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Palm Desert 1968

A retrofuturist Arabic keyset

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Palm desert keyset illustration

Celebrating the Legacy of Modernism in the Arabic-speaking World

A limited edition of 150 pieces

In creating this set with my friend Jad in Lebanon, we were originally inspired by the work of Lebanese type designer Nadine Chahine, who created an adaptation of the Neue Helvetica typographic aesthetic to Arabic. As detailed in this talk, she wanted to create a font that embodied a stereotype-defying spirit of modernism and progress in the Middle East.

So I got very excited about the idea of creating an Arabic sub-legend set that evokes both the future-optimistic California mid-century modernism that I so adore and also the hopes for the future of the Arabic-speaking world seen in that same era (when hula hoops, mini skirts, and female medical students could be seen in the streets of Kabul and Baghdad). Chahine’s font seemed like the perfect thematic pairing.

For the Latin super-legends, we’ve chosen Wes Anderson’s favorite bit of modernist typography: Futura, for reasons that must be self-evident.

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 am always a huge sucker for the feel and sound of PBT).


USA-made custom keycaps The swappable keycaps that form the core of this set are an aftermarket upgrade for Cherry MX-compatible keyboards (including the Novatouch and Realforce RGB TKL). The caps are molded in PBT resin and individually hand-finished in Washington State, USA. 

Hand-made gift box The completed keycap sets will each ship in our branded custom shrink-wrapped, EVA-lined luxury gift box, made by hand right here in California. These boxes make for beautiful, two-tiered long-term storage of your set when not in use.

Hand-signed product credential folio Each set will ship with an individually numbered product credential folio, signed by me, printed, foil stamped, and bound right here in California to simulate the feel and appearance of a vintage passport.

Suede-finish Desk Mat

The matching desk mat is sold separately. It sports a custom illustration that pairs perfectly with the set and its theme.

Custom desk mat closeup