Here is the initial concept I pitched to the mechanical keyboard community over at Geekhack.com (thread linked).
Here are several images that show the changes in design (left is oldest, right is newest), which mostly occurred as a result of listening to community feedback. As you can see, the changes were quite dramatic. I wouldn't have come up with the final design on my own, and I honestly feel like it was mostly the community doing the work, and me just helping glue everything together. They are entirely to thank for this.
After finalizing the design, I reached out to the folks at Massdrop.com (now known as Drop.com) to help arrange manufacturing with keycap manufacturer Signature Plastics. This involved refining the renders, with the help of Reddit user /u/thesiscamper, we made better 2D renders to promote the keyset. We also needed to finalize the child kits and decide what will and will not be manufactured.
This also meant working more with the community. Among the people that were interested in the drop alone, it is hard to please everyone, so this was a difficult task for me. However Massdrop made the drop successful by buying enough units to meet the MOQ for the kits that were close to hitting MOQ.
In the end, the sets were produced. This whole experience was harder than I would have imagined - designing the initial set was only the beginning of all of the work to come.
In the end it was all worth it. I was happy to receive one keyset for myself, and put them on my own keyboard.