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GUITAR CENTER BRAND MANUAL

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BRAND MANUAL 2012


Last revised on March 2012


This is our brand book - an effective communication tool to help maintain a strong visual aesthetic of our company to our customers and clients. By following this manual you help them recognize, differentiate, and remember us. In some cases, this manual provides explicit rules on how to use - and how not to use - various elements. But overall, it offers a framework for making and evaluating creative decisions.


Conten


nts

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Company O ve r v iew

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H istor y

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Mission State me n t

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New B ran d A rch ite ctu re

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Why Re -bran d?

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Compe titor s

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Re se arch

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S olu tion

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Station e r y

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In te r n al Lau n ch

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E xte r n al Mar ke tin g

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E nv iron me n tal G raph ic

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Misc. Logo A pplication


Guitar Center, Inc., is the leading retailer of musical instruments in the United States, selling guitars, amplifiers, percussion instruments, keyboards, and professional audio and recording equipment. The company operates a chain of 122 stores, maintaining a presence in 45 major markets and in 15 secondary

Company Overview

markets. Guitar Center operates online through Musician’s Friend, a mail-order and e-commerce retailer of musical instruments. The company also operates a chain of approximately 20 musical instrument stores called American Music. Management foresees Guitar Center eventually developing into a chain of 160 large, “big-box� stores and 160 smaller stores. Recently, Guitar Center has operated GC Garage which offers professional guitar repair service, GC Pro and GC Studios for recording studio related services.

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Key Dates 1964: Wayne Mitchell opens his first store, initially called “Vox Guitar Center.” 1972: Mitchell’s second store opens in San Francisco. 1979: Guitar Center’s first store outside California opens in Chicago. 1993: The 17-store chain reaches the $100 million-in-sales mark. 1997: Guitar Center completes its initial public offering of stock, becoming the first publicly traded company in the music retail industry. 1999: Guitar Center acquires Musician’s Friend, the largest mail-order and e-commerce retailer of musical instruments. 2001: Guitar Center acquires the 19-store musical instrument chain

history

American Music Group. 2002:

A

500,000

square-foot

distribution

center

is

opened

near

Indianapolis, Indiana, the largest facility in the industry; sales surpass $1 billion for the first time. 2004: The GCP Pro sales division is formed to serve the commercial recording market. 2005: Guitar Center, Inc., started The Guitar Center Music Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports music education. 2006: Activision partnered with Guitar Center. All purchases made during game play of Guitar Hero, beginning with the second installment, are made in a virtual Guitar Center store. 2007: Guitar Center agreed to $1.9 billion buyout from Bain Capital

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Our goal in the retail stores business is to continue to expand our position as the leading music products retailer in the United States. We plan to increase our presence in existing markets and open new stores in strategically selected markets. We will continue to pursue

mission statement

a strategy of clustering stores in major markets to take advantage of operating and advertising efficiencies and to build awareness of our Guitar Center and American Music brand names in new markets Moreover, we are committed to provide affordable, low-priced music instruments as well as professional quality services for people of all ages who a passion for music and want to make it their career. Music education for local music communities is also one of our priorities. We want to offer people a chance to learn and play music without compromising their finance.

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FUN ENERGETIC

PASSION PROFESSIONAL

HAPPY PERSONAL

EFFICIENT

Music is an important part of life. Playing music is a desire, a passion to some people. The new Guitar Center’s brand architecture will be built upon our committment to provide affordable music instruments

new brand architecture

and related professional services. We want to create an happy, fun, energetic yet professional and efficient environment for every Guitar Center store. Our customers will be treated as our close friends with whom we share the same passion for music. Every trip they make to a Guitar Center store should be a fun trip filled with happy feelings whether they get a good deal, a great CD, a new guitar, or learn new things about music from our knowledgable staffs. They should have fun while they’re in our stores. The new Guitar Center brand will focus more on customer services, our store environment, and also sharing our passion for music to our customers.

