Ah, ok I understand. For now, let’s focus on runic alphabets then
Do you by any chance have any insight on whether or not using some of the languages suggested above will result in copyright lawsuit @jesse?
I arbitrarily assigned mouse buttons to /> and </, and fn became Xeku, as that symbol looks crazy and seemed fitting for an important modifier key. Blew up some of the black lettering to account for the more detailed font, but got fed up with drilling down into groups in Inkscape around when it came to the red lettering. I apologize in advance for any Hymmnos experts I’ve offended by my gross misuse of the symbols
Shift became Spag, Tab became… tab? It’s pretty sloppy and is just intended to see what a Hymmnos keyboard could look like. Could use a few more changes especially to special keys to make them no longer use Latin lettering. Some experiments with lowercase Hymmnos could also be useful.
For some reason, when I answered the survey and saw “Unique runes or symbols” as an option, I instinctively imagined futuristic, sci-fi-like symbols with straight lines and clear angles, rather than the more fluid cursive symbols with curves more typically seen in older languages. I think this was probably because the programmable coloured LEDs of the Model 01 will make it look quite futuristic to me, at least. So for my tastes, mixing futuristic with ancient might look a little strange, and consequently I think I’d prefer (say) Aurebesh to something more Elvish or alchemical.
Thinking along those lines, here are some unicode glyphs I found along the lines of what I imagined, which happen to be both ancient and rather futuristic looking:
But maybe I’m wrong and a mix of futuristic shimmering colored keycaps with ancient-looking symbols on them would look totally awesome
The points about copyright and neutrality (from political, geographical, and fictional points of view) are of course valid and worth thinking about. Rather than attempting the impossible task of trying to pick one alphabet which pleases everyone, another approach aiming for neutrality might be to pick one symbol from a wide range of different alphabets which have a wide span across space-time (i.e. from ancient to futuristic, and from all corners of the globe and maybe even fictional universes too). This might be a nice gesture towards unity in what seems to be an increasingly divided world.
Of course the challenge would be to pick symbols which somehow look nice when put together. Since both the hardware and software of this keyboard have been designed in a beautifully open manner, I guess it would be possible for this small community to collaborate on picking a set of symbols together.
Having looked at your suggestions, I find myself agreeing. That’s a first, as I was very sure I’d side with Tengwar, but dear deity, Mende Kikakui looks simple, yet elegant. A kind of minimalist beauty. It also has plenty of symbols to choose from, a nice variety of them too, to make each keycap distinct.
I would not mix symbols from different languages/sets… that sounds too complicated, and hard to agree on, and even harder to find matching runes that look good together.
Started playing a bit with Mende, and U+1E80A looks like the perfect fit for an ESC key, and U+1E86D seems like a nice Any key. OTOH, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ would look neat as an Any key too. But that’s non runic, just silly.
Here is my first attempt. Feedback please! I grabbed symbols from all different fictional languages, including the alchemy symbols. The symbols aren’t aligned with the keycap direction, so some look a little skewed.
@algernon I personally would like the symbols larger, since there isn’t any need to have the rest of the keycap available. I like the style you have there.
One of the reasons I didn’t make them bigger is because the LEDs are in the lower left corner, and I figured the symbol looks best when fully illuminated. But I do like the large symbols you have, too.