Yamaha Design “Synapses” STORIA


iF Design Award

An acoustic guitar that fits easily into your life.


We paid careful attention to the beautiful and charming appearance, creating a guitar that allows you to add color to your own story. Once you have fallen in love with its design, this is a guitar that will be your longtime companion as you discover the ease and joy of playing, and in the future come to know the enjoyment of playing onstage.


Working from the concept of “color your day,” we have expressed the crisp clarity of the morning, the vibrancy of the day, and the warm tranquility of the evening. Each variation has its own unique character and sound, allowing you to choose the best fit for your own interior and style.


In addition to basic specifications like sound quality, we placed great importance on distinctiveness and on the feeling of empathy and sought by young people with no experience with the guitar. As a subtle hint at the uniqueness of STORIA Series guitars, we used a different paint on the interior of each model, and applied the name with direct screen printing instead of a conventional label.


Even individual metal parts like pegs and strap buttons, which often have a disjointed color scheme, were designed anew to unify the overall tone. We considered each combination to allow for an enjoyable style, and to achieve overall coordination in the appearance of each guitar.


Our approach was to design something that you want by your side, and that makes you want to play. Attention to the shape, with a narrow neck making for easier chords and a smaller body that is comfortable to hold, marks the arrival of a guitar that is easy to play even for someone picking one up for the very first time.

Daisuke Saito
Daisuke Saito
Yamaha Design Laboratory

Maya Kojima
Maya Kojima
Planning and Marketing
Yamaha Guitar Group, Inc.

Shannon McKee
Shannon McKee
Yamaha Guitar Group, Inc.

Taiki Oshiro
Taiki Oshiro
Marketing and Sales
Yamaha Guitar Division

Changing what was taken for granted.

STORIA was mainly developed by product planners who at the time had only been with the company for a few years and had very little knowledge of the guitar. Yamaha wanted to develop a product that would appeal even to young people who had not previously had any interest in the guitars, so the challenge of development was taken on by young people who had never played before.
Rather than the perspective “A Yamaha guitar should be like this!” held by successive generations of product planners, the project moved forward by asking “What kind of guitar would I want?” from a beginner’s point of view.

First, in order to find out the honest opinions of the general public, we interviewed a wide range of people from first-timers to experienced guitar players. What we found was that appearance is more important than we imagined. While acoustic guitars in general unfortunately have an image of being old-fashioned and quaint, we learned that rather than information about materials or dimensions as they relate to the sound, people are looking for something that is a fit for their room, or a color and texture that they like—in other words, something that feels close to them. Designing an acoustic guitar based on feedback from our customers without being limited to a traditional design was a new endeavor for Yamaha. Throughout each process, stereotypes and preconceived notions about guitars were called into question, as we constantly asked ourselves what elements are truly necessary to a guitar.
For example, the first big obstacle faced by budding guitarists is the F bar chord. It is said that most people who give up on guitar do so because they cannot play this chord. For this reason, we thought it was important to make a guitar in a shape that was easy to play for beginners, so we made that shape a reality.
We also worked to enhance the sense of satisfaction from holding and playing the guitar, paying attention to the sound hole, which is akin to the lining in clothes, and emphasizing a casually stylish element within the typical look.

A STORIA guitar is not flashy just to show off. While at first glance it may look like a typical guitar, the design is well coordinated with finishing touches that give a special sense of self-expression.
It is a product that was created by calling into question every aspect of what has been taken for granted in guitars up to now, but with no intention to disavow conventional guitars by any means. As the name implies, we hope that this guitar to become an element that adds color to each and every story, and for it to blend into daily lives as a familiar companion, coloring those lives and becoming a favorite that will be used for a long time.

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