ctrlaltlogo I have wanted to talk to BunnyLake for a while since the announcement of the JT Keycaps GB. I have always found [CTRL]ALT to be one of the more reliable stable platforms in the community. So it’s no secret I’m kind of a fan of their entire ethos. You will probably be able to tell by some questions I asked. But the main reason for this interview was the JT Keycaps announcement. It a new step in the community as this is a community group, who have managed to get some form of keycap production service that it suited to how the community consumes these types of keycaps.

I did not get to talk to Bunny in the end so this was all done through text. Hopefully in the future I will be able to do a voice interview but he is very busy.

If you were unaware of what is going on, BunnyLake is a member of [CTRL]ALT who have recently announced they are getting keycaps made with JT Keycaps. I wrote a little about the announcement nearer the time of release. [CTRL]ALT have been responsible for a couple of successful groupbuys in the past and have made this interesting move to become more involved in the production process.


Relating to JT Keycaps:

What is the relationship between [CTRL]ALT and JT Keycaps? By this I mean who initiated the ‘partnership’ and what kind of relationship do you have. Who approached who?

JT Keycaps is a good friend of mine who I have worked with on several keyboard and ctrl alt related projects in the past, as we already had an established relationship, it was less about who approached who, and more a natural evolution to work on this together

Did you propose the idea of making keycaps, and were you instrumental in the inception of JT Keycaps?

I was around for its inception, but can’t take any credit, it was a passion project for JT that I worked on in an advisory capacity along the way

How long has this been in the works?

As for how long its been in the works, I guess its been an idea for 2 or 3 years, and a physical working reality for 12 – 18 months in the prototyping and testing stage

Is [CTRL]ALT the storefront for JT Keycaps? Will others be able to initiate group buys or will this have to go through you first? Or are you simple starting things off? If others are allowed to submit designs in any way, is there a MOQ?

Anything is possible in the future, right now, it’s a semi closed environment, whilst more research and development occurs, however once the range of keys and materials builds up, and the mass production process is refined, those are certainly options for the future

What colour options do you have available?

Anything and everything

Are there any plans to use different materials, such as PBT or POM?

We have already used such materials, and certainly have plans to work with them in the future

Already you have started off with something quite ambitious. The announcement of Topre to MX sliders is quite an interesting one. In the past this has been thought of but no one has been able to make it happen due to the costs. How have you done things differently? Due to the fast turnover time does this mean you are able to support some more unusual layouts in kits? Do you have the means to make custom doubleshot keycaps? Would this just mean a price increase?

We can indeed make custom doubleshot caps, and in a way every cap in the set is a custom doubleshot, but in the sense you mean, yes we can do custom keys, there obviously is a cost to this, but not an unmanageable one. As for the more unusual layouts, the short lead time works against us in a way on this, each key takes time, and lots of testing, but over time the range of keys and options will grow

Do you see yourself doing other products like Topre to MX sliders in the future? Or will it be mainly keycaps?

No idea, we shall see where these things take us

Do you see yourself and JT Keycaps as a rival to the other big companies, namely Signature Plastics and GMK?

Not a rival, but an alternative, I think there is a big gap in the market for what we are offering, the goal really being GMK quality with signature plastics flexibility

What are you doing or going to do differently to those other companies? Are there any particular mistakes they make that you see yourself avoiding?

I think really this is a question for the future more so than now, these are big established companies with a lot of money behind them, there are of course things I can see other companies do that I don’t agree with, or things I would like to see that I’m not seeing with other companies, but this really is a start-up, and right now we are just concentrating of making the best product we can

What do you think the reaction will be to you or JT Keycaps as a new entry into the market? Do you see this pushing other companies to lower prices and maybe innovate a bit more?

