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Gibson Case Study

The Challenge

Bring urban art and rock music to life in Mexico City

Gibson GuitarTown is a nationally acclaimed arts project that commissions leading visual artists to ply their talents to a rather unique canvas – a 10-foot-tall fiberglass model of a Gibson Les Paul guitar. Since its inception, over one hundred guitars have been created and now stand as permanent monuments in leading music capitals such as Austin, Miami, Nashville, New York and London. In the spring of 2014, longtime FPO client Gibson Guitars challenged FPO to create visual branding for the show’s expansion into Mexico City. The challenge was to take a uniquely American icon such as a Gibson guitar and design something that resonates with the over 20 million inhabitants of Mexico City.

The Position

Reach for the heavens

The Les Paul guitar dates back to the early 1950’s and is as iconic as any electric guitar on the market. FPO wanted to draw upon the unique silhouette of the guitar’s single cutaway body but add a graphic element that would give it a distinctive Mexico City flavor. One of Mexico’s most enduring and beloved monuments is the Angel of Independence, which commemorates the centennial of Mexico’s War of Independence. By superimposing the monument’s column and angel crown in place of the guitar’s neck, FPO was able to create a hybrid visual that became the brand identity for GuitarTown. It celebrates the power and creativity of music while saluting the uniquely independent spirit of the country itself.


The Results

Welcome to GuitarTown

In a grand opening ceremony, attended by numerous local dignitaries and Latino rock stars from around the world, Gibson GuitarTown, Mexico City officially opened to millions of visitors and local inhabitants. The logo created by FPO has become the de facto symbol of the project and FPO went on to employ it as part of their social media strategy, which included Facebook and Twitter fan pages as well as a GuitarTown, Mexico City playlist on the music streaming service Deezer.

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