Thursday, 6 January 2011

Collection of 100 OUGD102- Guitars

Interesting Facts about the Guitar
  • The ancestors of the modern guitar can be traced back to the stringed instruments played across Central Asia and India, in ancient times.
  • The oldest iconographic representation of the guitar is a 3,000 year old carving of a Hittite or ancient Anatolian bard playing the instrument.
  • The modern guitar is believed to have descended from the cithara brought to Hispania by the Romans, in 40 AD.
  • The various references to the guitar in ancient times included guitarra, gitarre, guitare, qitara, cithara, kithara and sihtar.
  • Traditionally, guitars were constructed with combinations of various woods. The strings were made of animal gut.
  • The musical instrument has a mention in records maintained by the Moors, Viking incursions and in traditional Norse carvings.
  • Dimension standards of the modern guitar were established by Antonio Torres Jurado, between 1817 and 1892.

Interesting Guitar Design Facts:
  • The various brands of guitars comprise PRS, Dean, Gretsch, Gibson, Ibanez, Jackson, Schecter, Fender and Martin.
  • Classical guitars are typically strung with nylon strings. They have a wide, flat neck for least string interference with scales and arpeggios.
  • The Yepes 10-string guitar flaunts four resonators that work in unison with all 12 chromatic notes, to enhance and balance sonority.
  • Archtop guitars are carved in a curve rather than the traditional flat shape. They are equipped with magnetic pickups and flat-wound strings.
  • Electirc Guitars are fitted with electromagnetic pickups to convert string vibrations into electrical signals. These are then fed into an amplifier and modified via vacuum tubes.
  • Guitars can be constructed for left and right-handed players. The features are modified accordingly, to enhance the dynamics and tonal expressions.
  • Renaissance and Baroque guitars are usually used as rhythm instruments.
  • Guitars are designed, constructed and repaired by luthiers.
  • An Acoustic emits sound via a soundboard, typically a wooden mount on the front of the design. The subcategories of acoustic guitars include classical and flamenco versions.
  • Flat-top or steel-string guitars have reinforced necks, that are narrower and a own strong structural design. They are an integral part of Folk, Jazz, Country, Bluegrass, Blues and Pop music.

Guitar Essentials: An Overview

The basic guitar design typically comprises:
  • Headstock, at the end of the guitar neck.
  • Neck, comprising frets, tuners, fretboard, headstock and truss rod.
  • Nut, a small strip of any hard material at the headstock-fretboard juncture.
  • Fretboard or fingerboard.
  • Frets, metal strips embedded on the fretboard.
  • Truss rod, a metal rod along the inside of the neck.
  • Strings made from metal or polymer materials.
  • Inlays, visual elements along the exterior surface.

    Guitar accessories comprise:
    • Capotasto, to open up string pitch.
    • Slides, to generate the glissando effect.
    • Plectrum, to 'pick' the strings.

    Most Popular Guitar Brands

    Yamaha: established in 1887

    Fender: established in 1923

    Gibson: established in 1890

    Takamine: established in 1962

    Gretsch: established in 1883

    Vintage Guitar Posters

    After gathering a lot of basic facts/history of guitars i started to look into how brands of guitars were advertised focusing on the 1950's through to the 1980's. I managed to find a really good online resource to gather some secondary research from based entirely on advertising relating to guitars. I've categorized them and uploaded them below.


    (Black and White)



    I love the idea behind this series of advertisements, the line "you won't part with yours either" with a man skydiving with his guitar is purely genius. It suggests to the audience that you'll love your fender guitar so much that you won't ever put it down, what a clever way to get people to engage with a product!




    This is my favourite colour fender poster from the series above, i love the character the alligator gives to the guitar. It presents the guitar to the audience as a wild beast rather than a guitar making it seem much more appealing. I like the style of illustration how it is very surreal and dark.




     The poster above is very very true to its word, "people change to but never from..." I know this because i myself have bought 2 Gibson guitars and they are my favourite brand out of the 5 years ive been playing. The statement gives Gibson a kind of royalty for the auidence viewing the poster and almost guarantees satisfaction with the product they're selling. The layout of the poster is really interesting, i like the way they've used the curved body of the bass to show space. Having a white washed backdrop brings the guitar to the foreground of the poster and helps to direct attention of exactly the point they are making.



     Angular shapes have been used in this poster to give it a miss matched off beat effect to engage the audience. The orange tones work well and push forward the box with text in the bottom right hand corner. This is my favourite out of the Gibson posters because of the expression on Les Pauls face, he looks like a crazy Mexican.











    Ive always wanted a 2 necked guitar, every since I saw a video of Jimmy Page shredding on one a while back.





    This poster is really witty in the sense that its pushing the audience into thinking that Yamaha have tailored their guitars solely at the preference of the audience buying them.  I also like the angle of the guitar on the poster and the way it draws your eyes to the title above. The type works well as the scrolly handwritten style of lettering makes the message its portraying much more personal. 


    Guitar Statistics 1992-2000

    After looking at the history of guitars within advertising and graphic design i tried to find some statistics that would give me an idea of what brand is most popular within musicians who play guitar. After hours of hunting instead i found some pretty useful information on the sales of guitars and have posted them below.

