Signature Plastics looking to sell business 😢

I don’t even know what to make of this. I have no idea who could buy them. Anyone got money to spend on injection molding?


Time to sell some of those boards, @pixelpusher :moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag:


The title of this post seems a bit off the mark. Their announcement says Bob Guenser is retiring and Melissa Petersen doesn’t want to take his place, but without them there are still dozens of staff at Signature Plastics who can continue making keycaps.


One of the biggest challenges Signature Plastics will experience in 2024 will be a change in ownership as Bob Guenser prepares for retirement and Melissa Petersen, the Queen of Keycaps, contemplates new opportunities outside the world of keycaps. It’s been a great ride, and it’s not an easy decision, but we both feel the time has come to end this journey and move on. We are currently searching for buyer candidates who appreciate the role the company has played in the evolution of computer keyboards over the past 50 years, and who are also committed to preserving and continuing the legacy tied to that history.

Maybe SP looking to sell their business? It’s says “end this journey.” That’s a sentence that needs clarification. The leadership end their journey with the company, or the company ending their journey making keycaps? No longer make keycaps is what I take from it, but I see your version as well.

If they can’t find a buyer, what happens? :man_shrugging:


Paging Mr Norbauer…


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I love the idea of a domestic keycap manufacturer. I like it even more because they’re reasonably local to me (approx 4 hour drive).

That said.

SP needs to bring their game up. I like SA, but I prefer MT3 and other profiles have come up that they’ve lost the chance to be the leaders in. So I think some new leadership may just be what SP needs and I hope very much they turn things around and really become a major US manufacturer of caps. Something akin to GMK.


Honestly, I’d consider being (a small) part of a new ownership team if it weren’t that, to me at least, SP’s only value seems to be as a legacy brand.

Investment in turning a lead-time intensive business into an in-stock business is hefty in time, money and execution. But in our hobby, the limiting factor of success is creativity and differentiation, not just pumping out a product. By nature, what’s different sells, so designers have to rest on their laurels just a tiny bit to provide responses to design gaps in the market. To me, the market for SP keycaps is a subset of PC Building, a subset of mechanical keyboard purchasing, a further subset of keycap-design aficianados, and a final subset of profile die-hards. Tiny. Especially when market giants like Microsoft are trying to move to Cloud-only Windows and Office. It might mean all my friendly co-manufacturers and partners start disappearing as their streams of revenue start declining away from hardware.

There’s a chance to use SP to produce miniature run replicas with authentic-to-the-original form factors of older computers from yesteryears. Something like NES Classics but with retro computers. But then they’ve also sold some of their tooling to, what I think it was, DOMIKEY? So even in the “home-grown” market of “SP enthusiasts”, the new owners would have direct competition against their past selves and near-perfect copycats. And I suspect the market of “retro-enthusiasts” that would keep a “legacy brand” around would prefer seeking out the original hardware itself for preservation.

I love SP. So much. But I also get it. I think there was a fork in the road some time around 5 years ago, where if they doubled down on spinning up more tooling and reducing lead times, they could have sped past GMK, and would have enough recurring revenue for none of this to be the end of the line. It wasn’t even obvious then that the size of the market would 5X, or that we would all have “build a home office” as a to-do line item in 2020. But if the current owners were nearing retirement with no plan of succession, I get what they didn’t try to grow the business one last time. I hope they had fun during their turn getting into the pages of computer design books.

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I really have full understanding for both and their decisions.

I just hope that this doesn’t mean the end of SP.
Finding someone to take over, both the enthusiasm and the risks, is always a difficult phase in a company’s life.

A bit sad to say it, but I kind of agree with @Extra_Fox and @ClappingCactus on

In the recent years much has happened on the keycaps-front, new profiles, more variety, more innovation. In my opinion, we don’t need a another new profile every week :wink:, but there have been som really interesting and positive innovations as well.
And I had a feeling that SP did not seem to keep up with the speed of changes and development.
While that is understandable, it also makes it harder for whoever might take over SP.

In any case, I keep my fingers crossed.
Maybe I’ll see DSA with us-intl sublegends one day, I’ve been nagging SP for a couple of years now… :laughing:

They had that new PBT SA promising line. They still do the best SA keycaps on the market, with Domikey a close second (still lighter weight per key).

Damn,not the news I wanted to see today. Hopefully this is just a changing of the guard & not the end of SP completely.

Edit: You know something I was thinking about too. They could easily break being looked at as a legacy keycap maker if they brought back thick DCS. I know I would view newly made thick DCS caps as a true competitor to GMK, KKB, & DCX sets. Not sure how many other would view it that way though.


If SP can’t innovate on their own, they should look towards being a foundry. Work with designers to bring their ideas to life. Invest in rapid prototyping and start exploring new designs. I think the design of a keycap is far from settled and perfect is an entirely individual thing so there’s room for new innovations.

Is this a profitable approach?

I honestly have no idea, but I like the idea for completely selfish reasons.

Also, I want them to make Ursa so bad. Yes, I know that’s not going to happen, but a sentient animal can dream.


Could this be why a bunch of their keycaps are discounted?

I literally just ordered the SA 1976 4 days ago since I wanted to try the SA profile for the first time. Very sad to read. Let’s hope they find a suitable buyer in due time.



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