Qwerkywriter by Qwerkytoys – 2015
In mid-2014 Qwerkytoys launched a successful Kickstarter campaign with a hand-built prototype of a very fun idea: a modern computer keyboard with the classic look and feel of a typewriter. Their successful Kickstarter campaign generated hundreds of customers and gained international exposure online and in print. But it also established the pricepoint and expectations for the final product.
Qwerkytoys came to our team for help in translating the hand-built Qwerkywriter prototype into a high-quality and mass-produced consumer product. We brought industrial design and mechanical engineering expertise to bear, and developed a design that showcases the unique round keys and highly-tactile mechanical key switches in a slim metal housing constructed of formed aluminum. A faux paper-roller serves as a device stand, accommodating tablets and cellphones of all sizes. The Qwerkywriter wirelessly connects to these mobile devices as well as desktop and notebook computers through Bluetooth .
A critical element of the Qwerkywriter’s classic character is its key design. The round keys instantly distinguish the Qwerkywriter as something different from any contemporary computer keyboard. The bright chrome surrounding each key is a direct reference to the most iconic typewriter designs. We selected a font that references the clean and simple type faces from the turn of the century, but also has modern elements that link the design to the modern devices it will be paired with. The use of industry-standard Cherry MX style key stems leaves users free to mix and match the keys with hundreds of aftermarket and custom key styles; a hallmark of the enthusiast keyboard community.
While notebook computers have become impossibly thin with slim chicklet style keyboards, and mobile devices have shed all physical buttons in favor of on-screen input, there has been a renaissance for mechanical switch keyboards in desktop computing. For some, it’s about the precision and durability of industrial-grade components, while for others it is about nostalgia for the tactile and audible experience of writing on classic computers and typewriters. The Qwerkywriter brings all of these elements to the mobile space by accommodating today’s modern mobile devices with Bluetooth, a long-lasting battery, and an integrated stand, without compromising on component and construction quality.