I think it would be naïve to think we would have much of an impact right now, realistically I don’t think even the buying power of our enthusiast communities have much of an impact on these companies, I think they make the majority of their money through more commercial sources. The way I think of what we are doing is this, trying to offer something to the community, from within the community, I’m not focused on the other companies so much as I am on helping get a service out there more catered to our enthusiast needs (more flexibility, lower costs, shorter lead times)

From the currently available information you seem to be a cut above the rest, do you already see yourself as outperforming the competition? What times can be expected for groupbuys to complete?

This first buy will have a slightly longer lead time that future ones, most like about 3 – 4 weeks, with it being a first run, we expect some issues we will have to overcome in the process, and will have very strict quality control, but once we have production dialed in, the lead times will be considerable reduced from that

Earlier on in the announcement you suggested it might be possible to create Topre keycaps. Does the announcement of Topre to MX sliders mean this is no longer necessary? Would you produce Alps keycaps? Or is this just down to the demand?

Its down to a few things, cost, time and demand, but anything is possible, right now we are concentrating on getting this first set right, but we will have some big announcements regarding Topre shortly

Could you possible create something a bit more complicated such as buckling spring keycaps (one piece or two piece construction)?

The answer is the same as above, however we don’t have any plans in that regard right now

Have you collaborated with Matt3o with their recent Topre spacebar GB? It seems they have found a manufacturer for Topre keycaps. Is this related to JT Keycaps?

It isn’t, we did discuss this and I am currently working with matteo on both current and future projects, but they had found a manufacturer for that before we had made any announcements

The introduction GB is for cherry profile keycaps, are you going to offer other profiles in the future?

Highly possible but nothing confirmed as of yet, as with many of the above questions, it really comes down to how successful this becomes

Do you have anything else planned for the future which you might be able to tease?


Has this signalled a change in how [CTRL]ALT is perceived? By this I mean do you think you will be seen as more of a company or corporation in the community?

We are not a company or a business, just a bunch of community members who want to see new things

More General on [CTRL]ALT:

Is there anything else currently planned for [CTRL]ALT? I am particularly interested in your keyboards such as the [CTRL]ALT 60.

We have tons plans, and some big announcements coming soon, I’m going to be a bit MIA around September and October, with my baby being born, so right now it’s planning what can be started and completed before then, and what should wait until after then when ill have the time to commit to it 100%

I believe it was in the [CTRL]ALT ama on your blog that you suggested you were trying to make [CTRL]ALT more standalone with its own community. Is this still the planned evolution of [CTRL]ALT.

Not necessarily with its own community, but we are certainly working on the site right now to make it a more standalone effort, right now its so intrinsically linked with gh, that is how we announce everything and provide updates, and as ctrl alt has grown, so to does the way we both promote and communicate, we are working on ctrl alt v2 right now, and it’ll be both more user friendly, and able to stand on its own 2 feet than it is in its current state

[CTRL]ALT seems to be quite successful in creating its own independent shop is there a long term plan and do you see yourself and the [CTRL]ALT team expanding?

Really we are just a group of friends, I don’t know where it’ll go, but I’ve had problems before with letting people in and being let down, whereas now its really just a group of people I consider friends, and trust completely, who are as passionate about what we are doing as I am, so we may expand, but it would be a very organic thing

[CTRL]ALT is a platform for Brocaps sales, would you be open to allowing other artisans to sell their caps through [CTRL]ALT. If so this would have to be curated carefully to ensure it is just not another marketplace, but [CTRL]ALT is in a position to give a boost to some artisans. Has this been considered, or is there just not a call for it?

I would not be against the idea, but I am very picky who I work with, bro is a long time friend of mine, and it was a relationship that happened naturally, the only other artisan right now I would go out of my way to work with is kult worship kaps, and that is because I’m both friends with him, and stand behind the aesthetic and quality of what he is producing, that isn’t a knock against other cap makers at all, there are others I respect, but they have their own outlets, as well as some I just wouldn’t want to have anything to do with

Are you proud and impressed with what you have created with [CTRL]ALT? From my point of view it seems like one of the best sites in terms of design and products.

