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Thread: Gibson Army Navy label source?

  1. #1

    Default Gibson Army Navy label source?

    I'm working on an old Gibson Army Navy DY mandolin with a missing label.....well, there is a "sliver" of the original label, maybe 6% left, but certainly not enough to make a copy from. Does anybody know a source for such a "part?" I say part, it is actually just a circular white piece of paper that has printing on it. Or, possibly a luthier has made a copy from a repair for future use? Obviously, a copy or repro would be fine, in this case. Any help would be appreciated. I don't know where to look other than online, and so far I haven't had any luck. Here is an online picture I borrowed from Jake Wildwood's website to show what I'm talking about. Thanks, Jake !Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Registered User Brian560's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Army Navy label source?

    Here is an interesting article that might help:
    https://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Onlin...r_guitars.html

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Gibson Army Navy label source?

    Thanks, Brian! Interesting article, unfortunately I don't have a decent original to copy.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Army Navy label source?

    Unfortunately that label isn't part of this file....
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  7. #5

    Default Re: Gibson Army Navy label source?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Unfortunately that label isn't part of this file....
    Here’s a site that can guess the different fonts used in images. You could print them out using Adobe Illustrator or some such. https://www.fontspring.com/matcherator
    -but then you’ll be able to see it’s a replacement just using a magnifying glass.

    The best option would possibly be to get hold of the original lead typeset, probably quite common, and print new labels using some nice inks and paper, could be fun.

    Now Im wondering if the paper that was used for the labels came from a paper mill that was also used for something else? Books, wallpaper maybe?
    -and that would be a difficult choice, do you take apart a nice old book to make a label for a nice old Gibson?

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Army Navy label source?

    Many vintage reproduction labels have been printed on paper taken from the blank pages of old books.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User G7MOF's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Army Navy label source?

    Just my thoughts, but I wouldn't put a copy of anything in any of my old Gibson's. if they're damaged at least you have half a chance on resale. If it's a copy then they may think the whole mandolin is a copy.
    I never fail at anything, I just succeed at doing things that never work....


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  13. #8
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Army Navy label source?

    OK, I used to feel that way until a well known Gibson expert mentioned to me that there are plenty of replacement parts on old automobiles and such. It all depends on how the label is done. Xerox one or print it with a laser printer and you might have an issue. If your bridge was replaced with one that was built to look just like the original would you know it had been changed? Be honest, you wouldn't. That's the same thing with labels. It's all in how it's done.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  14. #9
    Registered User Walt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Army Navy label source?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Unfortunately that label isn't part of this file....
    Fun story: after working for a journal in college, I developed an interest in fonts. One day I set out to recreate a perfect copy of the teens Gibson label to share here on the Cafe. I tracked down the best image of a Gibson label, threw it into Adobe Illustrator, and started overlaying different fonts to see what matched. To my amazement, Times New Roman was almost exact. I had to do some minor kerning, and a little height adjustment here and there, but I ended up with a perfect match. I thought it must be too good to be true--and it was. The "original" that I was working from, was someone's recreation, I think from that file.

    I did some more research afterward, and finally tracked down the original font--a variation of Cheltenham. I can't recall which version of Cheltenham it was (there were a few). The image below isn't the exact version, but it's in the ballpark. Notice the characteristic capital G.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Army Navy label source?

    I had to remove the label from the neck block of a Taylor guitar in order to do a neck re-set. The label partially tore while removing it. I scanned the torn label and was able to "fix" it with my computer's photo fix program. I made a few sizes and glued in the one that matched. I was happy with the result. I once printed on parchment to make a label for an old mandolin project, it looked great.
    Cabin Fever String Band, Bill Gorby and the Musical Mercenaries

  16. #11
    Registered User Walt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Army Navy label source?

    If someone can measure the diameter of the bold outermost circle, I can get this sized properly. Fonts aren't perfect matches, but close. The thin outside circle on my image is meant to be cut away.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  18. #12

    Default Re: Gibson Army Navy label source?

    Wow, that looks great, Walt! You have some talent, sir!

    A big THANK YOU!!!

    Jeff

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    Walt 

  20. #13
    Registered User Walt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Army Navy label source?

    Also, just noticed that the top symbol on the example provided by OP in his first post is upside down. It isn't like that on either of the examples I worked from. Examples:
    Click image for larger version. 

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  22. #14
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Army Navy label source?

    That's interesting, the one on Jake's page is definitely different than the others I'm finding. I don't recall this ever being discussed before. Perhaps there is a year that the label changes from the one up/one down symbol to the two down symbol.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  23. #15

    Default Re: Gibson Army Navy label source?

    I'm going to take a moment to repeat what many others have already said -- this website and forum are the BEST! Great resource for people who like mandolins and TONS of info available directly from people who are experts in the field. I'm always amazed at what I have learned here and it is FUN, as well! Thanks again, everyone.....

  24. #16
    Registered User Walt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Army Navy label source?

    Here is a one up, one down version. I haven't attempted to size these yet, so you may have to go through some trial and error adjusting the scaling when printing them. Once I can track down the proper diameter, I'll resize my file.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  26. #17
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Army Navy label source?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    I'm going to take a moment to repeat what many others have already said -- this website and forum are the BEST! Great resource for people who like mandolins and TONS of info available directly from people who are experts in the field. I'm always amazed at what I have learned here and it is FUN, as well! Thanks again, everyone.....
    Off to the garage sales and estate sales you go. You're looking for a few old books that were printed about the same time your mandolin was built
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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