Inspired by early 19th century history.
Optimized for affordable language compatibility.
Group Buy November 9th, 2020
- United States: MKUltra
- Europe: mykeyboard.eu
- Canada: HID Technologies
- Also Canada: g Heavy Industries (Madness Kit only)
- Southeast Asia: Hex Keyboards
- China / Rest of World: zFrontier
- Main KAT Napoleonic Site on Wordpress
- KAT Napoleonic Interest Check Survey
- Renders & Kits on imgur:
US English on KBD19X by KBDfans. Renders by Manzel.
On the Ninth of November, 1799 (18 Brumaire in the Revolutionary calendar), a coup d’etat overthrew the French Directorate and replaced it with a new government: a Consulate to be led by General Napoleon Bonaparte. Just a few short years later, he would be crowned Emperor.
To say his rise to power ruffled a few feathers across Europe would be a gross understatement. While he is credited with bringing about positive reforms to the legal and governmental systems of France, his legacy is one tainted by costly, bloody wars across the continent.
Those early decades of the nineteenth century, from Napoleon’s rise to his death, roughly mark the Napoleonic Period, an era that left indelible marks upon the face of Europe and the world.
KAT Napoleonic is a keycap set in the KAT profile that explores the history and artistic depictions of the Napoleonic Period.
US International on Mech27-TKL by Mech27. Render by Manzel.
KAT Napoleonic utilizes a modified form of Playfair Display for most of its alpha keys and legend text. It is a serif-based typeface (uncommon in keycaps), and it is inspired by the Transitional and Neoclassical typefaces of the nineteenth century: Baskerville, Bodoni, and Didot.
Wide Affordable Localization
Because of the global nature of Napoleon’s impact on history, a primary goal for KAT Napoleonic has always been wide localization support. While it may not always be practical for manufacturers to support a wider array of languages and layouts in a cost-effective manner, the KAT profile does provide that flexibility.
While this keyset cannot feasibly provide support for every language worldwide, KAT Napoleonic supports more than twenty-one locales in base alpha kits. Kits available include many that are rarely (if ever) seen in the Mechanical Keyboard hobby: Swiss, BÉPO, South Slavic, Tamil, Cherokee, and Canadian French.
Colors & Uniforms
KAT Napoleonic’s primary alpha legends present dark indigo text upon a warm, ivory-like white background. A lower-contrast yellow-gold color is used for alpha key sublegends.
KAT Napoleonic’s modifier keys come in three “uniforms” of color, each inspired by the military uniforms of the era, with particular attention to the Battle of Austerlitz (1805). Austerlitz was a clash of three empires: France, Russia, and Austria. For KAT Napoleonic, you are likewise given a choice of three uniforms: French Indigo, Russian Green, and Austrian White.
Read more about the Colors & Uniforms on Wordpress.
Only a subset of renders are shown here (to keep the page from taking forever to load).
Please visit the Wordpress site to view all renders in full resolution. Alternatively, check out the Renders album on imgur.
S7-Elephant by jacky. Metternich alphas with TKL mods in Austrian White & Novelties. Render by manzel.
Mech27-TKL by Mech27. Waterloo alphas with TKL mods in French Indigo. Render by manzel.
Boardrun CNC by Shensmobile. Uhlan alphas with Ergo mods in Russian Green & Novelties. Render by manzel.
Neuron by walletburner. Pondicherry alphas with Forties mods in French Indigo. Render by manzel.
Abacus by SomeGreekGuy (unreleased). Austrian White numpad kit. Render by manzel.
As is typical for KAT, customers will need to choose a selection of “kits” that together will cover their chosen keyboard(s). For KAT Napoleonic, kits are broken into three major categories:
- Alpha Kits
- Core Mod Kits
- Miscellaneous Kits
There are 21 different base Alpha kits currently planned. This list is not final, and some locales may be removed, updated, or added based on the results of the Interest Check survey.
Alpha Kits Table
Alpha kits that provide standard US QWERTY characters either in legends or sublegends are noted in bold in the rightmost column.
Except where noted, all Alpha kits use Windows 10 as the basis for all legends. Not all characters produced by AltGr or Shift+AltGr are provided in sublegends, with some omitted to keep kit sizes and prices from ballooning while maintaining compatibility.
