We’ve asked 4 digital artists based in Egypt, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia to take part in an embroidered patches contest for mechanical keyboard enthusiasts. An accessory that could be easily applied on a velcro strap of a backpack, on a baseball hat, or on a jacket. Here are the results. Before that, a little bit of history for those of you who wonder how did we get here.
From the streets of New York to the runways in Milan, embroidered patches are having a long-standing moment in today’s fashion world. Given the boom of fast-fashion and mass-produced garments, consumers are seeking new ways to stand out and express their passions by personalizing the accessories they own.
The story of the humble patch is centuries old. It dates back to Ancient China, when the process of patching was used to serve a functional purpose: to mend clothing. Fast forward to the 19th Century and, following the industrialization and the evolution of technology, the United States military began mass-producing official division patches. Shortly after, the rest of the country followed suit. Everyone was getting in on the action: factory workers, delivery men, police and fire departments. The patch became an everyday occurrence in Western culture.
Things further evolved in the middle of the 20th Century. Patches became a representation of what is not mainstream: the rise of biker culture in the ’60s, the hippie movement of the ’70s, the birth of punk rock in the ’80s. The embroidered patch was a staple within each of these worlds. At last, it became a way to express personality and highlight nonconformity to society’s standards.
Today, brands like OFF-WHITE, Supreme, and Gucci have embraced the patch to infuse pop-culture into their high-end garments. Wants to know more? Here’s a brief story about patches in modern fashion industry.
It’s hard to tell if the influx of embroidered patches is just a passing trend or it’s here to stay, but the medium has certainly allowed an entire generation of designers and enthusiasts to express themselves and their passions.
For this concept, we’ve involved 4 digital artists from Egypt, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia into a contest to provide their own representation of the perfect embroidered patch for a mechanical keyboard enthusiast. A patch that could be applied on a velcro strap of a backpack, on a baseball hat, or on a jacket. At last, here below are the results. What do you think of their proposals?
Finally decided to get rid of your old membrane keyboard with rubber domes and replace it with a new fancy and shiny mechanical keyboard? Knowing what options are open (and useful) to you is very important. This infographic represents a good starting point for anyone interested on entering this world. It can be downloaded for free and it will be updated regularly based on your suggestions.
At the time when computers were introduced, keyboards were large and heavy devices with a price somewhere around 100 USD. They came along with a sturdy printed circuit, which was mounted to a metal plate. The mechanical switches most commonly used gave out an audible or tactile feedback when pressed. As a result, people who used these keyboards were able to know whether they successfully pressed on a specific character or not.
However, the prices of computers and components dropped significantly along the years. But the price of a mechanical keyboard remained mostly unchanged and some people did not want to spend that much money on a single device when the entire computer cost kept reducing. This gave life to the rubber dome membrane keyboard. In rubber dome membrane keyboards, the circuit was printed in a collection of flexible membranes; the springs, which used to support the keys, were replaced by rubber domes. However, these keyboards were not as durable as the mechanical ones. External factors such as humidity and temperature could create a visible impact on the functionality and performance. As a consequence, this made people reconsider about going mechanical instead.
Mechanical keyboards are associated with a variety of benefits as well as advantages. Durability and consistency over time are the most prominent. Ok, you will have to spend a considerable amount of money in order to purchase a good and reliable device. However, you will get the opportunity to use that keyboard for a long period of time. To do not mention the “sensorial” benefits: sound and feel are just better in a well-chosen MKB.
Depending on who you ask, you might get different motivation for switching to mechanical keyboards. Some people like how their tactile feedback makes them easier to use, some others appreciate customizability. You can buy different keycaps, change their mechanical switches, and go full custom by choosing basically every single component for a tailored experience.
Let’s get to the point: the world of custom mechanical keyboards can be pretty intimidating at first. It’s like going down the rabbit hole. The process to build a keyboard from scratch requires some study, and above all preparation before jumping into action. And that’s where we hope that this infographic will come in handy. The scope is to provide an initial idea of the array of options you will experience, even if it would be impossible to try to list them all here. These are the most common choices out there, along with some general rules.
This is our infographic version 2.0. The idea is to update it regularly to expand the content and add more details. You can download the high-res for free at the link below, print it on paper or even on s mouse pad or a wallpaper. Furthermore, you can order a desk mat from our store page.
We’d love to hear your your suggestions on how to further improve this infographic. Please let us know in the comments section below, and don’t forget to rate this project. Lastly, you can explore our latest mechanical keyboard concept based on Soldier 76 character from Overwatch.
Your opinion on Usefulness:
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Your opinion on Style:
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In 2016, Blizzard—the company behind World of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft—announced Overwatch, a hero shooter where every character has a completely unique set of abilities, allowing players to find the style that best fits their needs. This project is a tribute to one of our favorite games and one of its most iconic characters: Soldier 76.
When Jeff Kaplan announced Overwatch 2 just a few weeks ago, we were in front of the screen watching Blizzcon live. And we started thinking how awesome it would be to work on a mechanical keyboard based on one of their iconic characters. “Say no more!” The day after, we started discussing some of our sketches, and we ended up prioritizing a Soldier 76 inspired design because . . . we missed him too much from the O2 reveal trailer.
First thing we had to decide was the size of the keyboard. We opted for a mechanical tenkeyless layout as it strikes a good balance between functionality and portability. After that, it was all about infusing Soldier’s style into chassis and color scheme, with the inclusion of a LED add-on that is reminiscent of his visor and it would have a practical function of acting as notification bar for Discord, Twitch, etc. The result of our brainstorm was a vector art mockup.
In the following weeks we’ve been working at the 3D render, which has allowed us to focus on the details. Colors, materials and the structure of the chassis have been refined. The notification bar has passed through a major overhaul compared to what we had in mind during the vector art phase.
The component is now getting even closer to Soldier’s visor design and since it’s supposed to act as an add-on for the keyboard we’ve included a pogo pin connector for an easy swap with other modules for different Heroes.
Other details that it is worth mentioning: portable sleek and compact design (you can decide whether to carry the Hero add-on with you or keep it home), USB Type-C plug, detachable braided cable, two-step angle adjustment and rubber feet for adequate stability.
This is it for now. We will probably get back on this project with some updates related to the add-ons, which we think could resemble some other Heroes from the Overwatch roster.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this project. Please rate this project and leave us a message down below. Let us know if you have any recommendation or if there’s a specific Hero you would like us to explore for the next add-on to the keyboard.
Brand: Blizzard Overwatch
Source of inspiration: Soldier 76 playable character
Designer: Wendi (Indonesia), Danny (Costa Rica)
We’d love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments section below, and don’t forget to rate this project.
Your opinion on Identity:
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Your opinion on Style:
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