I remember that many older computer or terminal keyboards were quite colorful, and apart from grey and white, often featured some orange, red, green or blue keys. I have seen some in computing centers and probably other places; they were already old and not very usual at that time. I do not remember which keys had the distinct bright colors, and why it was so designed. Like this one from Wikipedia:

enter image description here

These days some manufactures offer the possibility to build a custom keyboard, specifying the key colors among other things. It would be interesting to order a keyboard that would has a "legendary" coloring of the keys from the past.

Examples of keyboard coloring I am looking for should:

  • Feature colour keys, not just white/grey.
  • Be notable (widespread at some point in the past, or used on some notable computers, or used in important mission).
  • Historical design, not some recent invention.
  • Somewhat uncommon.

What are some examples of such colourful keyboards?

  • 1
    I suspect the colored keycaps in the picture you included were aftermarket add-ons, most likely for WordPerfect. The custom Ctrl, Shift and Alt keycaps were colored to match the standard WordPerfect keyboard template colors (the templates were cardboard or plastic cards that would sit over the function keys, indicating which keys did what. The labels were color-coded to indicate whether you needed to press Ctrl, Shift, or Alt to invoke the command you wanted.
    – Ken Gober
    Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 2:37
  • 1
    "Notable" is so vague a term that this is impossible to answer concisely.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 7:55
  • @Ken it’s a Unicomp Classic Trackball with an RGB set. Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 9:40
  • @StephenKitt auto spell correct at work, anyway I fixed the title which was the goal, please don't undo that.
    – user
    Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 9:45
  • 1
    I'm trying to improve it to be re-opened by phrasing it in the awkward way SE prefers.
    – user
    Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 9:54

3 Answers 3


If you'll accept a regional selection, the Amstrad CPC was notably colourful:

enter image description here

Wikipedia speculates 3m CPCs sold total, though the later ones were regular grey.


Posting ahead of this thread getting shut down for being primarily opinion-based...

The space-cadet keyboard had a blue/grey theme and some strange keys (thanks to @StephenKitt for the "strange keys" link):

Space-Cadet Keyboard


DEC VT52 and VT78 had color keyboards.



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