I am very proud of what we have achieved in the time period we have, there are certainly things I wish went down differently, but as an overall body of work, I’m very happy, I just wish I had more time

Are there any more planned ‘podcasts’ for the [CTRL]ALT blog? Although, I am not sure if this is your area.

There are indeed, I worked very closely with sent on that side of the site, however due to some personal reasons he has had to step back for a bit, so it’ll either return when he does, or if he is not in a position to continue, we will certainly find someone or several people to continue it


Although this was a short interview, I did find it maintained my excitement for JT Keycaps and the future. From what I heard it does seem like this is going to be an exciting thing for the community. If you own a Topre board and haven’t already participated I highly recommend it. The Sliders by themselves are worth the price.

Join the GB Here https://ctrlalt.io/buys/jtk-debut


This is all through Bunny. He has kindly said I can do a small gift bag giveaway. It will most likely include a [CTRL]ALT T-Shirt and a keyring. But you are at the mercy of Bunny. All you have to do is follow my twitter. I haven’t done anything with it yet but I am hoping to in the future. I’ll pick a random winner on Friday.


Axol and blank Recently I have had no luck at winning any of the cap raffles. However, it seems my luck has turned. I have just received my KatzenKinder keycaps from the 4.0 sale.

I received two keycaps, both of which were my primary choice. The sale was in the form of a raffle. Given the choice of 5 and only receiving 2, you don’t know which you will get.

I was drawn to the caps for different reasons. The pink and white Axol appealed mainly because of the Axol design. This is wholly unique and I can’t think of another maker who does a similar thing, but the colours of this one were the major draw. Pink and white make a great combination on any light coloured board. As it turned out, the colours work really well on my white POK3R. POK3R axol The other keycap I received was the two colour Topre blank, that is orange and translucent. With the difficulty that comes with getting any coloured caps on a Topre board, I was happy to receive any Topre one. I was surprised with how well this fits on my HHKB. The small change of colour works nicely on the Esc key and leaves nothing to be desired. Again I was drawn to these colours. They are not as strikingly contrasting as the other, but I still think it works extremely well.



Axol :)

I will preface this by saying it is my favourite keycap design I have seen. I am a fan of Brobots but I see something special in the Axol design. Colour is very important and I think this is a brilliant combination. The design and craft of the keycap is where there is room for discussion.

As you can see from the photo the cast is not perfect. There are some visible bubbles, mainly on the back of the keycap that cuts out the corners. Some imperfection can also be seen on the Axol design itself. This is not something I consider bad with this type of keycap. I see this as an artisan keycap. Although Katzen might not have envisioned the keycap with these defects, I like it no less for having these blemishes. If it were to be perfectly casted, I wouldn’t see myself liking it any more. The Axol design is extremely characterful and the small defects only add to this.

Although I say this I have shown appreciation in the past for the clean cast that Brocaps is able to achieve, I really like how unique my Axol is.

The weight of this keycap is a little different. It feels chunkier and this can be heard in the sound of the clack. It is a much deeper sound than the stock POK3R keycaps and is a nice sound. But I have been using it on escape so it only gets a lot of use when I use Vim. Nevertheless when using it I appreciate the sound. You can see the difference in the stems as the keycap is more filled in. mk. This gives it the weight and the thickness but I also believe this will give stability to the stem. The stem fits fine and I have had no trouble with the fit. The pink stem is also very pretty, despite it not being in view whenever it’s in use. comparison of MX stems

Topre Blank

Topre Blank As this is my first Topre artisan I do not have a whole lot to compare to. However, a common complaint I have heard of Topre artisans is the complication of the stem. It seems recreating the Topre stem is not that easy. It is made up of quite thin walls and would be hard to mold and cast. When comparing this stem to a stock HHKB keycap you will instantly notice the difference. It is much thicker, and is filled in through the centre. I have not found this to fit anything different from the stock. If anything I have found this to fit a little better. There is no sliding and I have no complaints for the fit.

