from someone who bought the base kit that doesn't need them
* 2 requests for more novelties - 1.75u r1 has been added
* 1 request for QAZ legend support (currently only has physical support) - punting again for cost concerns
* 1 request for 2u backspace for candybar - done
* 1 request for second 1.75u shift; 1 request for 1.75u r1 novelty for full novelty mods - done (changed 1.75u lock to novelty)
* 1 request for double 3u spacebars - punting for now as i revisit gradient/novelty spacebars. if i end up adding a separate spacebars kit itll go in there instead

Profile: will stay as KAT
46.8% of responses were neutral, 30.6% preferred KAT and 22.6% preferred KAM - this is enough for me to rule out switching to KAM, the question has been removed from the IC.

Accessories/collabs
Artisan collabs and Deskmat were the most requested by far! I want to do both of these, but also want to wait until the set is further along and has more certainty before reaching out for artisan collabs. So, I'll be working on deskmat designs next ^^