Studio Reko's monochromatic identity for O.P Guitars is abundant in simplicity and subtlety
Named after its guitar-obsessed co-founders, Olle Danielsson and Peter Wiklund, O.P Guitars produces limited edition electric guitars from a high-end selection of Swedish materials. It was founded in 2016 as a marriage of Danielsson’s vast knowledge of the instrument as a player and teacher, and Wiklund’s background as a guitar-building-and-designing visual artist. The official launch of their first product, the simply-named ‘Model 1 Black’, arrives after four years of refinement alongside guitar builder Sebastion Lööf Nylin.
O.P Guitars’ visual identity, which lands in conjunction with the product launch, was devised by Stockholm-based design practice Studio Reko. It’s led by a no-nonsense logotype set in Futura PT Extra Bold, which is described by Studio Reko’s Frans Wiklund as being “used to achieve a robust, distinct yet classic expression” reflective of how “the profession of designing and building guitars is an old one, but O.P Guitars has a fresh approach to it.”
A circular symbol supports the brand’s typographic expression, using three dots to subtly form an ‘O’ and ‘P’ while hinting towards the shape of a guitar’s neck inlays. “Neck inlays are used to guide the player’s hand to the notes they intend on playing. They don’t always come in the shape of dots, but it is the most common shape used and therefore the first one that comes to mind for experienced guitars players,” Wiklund reveals, adding that “this connection is not necessarily the primary purpose of the symbol, but it results in a kind of ‘when you see it, you can’t unsee it’ sensation.” The collective of dots wonderfully matches the logotype’s heavy weight, while the supporting typography creates considerable contrast in adopting Futura PT Light.
The identity system prospers greatly from its simplicity, which is further defined by its monochromatic colour palette. “We know future guitar models and colourways will be more experimental than this first black one,” Wiklund explains, so “the palette works as a base on which the guitars will be the centre of attention while still maintaining a distinct expression in the brand’s visual identity.”