Runic keycap layout

That’s one of the reasons I prefer Mende: it looks less like the symbols I’m used to, less letter like.

Noto definitely looks better, thanks a lot for the comparison image!

I like the right one there as-is, though I suppose it might be too complex.

Both the Bamum and Mende proposals look great, though I agree that a happy medium on line weight would be useful.

Yes, pretty sure it would be. Also, I think it would be nicer if it mostly matched the complexity of the symbols of the other keys - would be cool if they looked like “special” keys, but not completely incongruous.

Yes. That Noto font looks really promising!

I just downloaded the Noto, and will make the change in characters as suggested above, and change the font for all characters.


Thanks, excited to see this!!

See below. First is updated JG Bamum with new characters:

Second is Noto Bamum, also with the new characters.

I like the curvy-ness of the JG Bamum, but I like the thickness of the Noto Bamum better. Your thoughts?


I totally agree with that statement!

One thing that bugs me a bit is the the two symbols looking a bit like // in the right lower corner (R2 / R3 C15) being right next to each other.

Also (but this is even less sever than the previous item) the three symbols at the right border of the left halve (R0-R3 C6) look a bit uniform and slim to me. I think something “open” or “less straight” on the right would better fill the void on that side.


Totally willing to move stuff around. I posted above the full syllabary and positions. What would you like where?

Noto Bamum FTW !! Really like

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Not completely sure without looking at the end result, but maybe something like

  • swap R1C6 and R3C5
  • swap R3C15 and R3C1

In case anyone want’s to know what things would look like with my suggested changes, have a look here.

You can use the “Next Font!” button in the lower left to switch between jgbamum and notobamum. (And if you like experimenting you can manipulate the url to change the character arrangement.)

P.S.: Some symbols are currently rotated by 90 deg, don’t know yet why.
P.P.S.: This was tested in Chrome 54 and iOS 10 Safari, no idea if other browsers will work.
P.P.P.S.: The plan was to allow swapping characters with drag-n-drop, but I don’t know if / when I will have the time to implement that.


That makes it very clear, and I definitely prefer the Noto font for banum. Is mende still on the table?


I hope so, but I need to update my proposal still. Been too busy with firmware stuff lately, and didn’t have the opportunity to update it yet.


Could we get @jesse to weigh in on the boldness “issue”? On the finished keycaps, with LED backlights, is bold good or bad?

Thanks for tagging me @lars.

In general, even line widths and low complexity are good. Because the lines are being cut with a laser, rather than printed, the simpler the designs, the better quality we’re going to get.

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I think it might be useful to get the min diameter of the laser to fine tune font corners for tool paths.

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It would be incredibly useful to get that information. Getting details on the laser supplier’s capabilities has been like pulling teeth. I finally got out of them, last week or so, that they can take PDFs for the toolpaths. (This is what I expected, but getting it confirmed was a bit of a nightmare.)

The way things seem to work with Chinese manufacturers is for us to tell them our ideal and then have them tell us whether they can hit it (or how much it will cost to hit it.)

We made the decision to go with a rounded font (The tres-hip Gotham Rounded) long before we settled on a vendor, partially to mitigate any possible issues with sharp serifs.

So, um. with that information in mind, I think the right thing to do is to figure out an ideal and then see if they can do a good job with it.

This an answer that makes me happy :confused:


Just popping my head in to say that this thread is great – lots of creativity here – and I’d love to have pretty much any of these designs.


I like the Noto Banum version. (Not that I don’t like other things, too)

While I know R1C7 isn’t a swastika, I can’t not see one when I look at it. Could we find something else to put there?


Maybe we can use A6E6 instead? That would look something like this.