Topre stems The cast of this cap seems to be a perfect shape. Although, there is a little roughness around the bottom edge. From what I can tell this is a direct cast from an F row key of an existing Topre keycap. Comparing it again to a stock keycap, it seems like quite a perfect mould. The shape has been perfectly replicated. I am also impressed with the texture that was achieved on top.

The colour is a nice orange, it is not bright but subdued. It sits atop a translucent base and there is a clash in the middle where you can see a bit of white where the colours have joined. I think this is just the nature of using translucent plastic. The orange portion is also not entirely solid. It seems to contain flecks of red or a slightly deeper orange. I am not sure If I was able to capture this in the photos. I do like this effect, and it adds slight variance into having a solid colour.


I am content with the keycaps I received. The reason I am drawn to artisan keycaps is the creativity and the interesting designs. Whilst one was just a coloured blank I still see it as a very nice keycap. My favourite, however, is the Axol. It is a unique design, and I hope this is not the last. Overall the quality is quite high. The casting is not perfect but I don’t see this as something I am really looking for, as the casting is not a detriment to the design. Regardless, I assume Katzen strives for the best quality possible and will improve on the casting aspects in continued keycap creation.

KatzenKinder is currently AFK link to sale thread

The keycaps also came with some nice customised packaging. I thought this was a really nice touch. </a>


Quite excitingly Brocaps has been very active recently. Straight into April Brocaps introduced his new line of keycaps “Precision Gaming”.

Precision Gaming

red precision gaming The current release of keycaps are the “Topre Gamers Set”. The current offering is: Esc row key, WASD keys and Fn keys. This of course draws similarities to the previously ongoing announcement of the previous Topre Gamer Set. However one difference is the Esc row key.
I think this announcement is more representative of what he may be offering and the previous thread was just more of a showcase. However, these keycaps are looking incredibly nice. Brocaps standards are impeccable and these are some stunning looking keycaps. The texture on them looks amazing and the colour is very deep and almost entrancing. These are certainly holding a high standard for artisan keycaps. It is fair to say that the reception has been great for these keycaps. But this is a common theme with Brocaps.

Easter Keycaps

pink easter keycaps Initially this was only a tease. The keycaps shown were pastel coloured Topre in Esc row, WASD and Fn. There are both textured caps which I believe to be the gamer keycaps and Brobots v2 for the Esc row. The sale eventually happened on the 15th of April. While this was not quite Easter, the sale was good. It did include Brobots V2, Bronads and the Topre Gamer set’s. Again Brocaps set’s quite a high quality and these keycaps lived up to his designs.

Kush 420 Sale

This was another almost surprise sale. It featured mainly green and purple keycaps. The full list of what was included is here it is quite a long list. Nothing much to say about these. I’m not a huge fan of the colours but his impeccable quality can still be seen in these caps.


mfgt over This was a small giveaway following the previous sale. It featured quite a nice range of different keycaps including some nice pink Topres. The frequency of the current Brocaps sales is quite refreshing as it gives more people opportunities to get the keycaps they want, and for new people to enter the market.


katzen sale Had a 4.0 sale. The sale included:

  • 8 x Topre blanks
  • 6 x MX blanks
  • 9 x MX Axols
  • 6 x MX Beardboys

I think KatzenKinder is a great keycap maker and I really like the colour combinations used in most of their keycaps. The Axol design is also a very nice signature keycap.


stormtrooper Girldc is someone who I was not aware of until recently. I had seen their caps before, but I didn’t know who made them. Recently there has been a resurgence in production or so it seems. As I understand it they may or may not be banned at geekhack.
I was drawn to this information by this thread. From my perspective they make some very nice keycaps and the metal keycaps are quite a niche that when done well, work well. I would like to see a return of Girldc to the geekhack marketplace but who knows what will happen.


