Guitarnerd Designworx – update

Here’s an update of the graphic design work I’ve done lately for Tim from Tym Guitars.

Well, it’s been over a year since I posted my story on the pedals I’d designed for Tym Guitars (here) and a hell of a lot has happened since then. So here’s an update…

First up… the Big Mudd has been a huge success for Tim. I think the Fuzz Munchkin pedal has brought a lot of deserved attention to the rest of Tym’s Big Mudd range as people realise how good they sound and how well they’re made, so these now sell out as soon as he makes them. The range has grown from the regular red & black V3 pedal & Rams Head to include all era’s of Big Muff’s.

This includes the Civil War pedal, which I tried to make look as close as possible to the original. I even matched the “made in…” text as close as I could. These Mudd’s sound fantastic. The blue is a little too bright for me, so I might darken it a little for future runs. With the printing process we use, it’s a bit o trial and error to get the colour we want, but the end result looks fantastic.

The next Mudd that Tim asked me to design for was the rare ‘Reverse’ Mudd. This was pretty fun to do and I thought the end result turned out great. It’s the combination of red & black… these colours just work together. I was pretty happy with how this turned out, so I’ve based an upcoming Mudd on this design.

Next up was an update for the Red Mudd. I wasn’t totally happy with the finished result of the original attempt, as it looked a little too dirty and unfinished. I thought it could look better.

So when these plates ran out, I asked Tim if I could have another go and came up with this. The green is still a little too bright, but this will be fixed for future pedals. If I could have the green of the first pedal with the design of the second, I think I’d be happy.

Next Mudd was a special Tym Guitars 15th Anniversary model Rams Head, made with some NOS capacitors that Tim had found. I wanted this to look like a 15 year old pedal, so I added some instant mojo to the pedal with scratches and scuffs. Some people hate the whole ‘relic’ thing, but I personally think if it’s done well (and I’ve seen some bad relic jobs out there)… it adds to the overall look & feel of the object and makes it look a bit less clinical.

This next Mudd is something special. This is all the ideas that Tim had rolling in his head in one pedal. It’s got the volume bypass from the Fuzz Munchkin, some cool switches and a cool battery drain that makes the pedal sound like it’s choking itself to death. A special pedal like this needed a special name… so I thought as it’s the king of Big Mudd’s, it has to be called the Super Mudd. The edges were supposed to be like the 15th Anniversary Ram’s Head, but something happened in the printing process and it turned out like the photo below. I’m going to redo the art for future editions and hopefully fix the fault. Still looks cool, though. And it sounds superb… this is my pick of Big Mudd’s. I’m getting one.

Tim’s range of Mudd’s also included a version of the first ‘triangle’ Muff, which is quite a simple looking pedal. But I still made sure I got the text styles right so that it looked spot on.

Tim was making two versions of this… a totally original version and a slightly hot rodded version. To tell the difference between the two, I said why don’t we call the modified one the ‘Foxey Lady’, which was Guild’s version of the Big Muff. I’d done some research and found that the trademark on the name had lapsed. Tim thought it was a great idea, and when he saw the art, decided to make it a fully fledged clone of the Foxey Lady, which he made using his usual meticulous research.

The next Mudd isn’t a Mudd… it’s based on the impossibly rare Lyle Sustainer Distortion pedal, which was another Muff built by EHX for a music store called Lyle. This is the one Muff that J. Mascis doesn’t have… and he has ALL of them. That’s how rare they are.

Tim tracked down an original and so made 15 clones for his Anniversary series. So I closely studied the art and replicated it as best I could. I changed the scripted Lyle to Tym (not Lym as some people think it says!) and was pretty happy with the result… until I got the plates back and they were blue instead of purple. Gah! Me & the printer have since solved this issue by making up a standard colour chart, so hopefully for now on the colours will be spot on.

Ok, the last Mudd is a rare, one off version of the infamous Fuzz Munchkin. Tim made this double fuzz box version especially for J. Masic, so I did up some vertical versions of the pedals.

Next up is a revision of the Tym Boost that I talked about in my previous design post. Well, some club footed punters complained that the pedal was too small (they obviously haven’t seen ZVEX pedals) so Tim dutifully made a big box version and asked me to modify the art to suit…

So, the Tym Boost was such a success that Tim made a signature version for the guitarist from Built To Spill. The brief was that it was called the Tatanka, it had to have a buffalo on it and it had to be orange…

Tim then made a few mods and released a very limited edition tongue in cheek version called the Turd Polisher, as it made your guitar sound… good. I did it in the style of the old 1940′s boot polish tins and even did a little logo of a turd polishing itself.Now that orange was in our colour library, I used it on here as well.

Lastly is another signature pedal built for Earthless, who are an amazing psych rock instrumental band. When they toured Australia last time, guitarist Isaiah asked Tim for his dream fuzz pedal, which looked like a mad scientists experiment. Since this was a prototype, I did the art up as a sticker instead of the usual plate as we weren’t sure if we were going to make more of these…

Isaiah loved it. So the production version was given the green light and I modified the art to suit the plate printing process.

Mike the bassist wanted his own version based on the Red Mudd, so I reversed the art.Again it turned out great, but there was a slight problem with the printing in that the grunge edges on both had been brought in 5mm so that now the knob text didn’t perfectly line up. Tim was fine with it, but I was a little bummed as it would’ve looked spot on. Oh well, they still look kick ass, though.

Last up is a hell cool pedal based on the Shin-ei Fuzz. This was different in that Tim wanted me to base the art on the box, not the pedal itself, as the pedal looked boring. But the box… man, that is a cool box.

I renamed it as the Duo Fuzzilla and bam! We had ourselves a pretty cool looking pedal.

I’ve done a few more but this story is getting too long and I’m sick of typing. So, thanks to Tim and Tym Guitars for letting me design this cool stuff. I love it.