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Our assignment was to design a high-end photography book chronicling photographer and author Lisa S. Johnson's seventeen-year journey, documenting instruments belonging to some of the most revered guitarists of all time. Johnson uses unusually low depth-of-field photography to show how the particular wear and tear of a guitar reflects an artist’s personality. The images highlight the idiosyncratic modifications with which gifted players have made their instrument their own.
We designed the 396-page book to be a tactile experience, with a debossed and foil stamped leatherette cover, vellum overleafs, 6-color printing, gilded edges, a "zine" and a custom holographic guitar pick. Design details throughout the book were drawn from the visual language of the instruments themselves - traditional inlay shapes, familiar headstocks, and serial number stamps.
The book has received numerous design and photography accolades from professional organizations and publications, but perhaps the most meaningful are the sentiments of the guitarists:
“The classiest guitar book I have ever seen.” — Brian Setzer
“108 Rock Star Guitars is more than just a book of rock star guitars, it is a work of art in, and of itself. I’m proud to have it on my coffee table.” – Robby Krieger (The Doors)
“…jaw-dropping and a sight to behold…words do not adequately describe the beauty of it.” – Mick Box (Uriah Heep)
“A gorgeous book of photos…I’m honored to be in it with so many of my heroes and friends.” – Steve Lukather
“…The artwork and design are way beyond cool, including the meaning and the purpose of the title…” – Don Wilson (The Ventures)
“…[a] monster of a coffee table book…a trip through rock ‘n’ roll history.” — USA Today