Higround Topographic Keys Map Out a Higher Realm of Mechanical Keyboards

You’re probably acquainted with the term “hypebeast,” a label attributed to both the eponymous Hong Kong-based fashion and style site alongside the trend-chasing demographic that the outlet’s culture is built around. Keyboard designers Kha Lu and Rustin Sotoodeh launched their brand Higround under similar style+culture constructs, but one specifically orbiting the realm of gaming culture.

“After having several discussions with the gaming community, we really saw things in a different light,” says Higround co-founder Kha Lu, “We realized the majority of the products on the market didn’t represent this audience we were so fond of. They’re covered in dripping fashion, but their gaming hardware is basic black or white. We asked ourselves, ‘How can we innovate?’”

And so the two launched Higround with a selection of mod-ready keyboards, keycaps emblazoned with graphics any gamer would recognize, and small selection of desk accessories. The brand would go onto also collaborate with properties and brands such as Attack on Titan, Beats by Dre, and 100 Thieves, serving up the aesthetic falling under the banner of “hypegeek,” a trend-driven community not too different from that of hypebeasts, but representing the convergence of video games, fashion, sports, and music.

Most of the youth and gaming oriented designs deliver an obvious nod to the gamer aesthetic, but a selection of Higround keyboards do offer graphics which aren’t so clearly gamer-oriented, specifically the brand’s signature 65% keyboard with graphical topography theme.

Each abbreviated compact USB-C keyboard includes dedicated arrow keys, dye-sublimated PBT keycaps, hot-swappable switches, and an aluminum plate and silicone dampening foam foundation for a satisfying tactile, ASMR-inducing typing experience. We’re partial to the Snowstone edition, but there’s also the option for iterations in both orange or blue line work graphics (but in typical hypebeast/hypegeek “drop” fashion, tend to sell out regularly, with scheduled restocks).

Gregory Han is Tech Editor of Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at gregoryhan.com.

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