Signature Plastics Signature Plastics
Signature Plastics Signature Plastics

Keycaps 101

As in many manufacturing settings, the keycap world has many terms used in the description of the product and the process that may be confusing to the ordinary person. Below are a few terms and descriptions that are helpful to understand when identifying your keycap needs.

Glossary of Keycap Terms



Family refers to the basic style of keycap on a keyboard. Some examples are shown in the picture on the left. Keycap families are defined by their ride height, typically low, medium or high; their side profile, defined as sculptured or non-sculptured; and the contour of the top surface which can be spherical, cylindrical or flat.

Quote Process

Before contacting Signature Plastics for a quote, have as much of this information ready as possible:

  • the keycap family being considered
  • the style of keyboard switch being used
  • the number of different keycap shapes required.
  • the quantity of keycaps within each shape
  • the legends or graphics required
  • the legend process (insert molded, pad printed, sublimation printing or engraving)
  • the keycap graphic and keycap shell colors

Contact Customer Service at Signature Plastics for a quote.



Row refers to the location of keys on the keyboard and is most important when ordering a sculptured keycap family. On a standard QWERTY board, the "number" row is row 1; the "Q" row is row 2; the "A" row is row 3; the "Z" row and the space bar row are row 4; the upper "function key" row can be either row 5 style or row 1 style.



Sculptured or non-sculptured refers to the keyboard profile when viewed from the side. In a non-sculptured keyboard, the keys in each row are the same height giving the keyboard a flat look. In a sculptured keyboard, the keys are angled giving the keyboard a curved profile.



Keycaps come in various sizes depending on the family. Most keys, like the alpha / numeric keys, are referred to as single unit or one space keys. Larger keys are measured in 1/4 increments of a one space key. So an "Alt" key, for example, may be a 1.25 size and a "Tab" key a 1.5 size. Space bars can measure up to 10.5 units long.



The keycap mount is the molded detail on the underside of the keycap that allows the key to be attached to the keyboard switch. Keycaps larger than a single space size may have more than one mount. The exact location and spacing of these mounts is critical when ordering keycaps.
CLICK HERE for an illustrated version of some of our mounts and a reference to the keyswitches they fit.