In 1969, Keith Calton began a case shop out of his 500 square foot backyard garage. From there he set the impressive goal of designing cases to meet the needs of the rock n’ roll lifestyle of the era. Since then, Calton Cases has steadfastly designed cases tailored specifically to thousands of instruments. From quality materials to unmatched craftsmanship, every ounce of our attention as a company has been driven by the insatiable compulsion to assure musical legacies live on for generations. Since their own humble beginnings in a small shop in Kalamazoo, Gibson Brands has unequivocally aligned every aspect of their business to achieve a reputation for quality of construction and beauty in every note. What the two companies have in common is that every step in our strategic development is always a step forward. So, it was only a matter of time before our paths would cross in the quest for bettering the greater musical experience for all. After a chance encounter at a NAMM event in 2015, we started a conversation that would become a landmark for guitar cases and design. And so, the Gibson Signature Series of Calton Cases was born.
Together Is Better
It’s a well-known fact that the group at Gibson Brands consists of an incredible collage of talented, dedicated, and exceptional people. For a company so integral to the look and sound of folk, bluegrass, jazz, blues, and rock n’ roll throughout the century, an amazing team is essential.
Naturally, collaborating with figures of this caliber was an absolute pleasure. We leveraged our own company-wide appreciation of the history of Gibson’s indelible image to submit designs and elements in line with their bold and beloved Lifton aesthetic.
All along the way, both teams messaged back and forth with new ideas and inspirations as to how to bring this case to life.
Much like the identity of each of our companies, this project was driven by the strongest ideas and the best results. Often, the greatest issues we had was an abundance of too many good ideas to incorporate. Thankfully, this undertaking has been a thrilling experience all around and we look forward to recycling ideas we couldn’t incorporate into future collaborations. Ultimately, the results in this first endeavor were truly something special.
Better By Design
At the onset, the first thing you’ll notice about The Gibson Signature Series of cases is the brown and subtle metallic-copper gelcoat exterior. This truly unique amber hue emanates from the fine copper-embedded powder, which glows and comes to life under light in every degree; exuding a warmth that is as unique as it is rugged. Much like the instrument itself, a case with a finish this elegant is made for the spotlight.
Meanwhile, the sumptuous plush pink interior has been matched to Gibson’s vintage pink. Gorgeous as it appears, it of course is made with Calton’s extremely high quality 100% cotton velvet (a standard here at Calton).
Almost as noticeable as the copper-infused brown exterior paint, is the inclusion of truly eye-popping brass-plated steel latches. No tribute to Gibson Brand would be complete without this feature and with unending attention to detail, we feel we got this detail just right.
Derived from their iconic and cherished case designs, this look was meant to emphasize the classic and modern ideals that Gibson and Calton have each come to be known for.
Finally, because there is no rock n’ roll without a relentless drive for individuality, it was only fitting that our standard-issue nameplate would be completely reimagined as well. We took inspiration from traditional Gibson headstock inlays and again sourced brass for these labels, as opposed to our traditional silver-colored plates.
The final product sizzles with all the flavor and extravagance of Gibson Brand and the fortification of all the strength, durability, and engineering of Calton Cases – a sight sure to make any Gibson (and Calton) aficionado drool.
Collaboration is Key
Humans are capable of amazing things. But where singularly incredible motions can be achieved alone, real change comes from the collaboration of great teams. We are ecstatic to work with the talent and savvy of Gibson Brand and for the future of what these amazing teams on both sides can design for the better of our fellow musicians, and ultimately, for the greater human experience. (previous sentence could use a re-write)
This was a project steeped in rounds of revision and refinement. It was a labor of love and a true testament to our shared passion for luthiery and the bright future it has. We are thrilled for the opportunity and experience to make the Gibson Signature Series Case, which is fittingly named for the quality associated with Gibson Brands. What’s more, we can’t wait for what the future brings, and for the inevitable new discoveries and creations incumbent, as we find more opportunities to work with the trail blazer that is Gibson Brands. We are proud of the product we’ve made and delighted to share this exceptional creation with amazing customers like yourselves, to which we owe everything to.
The Beginning of A Beautiful Friendship
The Gibson Signature Series Case marks the start of an awesome new chapter here at Calton Cases and the beginning of a truly beautiful friendship. The experience and the lessons learned are now an indelible aspect of our company culture. This is a guitar case line we are truly proud of and this experience leaves us thrilled for the potential of our future endeavors.
For your own case, inquire online at Gibson.com or our website, Caltoncases.com, and we will work with you to develop a custom-fit Gibson Signature Series Case of your own.