Rare Hand-Crafted Genius in the Digital Age

Today we feel obligated to share a story that quickly made its way around our studio this week — that of traditional sign-writer and designer, David A. Smith. It’s safe to say we each experienced a moment of complete awe when watching his incredibly intricate process of designing John Mayer‘s recent Born and Raised album cover.

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Map O’ The Day #195 – Visual Orchestra


Today’s MOTD was found in the AIGA Design Archive. It is a graphical representation of an orchestra pit and shows the spatial relation of each instrument section.

Design firm: The Boston Globe
Art director: Lynn Staley
Designer: Deborah Perugi
Artist: Roger Leyonmark*
Publication: The Boston Globe, October 22, 1981

*Corrected. Thanks for the feedback Deborah!

Map O’ The Day #179 – The Pasons-White Stringbender


Today’s MOTD is a look at the inside of a guitar modified with a Parsons-White Stingbender.

The B-Bender was invented in 1967 by musicians Gene Parsons and Clarence White of Nashville West and The Byrds. The device was originally called the Parsons/White Pull-String, later renamed the StringBender, and is now best known as the B-Bender. Early prototypes developed by Parsons (a machinist as well as a drummer) included multiple bending devices for the E, B, G and D strings, but guitarist White decided he preferred a single B string bender in the final design. The B string is bent up a full tone by pulling the guitar neck down. This puts pressure on the strap, which is attached to a spring-loaded lever at the base of the neck. The lever arm passes through the body of the guitar and is connected to the B string behind the bridge. White’s 1956 Telecaster with the original Pull-String is now owned and regularly played by Marty Stuart.

In 1973 Parsons started making and installing the Pull-String himself, and renamed it the StringBender. He eventually made as many as 2,000 custom installations for guitarists including Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin.