The 1988 Pro 540 Custom Collection is featured on a poster (I have a print of that). It dates to 1987 but the guitars were intended to be sold in 1988 to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Hoshino Gakki. It was the president himself, Joe Hoshino, who invited Japanese artists from within and outside the company to create unique designs for the Pro540 range of guitars, including all three types, namely Radius, Saber and Power. The Frankfurt Musikmesse trade show in the year 1988 featured a huge Ibanez booth with a guitar display shaped like a pyramid that held a total of 40 of these custom guitars.
Information on this series is extremely scarce on the interwebs. The poster is the number one source of information - it talks about the so-called "Ibanez Freedom Office" that approached a group of artists named "Nagoya Illustrators Club". This group was founded in 1973 and is still active today. I'm not familiar with the Japanese art scene, but if you are, you might recognize names such as Hideo Shimoda, Akio Taya or Takeshi Kuwahara. Mr. Hoshino also came up with a number of eight designs of his own.
The guitars were made at Fujigen and given to the artists in an unfinished state, maybe with a primer coat. The poster features a total of 80 guitars, that's 56x Radius 540R, 16x Power 540P and 8x Saber 540S. It makes me wonder that the numbers go from CF1 to CF100 but there are large gaps in the numbering scheme and there is no pattern whatsoever. One possible explanation is that 100 designs were submitted and Hoshino's president selected 80 from that pool. In that case, the questions arises what happened to the remaining 20. Also it is unclear if each guitar is really unique in terms of a one-off, or if more than one copy of a design were made.
The designs are most diverse in looks and execution, the range goes from airbrush over other painting techniques to cloth applications, special effects finishes, engraving or even carving. The appearance can be either subtle and calm but also loud, colorful, visually striking, or it can be totally radical - there is even one covered with an artificial tiger fur. Many designs carry an Asian guiding theme such as Samurai warriors, or references to neon-style pop culture of the 80s. I suppose that most of the processed bodies came back to Fujigen to receive a clear coat, but others were left untouched after the artist finished them before final assembly and setup.
The vast majority of guitars was equipped, as shown on the poster, with IBZ USA pickups (OEM items from DiMarzio USA) in HSS configuration, plus two pots and three mini switches for pickup selection; this is pretty much the standard electronics as found on the 540 series as of 1987/1988. Three of the Powers have a lone bridge humbucker with a plastic cover (active? Low-Z?) and two of the Sabers have the triple-coil monster pickup with oversized bezel at the bridge. A Rosewood fretboard (possibly Ebony on some models) with small dots was very common, but there are 13 with Sharktooth inlays and white binding as well as 11 with Maple fretboard. Further statistical evaluation shows that 35 of the poster guitars feature black hardware, 22 gold, 11 chrome and 12 cosmo black.
So far I was able to track down only a small handful of CFs in real life or at least prove their existence through pictures. According to a trade show review published in "Fachblatt" 1988, about 40 guitars with graphic finishes were shown at the Ibanez booth during the Frankfurt Musikmesse in 1988. I found two pictures in other magazines from that time that show a few CFs. Also I was able to take pictures of different CFs at the Meinl Guitar Festival in 2009 when they were on display as part of the Meinl Ibanez Museum (Vintage Show) exhibition.
from Ebay ID usedguitargoods