Hi there! My name is Nick Smith and I’m an Australian artist who specializes in keycap painting.
I began this unusual pursuit back in 2015, after browsing a popular online keyboard enthusiast forum called Geekhack and stumbling upon discussion of hobbyist-produced creations called artisan keycaps which are essentially miniature sculptures designed to be mounted on mechanical keyboards in place of regular keys.
One of my teen hobbies was painting miniatures for a tabletop wargame called Warhammer 40k Epic, and remembering how much better the models always looked after painting and wanting to take my life in an artistic direction at the time, I decided to try painting a few keycaps. Three years and over one hundred & eighty painted artisans later I’m still dreaming of ways to improve as an artist and take them to a new level.
If you’d like me to paint one of your artisan keycaps you’re welcome to contact me via email or through my Reddit and Geekhack accounts. I also have Geekhack thread and an Instagram page where I post photos of my work.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Which countries do you ship to?
The USA, Canada, Western Europe, parts of the Middle-East, Asia, Australia & NZ.
- Which shipping methods do you offer?
Australia Post Economy Air is the free shipping method for all keycaps sold on the Store, and has proven to be fast & reliable.
Australia Post Standard Air offers package tracking and is a USD $5 upgrade for keycaps sold on the Store. It is the default shipping method for commissioned keycaps at a cost of USD $15, and any number of commissioned keycaps can be posted at the same time for the same flat rate. More expensive Courier and Express postage options are available on request.
- How long does shipping usually take?
This varies but typically International parcels take 1-2 weeks to arrive.
Domestic parcels usually arrive within a week of being posted.
- What sort of packaging do you ship keycaps in?
Keycaps are shipped inside hard plastic film canisters which are extremely difficult to bend. These are then packed inside an Australia Post cardboard shipping box for further protection.
- Which payment methods do you accept?
Currently only PayPal payments. You can use your credit card through PayPal or direct debit funds out of your bank account.
There are no immediate plans to accept other forms of payment as PayPal is generally regarded as the most secure & widely accepted online payment system.
- Which currencies do you accept?
American Dollars, with no plans to change in the foreseeable future.
You can find a good online currency converter here.
- Why are some keycaps sold by auction?
Auctions generate interest and encourage customers to drop in once in awhile to check the latest keycaps on offer, and also help solve the issue of determining a fair price for Keypress Graphics’ more elaborate & time-consuming keycaps.
- How do auctions work?
Keypress Graphics auctions use the same proxy bidding system Ebay does. Buyers nominate the highest price they are prepared to pay and the system then bids on their behalf only the smallest amount needed to surpass other bidders. There are no hidden reserve prices, so any auction that attracts at least one bid will sell for the visible amount.
Auction winners will automatically receive an email invoice for the final amount. If the invoice is not paid within a three day period the keycap will automatically be re-listed unless there are extenuating circumstances. Non-paying winners may be disqualified from future auctions.
Please note that you must be logged into an account to view the bids on any given auction. You can create an account here.
- What is your returns policy?
Keycaps can be returned for a full refund if damaged in transit upon arrival in a defective state. This however is unlikely to occur given the sturdiness with which they are boxed to ship.
Keycaps are sold without warranty, responsibility lies with the purchaser to ensure they are not damaged through reckless use. However damaged keycaps can in many cases be repaired at a cost to the user.
- How durable are these keycaps?
Keycaps have a hard finish which resists the rubbing of fingertips extremely well. All keycaps are given multiple layers of gloss varnish to protect the acrylic paint, which in itself is quite durable since the acrylic medium is a form of plastic.
Although resistant to scratches, the paint with its hard gloss coating can still be scratched. For this reason painted keycaps are not recommended for users with long fingernails, unless placed in rarely-used positions on the keyboard such as Scroll or Num Lock. Most users generally use artisan keycaps as Function Key replacers where they also tend to be pressed rarely.
Users who are overly concerned about the surface of their keycaps becoming worn through typing are welcome to purchase an acrylic spray varnish like this one and periodically add an extra layer as often as they feel their keycaps need it. However this precaution is unnecessary except in the case of painted keycaps used in positions they’ll be struck on a constant basis, such as WASD, Enter or the Spacebar.
- Can you paint my keycaps for me?
- How long do keycaps take to paint?
Generally anywhere from 3-12 hours depending on the complexity & difficulty of the work, 5-7 hours is typical.
If you’re interested you can learn more about the painting process.
Keycap & Keyboard Discussion
Artisan Keycap Makers Directory (courtesy of Bambino)