I’m not sure is there is any collaboration between v0idtek and YM_Industries. Nevertheless, v0idteks post on /r/MK drew my attention to these 3d printed keycaps. They are quite unlike anything you may have seen a lot of. It is certainly nice to see some new keycaps that aren’t just fancy designs. This really mixes things up. Whether or not it will work, remains to be seen.



HKP photo. Links to sales thread.
The Hotkeys Project has also been quite active this month. Most notably is the sales through https://mechanicalkeyboards.com. This is quite interesting and a step up from forum selling. It is a sign of the times when an artisan keycap maker is able to sell through these channels and nice to see some evolution in the market. The demand is for the product is clearly shown by how selling methods have been adapted. Also, note that the caps being sold through mechanicalkeyboards.com include exclusive to the store keycaps. The April sale began on the 29th and ended on the 1st of May.
This sale featured:

  • Ravens
  • Warmasters
  • Gasmasks

I think the ravens are the best of Hotkeys designs and it seems to be the most sought after or at least in league with the gasmasks.
This sale was also accompanied by a giveaway that ended on the 30th. It seems customary now for any sale to end with some form of giveaway. This seems like a nice tradition as it again gives people a chance go get more caps. The giveaways also take quite a creative form where answers have to be thought out. So I think this is one of the fairer systems.


Krytone had a recent sale titled MetalliKrap. I recommend checking the thread to see some pictures of the recent keycaps. I am not a huge fan of their designs, but I do appreciate the talent. They all appear to be very well made with no visible defects. The colour combinations are also quite different. Krytone is doing something a little different to everyone else. Although Krytone seems to be a smaller seller their quality is still up there with the rest, I am sure you have seen their work elsewhere before.


buck storm Buckling is still around and with another storm trooper iteration. It’s certainly not perfect but is an improvement on the previous versions. They are worth keeping an eye on as there is some definite improvement. Keep going and you never know what could happen.


keycap A potential keycap maker. Only with one design of a polaroid keycap, the design seems very popular. It might only be launching in a semi private groupbuy at this stage. But I expect it will be available at some point. Quite rightly there are worries over the durability of 3d printed caps with smaller parts.


beer beer Quite a late addition to this months edition is WinterWinds. Last month they created the watermelon keycap which I only gave an honourable mention to. This month they have created a beer cap. This may have some controversy surrounding it as has some obvious similarities to the clack of the similar nature. However I think this edition is fine, whilst it is quite a fine line, it does have some differences. Most obviously the addition of bubbles to the base, but most interestingly the fact it is an alps cap. I don’t think Clack Factory has produced this particular design in alps form. From a design perspective it appears to be well made. It looks smooth all around, with no visible blemishes. This is all quite impressive from someone who doesn’t appear to have made a lot.

Non Artisan Keycap News

There has been an update on the JTKeycaps and [CTRL]ALT. Initially the groupbuy was going to start on the 1st of May however that seems to have changed to the 5th. From the photos that have been released so far they seem of high quality. There is nothing to say that is not speculation at this point. But I will say it anyway, this will probably bring good things to the community.
As well as this development a ‘JT Keycaps’ account has been created on geekhack. If you had any doubt that this was going to involve integration and communication with the community, this should be evidence enough to suggest otherwise. Already they seem to be skipping one of Signature Plastics biggest criticisms.

Future of Keycap Roundup

As I was writing this, I noticed a lot of the content may have been a bit useless. There have been a lot of sales recently and listing past sales is not really beneficial to anybody. But what I was trying to create with these posts, was a comprehensive goings on in the artisan keycap world. So I think I will include this stuff for now. But I may change up the format in the future. The main goal was to shed light on some smaller makers who might not be getting the attention they deserve. I would like to share their artwork to those who might have missed it. But then again I might also miss it, so if I miss anything I am sorry.