custom graphic for guitar

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by davidp158, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. davidp158

    davidp158 Member

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    I created a graphic design for a friend's new guitar. The guitar is being built, and the builder (who shall remain nameless) quoted a price of $1200 to hand paint the graphic.

    The graphic is entirely black text, and covers the entire front surface of the guitar body. Painting it by hand seems like the hard way to go about it. I'm thinking I could provide someone an electronic file that could somehow be transferred to the guitar, or used as a stencil. I searched for custom guitar graphics, but all I come up with are people who do paint and airbrush work. If anyone has any links to graphics specialists that may be able to do this kind of thing, I'd like to know about them.

    thanks for your time,
    Dave
     
  2. Space Hammer

    Space Hammer Member

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    What about lazer cut vinyl (like this)? If you can get a eps or illustrator file to a print shop that does signage they could hook that up. The vinyl i'm talking about btw comes out like a big sticker that you can transfer to the guitar - best bit is that when you get sick of it you could (with a bit of effort) just peel it off and get another design printed somewhere down the track. I'm a graphic designer by trade and been planing on doing this on one of my guitars when i get around to it.
     
  3. davidp158

    davidp158 Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion. I have used cut vinyl for signs and banners; it works great for those applications, but I think vinyl will be too thick. For me, it would be distracting to feel the edge of the vinyl as my arm rubs against it. Plus, it will probably wear off. We want something permanent and durable.


     
  4. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Silver Supporting Member

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    Back when I was in photo school, I could have done it using photo silkscreen printing. They had everything I needed there. The photo part refers to taking the original art and making the template, the silkscreen part is how the ink is actually applied, through the template.

    I don't know if you could get a one off thing like that done practically speaking, or what it would cost or who exactly would do it, but the technique would work.
     
  5. CyberFerret

    CyberFerret Member

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    What about decal transfer? You can get A4 size decal sheets at most hobby and stationery shops. Just print your design on them using a colour laser or inkjet, then apply them the same as the old waterslide decals on your model airplane kits.

    Should be able to then finish over the top of it for protection. And you shouldn't be able to feel it when playing either.
     
  6. ef_in_fla

    ef_in_fla Member

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    Here's another suggestion that isn't what you asked for, but if he ever wants a cheaper version he can go to axewraps.com and upload any graphic and have a vinyl overlay printed. Cost is about $40.
     
  7. dspellman

    dspellman Member

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    Guitarprinting.com is probably the way to go. It's a transportation vinyl decal, and he can print anything. You apply the graphic to the entire front of the guitar and then clear it. That's how most of the "photo tops" are done. Done properly (the clear coating process, that is), you shouldn't feel any edges at all.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. davidp158

    davidp158 Member

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    Hey, thanks for this info on guitarprinting.com, as this looks like a good solution. I'm concerned about how pliable the decal is, and how to deal with wrinkles as the decal wraps over the right arm bevel and outer edge body contour. I also wonder if the decal will shrink, or react poorly with certain guitar finishes or clear coat treatments. I wrote to them for info, and hope to hear back on this.

     
  9. joolzriff

    joolzriff Member

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  10. davidp158

    davidp158 Member

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    Thanks for the recommendation. Wow, he does seriously nice airbrush artwork.

    However, I think airbrush or hand painting is overkill for what I'm after. The graphic I want to apply are just lines of black text. It would be tedious to do by hand, and I think there must be easier/less expensive options to transfer my electronic file onto the guitar.

     
  11. adrinalino

    adrinalino Member

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    After applying the vinyl is it supposed to be covered with a protective coat?

    By,

    Adrian.
     
  12. davidp158

    davidp158 Member

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    I think a protective clear coat would be appropriate for any custom paint job, decal, but I don't know how vinyl would react to it. I suppose there is some kind of clear coat that would be safe to use over a guitar finish and vinyl.

    I have used cut vinyl for signs and banners. Its great stuff because its flexible, and can handle temperature changes and movement, but I think it is too thick and would cause ridges on the surface of the guitar.

    A concern I have about the large decal "skins" that can be custom made for guitar graphics is that they will have a deadening effect on the guitar's tone. The additional layer of clear coat certainly won't help the tone, but if someone wants to pay for custom graphics, they should protect it from damage. Has anyone applied a large decal and/or a clear coat to a guitar and noticed a change in tone?

     
  13. JBennett718

    JBennett718 Member

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    I don't think there will be any deadening effect that you could hear. Fender made those paisley and flower-power teles in the 60's and that was just a big vinyl sticker that was clear-coated over. They still sounded great.
     
  14. Jason_86_951

    Jason_86_951 Supporting Member

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  15. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Supporting Member

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    Paisley was a foil embossed wallpaper, not vinyl.
    If this project had a body that was flat and did not need wraparound graphics, you might be able to get a place to silkscreen it. The setup fees might be substantially less than hand painting.
     
  16. Brett Faust

    Brett Faust Member

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    Use a vinyl sticker as a mask or frisket to paint the graphic, remove sticker then clear coat. All paint, no sticker is the result.
    Have the vinyl mask made with backing paper on both sides so when applying the sticker small parts will not be lost or stretched. One advantage is you can paint any color you like.
    if going vinyl is not for you try the rub down transfer but get a spare sheet to fix cracked ink or other flaws. Make sure to specify your colors with samples or PMS color codes.
    I used to make rub down transfers and think it may be a good way to go if you require finer detail than a sticker can provide.
    Scary Productions in Van Nuys CA is a good source for transfers.
    I had some logos made from my artwork(a file E mailed to them) and they did a great job.
    Good luck, have fun.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011
  17. davidp158

    davidp158 Member

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    Jason - Thanks for your reply.

    The transfer of your mother's artwork onto that guitar is really impressive. If there is one guitar that you should never part with, it would be THAT ONE. Great way to honor here. BTW, I live in Bellevue, WA just outside of Seattle. Ever do gigs out this way? If so, I'd love to see that guitar!

    best,
    Dave

     
  18. davidp158

    davidp158 Member

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    Hi Brett - Thanks for your post.

    The process you describe sounds practical and the least invasive, tone-wise. I did a search for Very Scary Productions, found their street address, but no web site. Do you have an email for these guys?

    thanks,
    Dave

     
  19. Brett Faust

    Brett Faust Member

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    The guys you want to talk to are www.scarycreative.com John Cross is the owner and you can get him at
    john@scarycreative.com ,phone is 818-782-8204.
    They are very guitar oriented there so you will be in good hands.
    I just talked to him today to check numbers ect.. ,so the info is current.
    Have fun.
     
  20. davidp158

    davidp158 Member

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    Brett - Once again, thanks for your help. I checked out their web site and will contact them for details.

    best,
    Dave

     

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