[GB] Palm Desert 1968: Arabic sub-legend keyset and desk mat

Today I made available spots in my one-time run of the Palm Desert 1968 keyset. I’m almost out of my custom keyset gift boxes (handmade here in California), so this design is limited to 150 sets.

This design—a collaboration with my friend @Sour in Lebanon—is designed to embody the spirit of midcentury optimism in the Arabic-speaking world. It features two sleek modernist fonts rarely seen in keyboards: Futura (for the Latin characters) and Neue Helvetica (for the Arabic sublegends). It also uses an unusual earth-toned color palette reminiscent of the natural environmental colors seen in the deserts of the Middle East and North Africa.

Arabic sub-legend sets are extremely rare among enthusiast keycaps, and I’m delighted to be helping to redress that balance a bit with this project.

We’re working with Signature Plastics on this project, because I think they do the best dye keycap sublimation work in the word, and this set is all about a faithful representation of these beautiful letterforms. I believe that rounded rectangles of the DSA profile further understores the modernist aesthetic (and I always have a soft spot for the feel and sound of PBT).

I’m also producing a I have also created a custom desk mat that features the wistful vintage midcentury-style illustration that we created for the set. It is sold separately, currently in stock and available for shipment.

Unlike a lot of keyboard desk mats on the market, which tend towards neoprene, ours use as their upper surface a textile with a soft nap similar in feel to the Alcantara suede used on the highest-end luxury automobiles. I can’t get over how great it feels.


Here are the final colors we chose and prototyped with SP (seen in the above photos).


What an epic photo here! I’ll take all of it, including that copper Norbaforce.


Haha. That one is my daily driver at the moment and I don’t want to let it go! It has a wax “living finish,” so it has gotten darker and oxidized more around the areas where my fingers touch it (since I took the photo), which looks very organic and super cool.


Ours use … as their upper surface.

I think we’re missing a critical word here?

I read it as “ours use, as their upper surface, a textile…”
Makes sense read that way.

Beautiful set, and I’m excited to finally see this come to life. Sadly think I’ll have to sit this one out, but hope it turns out great!


Ahh, good point. The words felt out of order in my head, this does make more sense.

I’m way over budget this month for keyboard stuff, but I can’t turn down a limited edition item. Need to start selling some stuff I suppose.

Easily one of the most beautiful keyset, deskmat, and board combos I’ve seen!

Shame that my whole desktop setup tends towards black right now. I would love something like this!

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I don’t jump on here much, but very glad I happen to come across this! Got in on a set that will go nicely with the Hello Again M0110 reboot.

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It’s brilliant.


Oh, that does look rather nice… almost a film-like quality. I thought this was in the keyboards-spotting thread for a moment.

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That is absolutely beautiful.

Any care instructions available? If it’s a true suede surface, that leads me to believe cleaning will be challenging; however, “suede-like” gives me some hope that it can be a bit more flexible

Oh, it’s just a suede-like finish. It is actually a synthetic material, so some water and a gentle surfactant (like Woolite, etc.) should be fine for cleaning up stains and spills. I wouldn’t run it through the washing machine through. :slight_smile:


Thanks for the reply! Coffee is seldom out of spilling radius on my desk so it’s really helpful info to have

Haha. That is true of pretty much every object in my life.


I’ve finalized our production order to SP today.

14 sets remain. :slight_smile:


Anyone else reminded of riding the bus and making patterns on the back of seats when using this deskmat? Love the texture, fits well in theme as well. Thanks for the mat Norbauer!


Texture is also cat approved for those wondering.