The latest images are currently provided in this album:
KAT Napoleonic Alpha Kits
|Alpha Kit||Subcategory||Languages / Locales|
|Act of Mediation||QWERTZ||Swiss French & Swiss German|
|Agustina||QWERTY||Spanish (European & Latin American)|
|Alexander||Non-Latin||Russian, Belarusian, & Ukrainian (US sublegends)|
|Bernadotte||QWERTY||Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Faroese, & Estonian|
|Bépoleon Nonaparte||Alternative||French BÉPO|
|Blücher||QWERTY||Eurkey v1.2 & v1.3 (US primary legends)|
|Chateauguay||QWERTY||Combined Canadian Multilingual & Canadian French|
|Doppelkaiser||QWERTZ||Combined South Slavic Latin & Hungarian|
|Jonathan Strange||Alternative||Colemak, Asset, Norman, & Workman|
|Karađorđe||Non-Latin||South Slavic Cyrillic (Latin QWERTZ sublegends)|
|Marie Louise||AZERTY||French (Apple) & Belgian French|
|Metternich||QWERTZ||German & Austrian|
|Mr Norrell||Alternative||Dvorak (US & UK English)|
|Nagasaki||Non-Latin||Japanese JIS & ANSI-JP with Katakana (US primary legends included)|
|Pondicherry||Non-Latin||Indian Tamil (Tamil 99)|
|Sequoyah||Non-Latin||Cherokee Nation (US English sublegends)|
|Uhlan||QWERTY||Combined Polish & Lithuanian (US English primary legends)|
|Waterloo||QWERTY||US International (Netherlands)|
|Wellington||QWERTY||UK English & Irish|
Core Modifier Kits
There are five core modifier kits for KAT Napoleonic, each provided with two-or-three colored “uniform” options: French Indigo, Russian Green, or Austrian White. Each core modifier kit also comes with a custom set of military-themed novelty keys: Retreat, Attack, Support, and Hold.
Core Mod Kits on Wordpress
Some boards require one of the additional Miscellaneous Kits (e.g. Spacebars) for complete coverage. See the shopping list for examples.
Core Mod Kits Table
|Mods||French Indigo||Russian Green||Austrian White|
|TKL Mods||TKL in Indigo||TKL in Green||TKL in White|
|Numpad||Numpad in Indigo||Numpad in Green||Numpad in White|
|Ortho Mods||Ortho in Indigo||Ortho in Green||Ortho in White|
|Forties Mods||Forties in Indigo||Forties in Green|
|Ergo Mods||Ergo in Indigo||Ergo in Green|
Miscellaneous Kits on Wordpress
As has been noted several times, complete information about this keyset can be found on the KAT Napoleonic Home Page on Wordpress: (https://tinyurl.com/kat-napoleonic).
Physical Color Standards
KAT-Nap colors: RAL 5011, RAL 9010, Pantone 7403 U, RAL 6005, & RAL 3031
Colors shown in keyboard renders and diagrams should not be treated as accurate representations of final keycap colors. Manufacturer samples will be checked against physical color decks of the RAL and Pantone standards above. Be aware that some variation is always possible, and these colors are not guaranteed to be exact.
Existing Set Comparison
Early concept diagrams for KAT Napoleonic drew comparisons to GMK Rudy by Warrenified. Because the keycap designer community tends to frown on overly-similar colorways, Warrenified was consulted so as to double-check that we were in fact using different colors.
Deskpads & Peripherals (WIP)
Visit the Wordpress site for more details.
Copyright & Citations
Creative Commons Derivative Works
The following component designs and icons are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3 (full license text):
- Austrian Shield Outline. Derivative work based on “Imperial Coat of Arms of the Empire of Austria.svg” by Sodacan @ Wikimedia Commons (https://tinyurl.com/omvdoy9).
- Bee Monogram. Derivative work based on “Imperial Coat of Arms of France (1804-1815).svg” by Katepanomegas @ Wikimedia Commons (https://tinyurl.com/yd8ezb7p).
- French Shield Outline. Derivative work based on “Imperial Coat of Arms of France (1804-1815).svg” by Katepanomegas @ Wikimedia Commons (https://tinyurl.com/yd8ezb7p).
- Minard Chart. Derivative work based on “Minard’s Map (vectorized).svg” by Martin Grandjean @ Wikimedia Commons (https://tinyurl.com/yacwdyvt).
