Guitarnerd Designwerx Pty Ltd.

For your viewing pleasure, here’s some of the design work I’ve done for the best guitar shop in the word, Tym Guitars. Hi, my name is Tony. My day job is being a graphic designer/creative director for a media company, designing everything from billboards, milk cartons, video animations, magazine ads, packaging etc. My night job is playing guitar & bass in the 5 bands that I’m a member of. In between I’m a husband & Dad. And in the 5 minutes spare I get free, I split that between guitarnerd & designing art for Tym Guitars amazing products.

In Brisbane we are really, really, really lucky to have a store like Tym Guitars. Apart from being an awesome dude and fellow guitarnerd, Tim’s no fear attitude is contagious. No problem is too big. Here’s an example… after fixing a load of new Orange amps, Tim was disappointed with the quality of the components and the build quality. So Tim built his own. From scratch. He even got designed his own military spec PCB’s and transformers to original 60’s spec. So with the graphic, all Tim told me was that wanted to call them Lemon’s and the rest was up to me. I had a LOT of fun with this.

The amp needed a model name. Tim let’s me come up with a lot of the product names, and I actually have a lot of fun with that, so I racked my brain and came up with Sournote 120. It’s funny and slightly self depreciative which is my favourite type of humour. Here’s the result:

I especially had fun with the icons for the different settings. Oh, by the way. This amp sounds amazing. The band Baroness played this amp while they were in Brisbane and fell in love.

A few months later, Tim asked me to design a more ‘straight’ version, in case the Lemon theme was too much for some players. (I know… crazy.) I wanted to keep it mean and simple and really push the Tym brand that I’d designed. People needed to be able to see these on a dark stage. I came up with the name ‘Super Tone’ as a tribute to the classic brand names of the fifties like Goldentone, Silvertone  & Ace Tone. I’m a massive Superman fan and I thought Super Tone sounded pretty kick ass as it summed up the quality and sound of Tim’s amp. I did a quick Google search and was surprised no-one had used it.

Next up are some of the pedals I’ve done. I love Tim’s pedals. I think they’re honestly the best value anywhere… and I’m not saying that because I’m obviously biased. Tim is meticulous with his components and workmanship. I’m all into collecting stuff, but honestly this stuff is as good, if not better than the vintage pedals they’re based on. These are bullet proof.

The first pedal I designed for Tim was the Screaming Muff pedal. This was a cross of a Screaming Bird boost and Big Muff pedal. Tim only made 10 of these and after that we decided not to use the word ‘Muff’ in case Mike Matthews got upset.

Next up was the Superfuzzbigmudd. I’ve spoken about this in depth in another article. (Read it here). I came up with the name ‘Mudd’ in honour of Mudhoney, and found that it worked for the rest of Tim’s Muff-type fuzz range. The word Mudd also envoked images of the down tuned, sludgy music these pedals help create, so it seemed perfect. I’m really happy with this pedal, and Tim made me one as a present. Again, only 10 of these were made and I’m NEVER getting rid of mine. This thing is a grunge inspired masterpiece.

Tim’s next pedal was a straight ahead Big Mudd. I wanted people to know what this was supposed to be, but still keep it Tym. These are fantastic pedals, are built like a tank and importantly… fit on a pedal board.

The next project was a perfect recreation of the ‘ram’s head’ era Big Muff’s, using NOS components but Tim’s usual military spec workmanship. I had a lot of fun with this, matching the typefaces with the original pedals and coming up with the ‘ram’s head’ series logo. I love the plainer looking pedals, as they look a bit more refined and ‘smart’. There’s also a J. Mascis signature model coming out soon, which is an EXACT replica of J’s favourite #1 Big Muff. Watch this space…

The latest Big Mudd is a recreation of the Russian era pedals, which are favoured by bass players for their added bottom end. Tim has 2 beautiful original examples and built this based on those pedals. I really had some fun with this, and even added ‘Made in Brisbane’ in Russian (thanks Google translate.) Tim wasn’t sure what to call this… it was going to be the Peasant Fuzz or something, but I figured that it should stay in the Mudd family, so I thought of the rare Red Army Muff pedal and combined the two…

Next up is the second pedal I ever designed for Tim. It was his Boost pedal. I was a little stumped with this, as I wanted it to look cool, but wasn’t really sure what concept to go with. I was reading some old Batman comics and remembered that the 60’s Batmobile had that awesome flame thrower out the back, so I quickly put this together.

