Artisan Guitars Branding

Established in 2004 

Founded by Bill and Ellie Warmoth in 2004, Artisan Guitars is the leading craft guitar store in the country, representing brands such as Santa Cruz Guitar Company, Collings Guitars, Bourgeous Guitars, National Resophonic Guitars, Maton Guitars and Composite Acoustics.  At Artisan Guitars, the trained staff handles each instrument with care, describing the process of build, the story behind each brand and the explaining the importance of a craft instrument.  With the intent to inform, Artisan Guitars represents a new group of stores reviving interest in craft guitar building.  

A Bit of Everything

Growing up in the business since I was 11 years old, I’ve had the opportunity to represent Artisan Guitars and the brands on their walls.  As a salesman and technician I developed an understanding of each brand and what made artisan built guitars unique. Since attending Savannah College of Art and Design, I used to come home working at Artisan Guitars during the summers, each time with a new vision in mind for the store.  

In 2011 I developed new branding for the Artisan stationary, and last year to celebrate the new website after ten years of growth, I designed their new neon sign.   

The Brief

Design a t-shirt for the upcoming Brad Paisley artist model launch.

The design must include graphics for front, back, sleeves and visual mockups.

Be playful with the design, explain the guitar, and communicate all brands (Santa Cruz Guitar Company, Brad Paisley, Artisan Guitars) equally that will read from a distance. Inspirations may include past crew shirts, script logos, neon signs, and vintage American branding. 

Timeline: 1 Week

Initial Ideation and Sketches

Originally designed to evoke passion and tradition in 2004, the Artisan Guitars logo was ripe for potential development in 2015.  The above sketches represent a few of the napkins that turned into scripts.  Using the front to advertise the Artisan logo, the back featured the Santa Cruz vintage script logo and content featuring the new Brad Paisley guitar.  Wireframing the back with the headstock’s new Stetson styled logo and custom features, the shirt had to stand out from past Artisan Crew shirts.  To cap it off, the shoulders branded our interpretation of a Made In The USA icon.

The Update

Developing the original logo from the updated business card branding in 2011, I drew from script logos while subtly modifying the original.  Note the text in the EST 2004 is the same slab font from the original logo, while the script Artisan is almost the same from the first, developing to include the guitar body.  The final iteration includes a soundhole to offset the changed G, a ribbon to feature the year Artisan was founded, the body of the guitar is more offset and playful, and the “uitars” integrates with the script above it.

The Final Mockup

Approved for printing before the NAMM release, the Artisan Guitars crew proudly wore these crew shirts as a surprise to commemorate the launch. Note for the final, the front image includes Brad’s Stetson tipped over the A.  

The shirts were a hit and everyone that attended left the event with a shirt in hand to remember the launch.


“This new design (of our logo) might be implemented in the near future…”  – Bill Warmoth, Owner of Artisan Guitars

“Such a great surprise!” – Brad Paisley

“Really great work!”  – Richard Hoover, Founder of Santa Cruz Guitars