- Russian Shield Outline. Derivative work based on “Imperial Standard of the Emperor of Russia (1858–1917).svg” by TRAJAN 117 @ Wikimedia Commons (https://tinyurl.com/y7fryjn4).
Public Domain Works Cited
- Bellangé, Hippolyte. “Light Infantry: Voltigeur and Carabinier from the Grande Armée.” From Histoire de Napoleon by P.-M. Laurent de L`Ardeche. 1843. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons. URL: https://tinyurl.com/yymvd5qe
- David, Jacques-Louis. Napoleon Crossing the Alps. First version, painted 1800. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons. URL: https://tinyurl.com/yycndry3
- David, Jacques-Louis. Napoleon Crossing the Alps. Third version, painted 1802. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons. URL: https://tinyurl.com/y36vvhg8
- Gérard, François. The Battle of Austerlitz, 2nd December 1805. Painted 1810. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons. URL: https://tinyurl.com/y6zsvxk9
- Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg. Painting in the Castle Gallery at Český Krumlov. Unidentified painter, 19th century. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons. URL: https://tinyurl.com/yxafg7gg
- Knotel, Richard. Uniformenkunde, Lose Blatter zur Geschihte der Entwicklung der militarischen Tracht. Berlin, 1890. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons. URL: https://tinyurl.com/y39cw53g
- Louis-François, Baron Lejeune. Battle of Borodino 1812. Painted 1822. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons. URL: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Battle_of_Borodino_1812.png
- Moshkov, Vladimir Ivanovich. Battle of Leipzig. Painted 1815. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons. URL: https://tinyurl.com/y364sppl
- Neumann, Fritz. The charge of the 19th Hungarian infantry regiment in the Battle of Leipzig (1813) against the French. Painted 19th century. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons. URL: https://tinyurl.com/y3gwv9e7
- Philippoteaux, Henri Félix Emmanuel. The Battle of Waterloo: The British Squares Receiving the Charge of the French Cuirassiers. Painted 1874. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons. URL: https://tinyurl.com/y57saukc
- Tolstoy, Leo. War and Peace. Excerpt from the original Russian text. Published 1869. Accessed via Master Russian. URL: http://masterrussian.com/war_and_peace.shtml
- Vernet, Horace. The Battle of Hanau. Painted 1824. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons. URL: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vernet-Battle_of_Hanau.jpg
All historical blurbs appearing in kit diagrams are paraphrased from various Wikipedia articles, except for a few selected quotes from:
- Clarke, Susanna. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. Bloomsbury, copyright 2004. Goodreads URL: https://tinyurl.com/yxps4uaf
No intellectual property from the above was used in the design of the actual keycaps or deskmats. Quotes and names used from Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell in kit diagrams are intended as an homage. No endorsement of KAT Napoleonic by Susanna Clarke or Bloomsbury has been given nor should be implied.
All other designs are copyright 2020 by W. Alex Ronke (a.k.a. NoPunIn10Did). All Rights Reserved.
- Thanks to my wife, the love of my life, who has been very patient and supportive of all my creative endeavors.
- Thanks to my daughter, who is an absolutely adorable four-year-old and brings so much joy to my life.
- Thanks to Erik (a.k.a. MK Ultra), who believed in this project while it was still a germ of an idea.
- Huge thanks to manzel for his amazing and punctual render work.
- Thanks to Konstantin for all the advice on the particulars of punctuation positioning in legends as well as for drawing the correct Cyrillic J for the Karađorđe alpha kit.
- Thanks to myKeyboard.eu and HID Technologies for committing to be vendors for this set, and for helping considerably with French conjugation & translation.
- Thanks to onecreativemind for early advice on the modifier icons.
- Thanks to Alex Lin at zFrontier for answering my KAT questions and committing to a Group Buy date early in this process.
- Thanks to Ulliam for providing renders for the J02, the Prime_E, and the GMK Rudy comparison.
- Thanks to shensmobile for sharing the Boardrun CNC file and for being a good creative sounding-board.
- Thanks to walletburner for giving us permission to render the Neuron keyboard.
- Thanks to SomeGreekGuy for sharing the Abacus CNC file and giving permission to render it.
- Thanks to the members and moderators of the many Discord servers where I’ve solicited feedback for this and other projects, with particular thanks to:
- 40% Keyboards
- Keycap Designers
- Carolina Keyboards
- Keyboard Atelier