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Heritage Guitar Inc.

In 1902, The Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co. was founded in our city, Kalamazoo. The company has since grown to iconic status, but between 1974 and 1984, Gibson shifted it's operations to Nashville, Tennessee. In 1985, inside the now-empty Gibson factory, Heritage Guitar was born.

Begun by a small group of ex-Gibson luthiers and employees, Heritage Guitar was created to fill the vacuum left in the wake of Gibson's departure by those dedicated to Kalamazoo and guitars. True to their vision, Heritage guitars are strikingly beautiful, impeccably crafted, and made entirely by hand. Heritage guitar fans are able to find community with their common love through owners clubs, like car enthusiasts they meet to share a love of classic guitars.

The History

After 31 years of running Heritage, the owners decided to retire and sell the company to a pair of local investors. Their vision was not to compromise Heritage Guitar, but to re-establish it as a living artifact of music history and American quality. Heritage knew they needed to a partner that could help them refresh their brand and guide them in telling their story in a compelling and honest way. Rhino was lucky enough to be asked to do just that.

Our Approach

From the moment we walked into 225 Parsons Street, we knew we wanted to show Heritage for what it was - including all the dirt, sweat, craftsmanship, history, beauty, americana, dust and paint of the historic factory. Heritage guitars are made to be heirlooms in every sense of the word, and we wanted the story we told to reflect just that.

Logo design.

We started by refreshing their logo with a new hand-drawn script wordmark, heavily inspired by the original. Our goal was to make the logo and ("The Heritage") headstock mark more versatile, scalable and uniform than the previous version, without sacrificing it's classic look.

Below: Old Logo, Old Headstock, New Logo, New Headstock

Design and branding.

When creating promotional materials, our goal is for each design piece to emulate the same handmade quality that the guitars are built out of, from catalogues to shirt designs.

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Photography and video.

Our photography for heritage takes an honest approach of highlighting both the striking polish of the finished guitar, as well as the gritty charm of the factory floor.

The same goes for the way we film. Whether we are capturing the people, the building or any other variety of events, we're always looking through the lens of who Heritage Guitar is.

Web design.

We know... We said we don't do websites, but there's always an exception to the rule. In the case of Heritage Guitar, we knew the creation of a beautiful site with great functionality was something we wanted to take on. With all the content we had produced for Heritage and deep knowledge their story, we knew we could knock it out of the park.

Heritage continues to flourish, and is currently beginning renovations to it's century-old building, marrying living history with modern craftsmanship. Rhino will be there, eagerly telling the story, as long as they'll let us.

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