· By Kurt Le
Year of the TiGeR
Amongst all the clear and quantifiable criteria that a GSK sculpt must pass to make it to the lineup, there's one not so simple final test: it has to feel right. But how do we decide whether it does or not? No definitive answer to this, really. It all depends on the circumstances, in a given set of time and space. And let me tell you, hardly anything has felt more right for us than making these M-107 caps. Quite a strange name, I know, but we'll get to that later.
M-107 is part of a three-way collaboration project between GSK, TGR and Mechlovin'. TGR is huge now it simply needs no introduction, and it's wonderful to finally be able to work together after years of friendship. M-107 was designed to be the official artisan keycap for the TGR x GSK x Mechlovin' 910 keyboard, whose details will be saved for another blog post. It's a tiger, anyone can see that, but why?
First, this year is the year of the Tiger, and as team proudly based in Vietnam where Oriental values prevail, we obviously find great meanings in that. Second, I wanted to pay tribute to my good friend Yuktsi, and there's no better way of doing that than making the cap in the form of his dear country's national animal, the mighty Malayan Tiger. Finally, and this is silly, but at the start of my mech journey, I always thought TGR was short for TiGeR (lol). Not sure why, and it's likely incorrect and absolutely trivial anyway, but in the end, it all makes so much sense to me.
And then of course, there's Mechlovin'. Given the fact we already worked together on the Mechlovin' x GSK Unikorn (huge shoutout to Singakbd), and that Mechlovin' also provided the PCB solution for the GAF 910, having them on board (no pun intended) is really a no brainer. On both professional and personal levels, we go way back, so it feels natural to celebrate their body of work with subtle details of circuitry and electronics on the sculpt design, and a whole new packaging to go with it. So back to the naming, M-107 is essentially a mechanical tiger, hence the M, while 107 is just a special number for me. I know, I know, please allow me this little selfish guilty pleasure.
M-107, as part of this big collab project as a whole, represents GSK's outlook going forward. In a way, we have been somewhat grounded over the years since our inception, and that has allowed us to focus on the craft and cultivate meaningful relationships along the way. We could never imagine this wonderfully unique community would grow to become what it is today, and our excitement about it is also paired with an urge to constantly carry ourselves forward. You'll still see GSK in the same light, but with more energy, more dynamism, with a touch more "out there" factor. It's the year of the TiGeR, and we're ready to make the leap.