Honestly, I was never happy with this. It bugged me for years…. I thought it was a half-assed attempt on my part and didn’t do justice to Tim’s awesome work. This year I begged Tim to let me redesign the Boost, as I had a bit more of an idea what to do. I followed on from the horror movie poster theme that I’ve used on a few of Tim’s pedals and came up with this…

The red LED’s in the skull eyes was Tim’s idea and is genius. I’m very happy with this version. I guess the first series may become collectable or something, so it’s not a bad thing to change the designs every once in a while.

Next up is the Return Of The Human Fly pedal. Tim is a massive cramps fan and when Lux Interior died wanted to make a tribute fuzz pedal. He discussed the idea with me and I thought that it totally should be a 50’s B-movie schlock horror movie poster theme. I added the Goo Goo Muck control to further push the Cramps theme. This is one of Tym Guitar’s biggest selling pedals and I’m really happy with this design.

A few years later, Tim wanted to make a tremolo pedal, and I recalled how the intro to the Cramps song ‘Human Fly’ has both fuzz & tremolo on it, so I thought it would be awesome to make a companion pedal to the Fly. I again kept to the 50’s horror movie theme, and came up with a name that sounded more like a horror movie. The word ‘tremolo’ isn’t very scary, but as I played bass in a band called The Tremors I thought that would fill the bill. I designed it so the knobs were in the skulls eyes and added some suitable schlock copylines like ‘Wave after wave of pure terror’. I’m really happy with this one too.

Tim is a massive Fuzz pedal fan, so it made sense for him to make a version of the famous japanese Shin-ei FY2 fuzz. Again, Tim gave me free reign on this.I thought it had to keep the japanese theme, and again I looked to schlock horror movies for inspiration. There is no bigger or better movie form japan than Godzilla and the term ‘Fuzzilla’ popped into my head. I was surprised no-one had used this for a pedal yet, so I jumped on it. There were 2 fuzz settings on it, so I thought it would be funny to use Mothra/Gamera instead and push the Godzilla-ness of the pedal.

Tim also made a companion version made on the Super Fuzz FY6, which is my favourite fuzz pedal ever. I have one and it is the embodiment of dooooooooom. I made this the evil twin to the Fuzzilla pedal. Again, Tim put the LED in the eye and when lit up it looks kick ass.

The next pedal is one dear to my heart as it’s based on my favourite pedal ever, the Pro Co Rat. This is built to original white face Rat specs and sounds frikken’ amazing. I literally cannot play bass without my Rat… I feel naked. So I needed this pedal to convey my love for the brutality of this pedal and it needed a suitably brutal name. Being a proud Australian, I’m a massive Mad Max fan and for some reason my mind spat up the name ‘Toe Cutter’, who was the baddie in the first movie. I just imagined someone stomping on this pedal and their foot exploding from the sheer awesomeness of it, so I tried to convey this in my art. Again, Tim put LED’s in the eyes and again it works great.

I’m actually going to redesign this pedal as the Filter control needs to move to the top in line with the other controls. Stay tuned…

Last up is the brand new Tym Tone Boost. This tiny pedal is amazingly versatile. It’s boosts your sound without colouring it, but the tone control gives you the added control of adding treble or bass. This pedal sounds great on both bass and guitar. I knew this pedal was going to sell like hot cakes, so I thought instead of the usual horror graphics I had to make this the Tym Guitars signature pedal. This one will further push the brand so that when people see it, they know instantly that it’s a Tym Guitars pedal. The general design is based on the tube amp schematics that I love the look of but have no idea what they mean.

Tim already has sold a stack of these. Again, I’m biased, but everyone who plays guitar or bass needs one of these. Brett from Built To Spill has fallen in love with this pedal and a signature version is coming out soon.

I’ve designed a heap more stuff for Tym’s but this gives you an idea of the process and results. Basically when I start, I know that the design has to do justice to Tim’s product. Sometimes I succeed better than other times, but I have fun every time. Thanks Tim for letting me cut loose on your works of art.

Everyone check out Tym Guitar’s new website and buy some of these awesome pedals.