    Total Guitar Sales
    Year Units        %Change        $ Retail          Change        Avg
    2000 1,648,595   23.3%           $923,552,000        21.2%       $560
    1999 1,337,347  15.9%            $762,185,000        9.6%        $569
    1998 1,153,915  5.8%             $694,883,000        -2.2%        $579
    1997 1,090,329  -.33%            $710,769,000          .63%       $652
    1996 1,093,944  -1.1%            $706,290,000         1.4%        $645
    1995 1,105,914  16%              $696,276,000         23%         $629
    1994 951,226    10%              $564,480,000        10%          $593
    1993 861,268    26%              $511,605,000          31%        $594
    1992 681,762    7%               $389,816,000          9%         $571
    A Breakdown By Price Point And Product Type Units Change From 1999 
    Under $800 Retail 491,643 +11.0% 
    Over $800 Retail 73,588 +9.6% 
    Acoustics With Pickups 
    Under $800 Retail 129,368 +14.6% 
    Over $800 Retail 38,658 +7.9% 
    Classical Guitars 79,718 +30.0% 
    Total Acoustic Guitars 812,975 +12.9% 
    Under $800 Retail 515,561 +40.7% 
    Over $800 Retail 113,095 +26.3% 
    Hollow Body 28,550 +18.6% 
    Bass Guitars 178,414 +30.0% 
    Total Electrics 835,620 +35.4.% 
     My Favourite Guitarists

    This might not have alot to relate to graphic design but i 
    couldn't do a project on guiatrs and not show some of my favourite guitarists shredding.

      Reviews of the Guitars I own
      Its always interesting to find out what other people think when it comes to reviewing a item. I know the ins and outs of the guitars i own and i think i have a perfect combination of instruments to dip into lots of different styles of music from metal to jazz. Below are a few reviews i sourced from the internet of 3 guitars i own (ESP, GIBSON, BRIAN MAY.)

      Gibson SG
      The body is slim and even though the body and neck are made from mahogony, it feels much lighter than my chunky Epi Les Paul. Add to this the clasic bevelled edges and the slightly asymmetric double cutaway of the body that prduces the 'batwinged' appearance of the two horns that go to make the classic SG body and you have a guitar that looks more 'feminine' but tough at the same time. What did it sound like? I plugged it into my amp, switched to clean and picked up the guitar. The first thing that struck me was how well it sat, how good it felt in my hands, The slim C shaped neck feels good in my left hand and the body feels good to cradle. The action on this particular model is set low, which is just right for me but may not be for you. On playing a simple cord, I really was astounded at how good it sounded, both pickups, seperately or together. Chrystal clear tops and mids with meaty bass sounds on both pups, though as is often the case, the neck pup was slightly muddier than the bridge one, but nothing bad. Switching a little distortion in and playing a simple lead line via the bridge pup just really made this piece baby sing. A real joy to play. Though I must admit that I believe much of the excellent tone on my guitar is down to the fact that the body appears to be one solid piece of wood, rather than the usual 2 or 3 normally found on these models. Top marks all round to Gibson!

       ESP MH-100QMNT
      Good for metal, horrible for anything else. Not very versatile at all. Even with gain down, you still get a dark jaggedy sort of tone. Made in China. Don't know the year. 24 frets. 25.5 inch scale. Thin U-Neck Contour. XJ frets. Quilted maple top. Basswood body, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard. Blue color. Strat style minus pick guard. Licensed Floyd Rose. Passive ESP LH-150 pups. I volume, I tone, I 3 way pup seletor. ESP tuners. Locking nut. Transparent finish. Black nickel hardware. Got a gig bag, strap, tremolo arm, 3 Dunlop picks, 4 allen wrenches. Gotta love those pointy ESP headstocks...

       Burns Brian May guitar

      Good Points: Clear tone, crisp attack at any picking intensity, endless options for tone (i.e. pick-up on/off in/out of phase setting combos), crystal clear highs & lows, individual tones cut through clearly even with high gain overdrive/distortion, sweet playability very comfortable neck shape & effortless fretwork, easy access up to 24th fret! Very sensitive, accurate & in-tune tremelo system... not once has it lost it's tuning, even with deep dives, the body/neck resonate incredible warmth into the guitar's tone.. you can hear it/feel it when you play unamplified.

      Bad Points: Not much to complain about. I like the gritty drive of a humbucker and thicker neck, so I'd almost say this sound is 'too clean' if you're looking for something heavy. The pick-up switch settings are creative and versatile, but not easy to switch mid-song. When you change strings, only de-tune one at a time to avoid complete release of the tremelo springs (there are like 5-7 springs), otherwise it takes a while to balance the tuning while re-tensioning tremelo.

      General comments: I bought this guitar on a whim about 4 years ago in a music shop in Santa Cruz while i was just killing time. I saw it hanging and was drooling over it's beautiful look. When I played it I fell in love, never have I played a more feel-good guitar (not PRS, Gibson Les Paul/SG, Parker Fly, etc..). The only other guitar that comes close for me in playability/pleasure is Ernie Ball Luke/Petrucci style guitars - but with a much different tone. Like I said, the only gripe I have, is that it is 'too crisp and clean' for some tones I like, but the easy fix there is to keep a second-in-line axe for those heavy jams (Hamer Studio Archtop w/ dual humbuckers... not top of line, but does the trick).
      Ernie Ball Guitar string packets
      Since i started playing guitar I've always used Ernie Ball guitar strings because they are literally invincible compared to other brands. The strings are strong are hardly ever snap and they give a much less tinny type of sound compared to some strings you can buy. However I'm missing the point, my favorite thing about these strings is the packets they come in so I've uploaded some images of them below. I really like the way the strings are a very modern product that people use everyday but the packaging remains very vintage.