I’ve got 5 new headstock designs for you here! What is it with headstock designs? Since the original Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul electrics in the early 50s there have been maybe 5 other decent headstock design efforts. And another two of these five are from the 50’s, from Gibson actually. I would say these are the top 5 ‘other designs’;
- the Gibson Explorer banana style, 1958
- the Gibson Flying V lollipop headstock, 1958
- the Ibanez almost pointy design, 1978, after being sued by Gibson for copying the open book headstock, necessity is the mother of invention!
- Jackson pointy headstock, 1981 made for Randy Rhodes who supplied the idea/sketch of it
- PRS (Paul Reed Smith) standard, 1985
Then there are countless clones of the Gibson open book and Fender Strat 6 on one side headstock designs. It’s obvious those two designs have been around a long time because they fit form and function beautifully. The both do the job required of a guitar headstock very well and both have an excellent, handsome profile.
I wrote previously, on Design Reviews my other general design site, about the major headstock designs available today on the big brand guitars. Also I made Adobe Illustrator vector drawings of most of them, you can download it over there. At that time I promised to design some new original guitar headstock designs that, some of them, possibly could one day be classics!
Let’s cut to the action and check out the first three designs…
GDR1 was designed for a client, whose company name begins with an “S”, this was my idea for an “S-Type” guitar headstock! I thought it would be a great , memorable, logo/brand identity etc. However I was alone in that feeling! GDR2 and GDR3 have straight string paths, which are desirable for some people. A straight string path is supposed to create less stress on the nut and also promote tuning stability. They aren’t so different from each other but both have distinctive and different ‘nose’ profiles.
GDR4 is a version of the GDR1 design. The near side of the “S” would be outlined in paint/ink or mother of pearl, depends on your budget! I really liked the S-Type. I thought it would combine well with a funky Surfcaster style guitar body or another offset waist jazzy style of body. GDR5 has a straight string path. This headstock shape I think of as a bit like a lazy open book style or a Dali melting headstock. I think this would go great with a Gibson style but slightly offset body. I have a special ‘blended’ guitar body design which I might pair ir with at a later date, in a later blog post here.
Finally there is GDR6. I wanted it to look a bit like a rocket, spear, bullet, harpoon head! Rocket shapes appeal to my liking of space rock and futurism. I think this shape of headstock goes very well with several shapes of guitars particularly V shape and the due-a-revial teardrop shape. An extra thing I did with this headstock is the piercing! There are several ideas to this, as well as it looking good IMHO. Firstly it is a bit like the archetypal harpoon which has a hole in it for some reason (not all harpoon heads but many ancient bone ones). Secondly it allows accessories and pendants, dream-catchers(!) etc to be hung from the guitar. This could be a big fashion thing, just like all those phone charms that are very popular now.
That’s enough for now, I have about another 6 designs drawn up already and 6 new design body styles coming up in future articles. That article is now available – 6 new headstock designs.
Please leave any comments and ideas below. I can supply the scalable vector illustrations to people who are interested. If anyone needs a custom headstock designed for them or their company drop me a line too. Cheers, Mark