Keycap Colorways that Doesn't Infringe on Others

My son is designing a keycap set. He’s very excited about the possibility of having a GMK set made after his own design. I’m encouraging him but also protective.

I’m familiar enough with the pre-IC process (I think…), but one thing I’m struggling with is how to ensure that his design isn’t too similar to anyone else’s. I’ve been around the community for quite a while, and recognize a lot of colorways, but I’m sure it’s not exhaustive.

I’d also appreciate any help and/or resources anyone could offer in this process. We want to make sure we do it “the right way”. I’ve seen plenty of immature ICs on geekhack and the responses, so I think I know the worst possible outcomes that we’d like to avoid.

Much thanks!


You could crosscheck this repository. Maybe even for a bit of inspiration too. Best of luck with the project!


If you have friends in the community, never hurts to ask as well; but as ajoflo has recommended, combing through keycap repositories might be a good start!


Another good resource is It’s basically a present and historical log of sorts as well, and it includes some profiles that matrix doesn’t (like KAT, etc.)



I wouldn’t worry overmuch about colorways. Frankly, I think the notion that one person can lay claim to a two-color combination is ridiculous.

The threshold for patents is that they must be “non obvious,” and even though this isn’t about patents that seems like a reasonable metric. If you have to go way out of your way to make sure that you avoid using the same couple of colors that someone else has laid claim to, then there’s something wrong with how we’re awarding this community version of copyright.

Novelties? Sure. Clever patterns? Maybe, but you need to do better than “checkerboard” or something. Again: non obvious.

Of course, that’s not going to stop people from berating your son over repeating a color combination that someone else has already used. And that would suck. So maybe don’t listen to me in this case, but this business is, in general, really dumb and needs to be re-thought.

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