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competitors

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guitar center brand manual


As the leading retailer of musical instruments in the US, the current identity reflects poorly the company’s position in the industry. It is outdated and conservative. Guitar Center is in a position where the brand equity is significantly strong, but the image it portrays has grown old. It has come to a time

why re-brand?

where the Guitar Center brand needs to step into the modern age, refresh ourselves, and continute to provide and build upon the services we already offer. We need to stay relevant in order to grow bigger, and better.

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research moodboad

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mind-mapping

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guitar center brand manual


exploration

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SOLUTION color signature guitar strings

center

guitar pick

new identity meaning breakdown :

personal / individuality (fingerprint) center / hotspot (focal point) moving forward (upward guitar pick) music / guitar (guitar strings/pick)

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new identity


Current identity conservative clutter awkward cheap literal illegible

New identity clean legible figurative friendly affordable/approachable fresh/relevant

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Clear Space Keep the logo area clear of distracting elements—e.g., type, illustration, textured background. When the logo overprints a photograph, make sure the contrast against the background is sufficient for the logo to be read clearly.

clear space minimum size

Minimum Size The width of the lockup should never be smaller than 1.5 inch in order to maintain the legibility of our identity.

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one-color signatures

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In order to maintain a consistent visual identity of the company for our divisions, here are the approved signatures for GC Garage, GC Studios, and GC Pro. These signatures carry our corporate logo mark to reinforce the brand identity and are color coded to differentiate themselves.

divisions signatures

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We have adopted a new typeface to represent Guitar Center as a whole; Gotham. This font family is flexible and can work across all media. We chose Gotham because of its sophistication but simple and modern look. We want to be accessible to all demographics and we believe that Gotham is something people can recognize as fresh and contemporary.

Headline

Gotham Bold

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 0123456789,.?!#& Body Copy

typography

Gotham Rounded

abcdefghi j klmnop q rstuvw x y z abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 0123456789,.?!#& Slogan

Gotham Rounded Italic

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 0123456789,.?!#&

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With no intention of disregarding the entire current identity, we want to incorporate part of it into the new logo, hence the new “Passion Red” color. It’s not too intense and conservative like the old red, it’s more refreshing, welcoming, contemporary which reflects our company’s new image.

signature color

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guitar center brand manual

Main Colors

Divisions Colors

Pantone DS 333-9 U

Pantone DS 294-1 U

CMYK : 3/0/0/20

CMYK : 50/0/100/0

RGB: 201/207/212

RGB: 141/198/63

Pantone DS 90-1 U

Pantone DS 239-4 U

CMYK: 0/100/80/0

CMYK : 75/0/15/0

RGB: 237/26/59

RGB: 0/187/214

Pantone Process Black

Pantone DS 60-1 U

CMYK: 0/0/0/100

CMYK : 0/90/100/0

RGB: 0/0/0

RGB: 239/65/35


Passion is an intense emotion, compelling feeling, enthusiasm, or desire for something. At Guitar Center, we believe all of our customers have a passion for music and desire to play music passionately. We believe that passion is what drives you to success in your music career. That’s why one of our important company missions is to provide affordable musical instrument which encourage everyone to “play with passion” slogan

PLAY WITH PASSION

PLAY WITH PASSION

The slogan can either stand alone or accompanied by our corporate logo mark. The slogan is set in Gotham Rounded Italic with a custom -5° skew.

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Guitar Center imagery is vibrant, always a sharp focus and composed with an interesting and inviting. The imagery should provide positive feeling, happy mood, and a sense of passion for music like these examples below:

imagery

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Die-cut guitar pick shaped businesss card to reinforce the consistency of the new brand identity while promote the company’s new image which is about music, fun, personal, and passion.

business card

Greg Trojan chief executive officer

trojan.g@guitarcenter.com 5795 Lindero Canyon Road Westlake Village, CA 91362 ( 81 8) · 735 · 880 0

2.3 in

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guitar center brand manual

2.5 in

PLAY WITH PASSION

stationery


To celebrate our new corporate identity, Guitar Center employees will receive daily used products to gradually build up the connection between them and the company’s new identity.

internal launch

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external marketing

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environmental 3d graphics

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misc. logo application

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marketing merchandise

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Printed in the US March 2012


PLAY WITH PASSION


Guitar Center Rebranding