Gobo stands for GOes Before Optics, which is a fancy way of saying it’s a light projection, typically a monogram or design, that is projected on either a dance floor or a great wall space. In recent years, Gobos have become popular ways for brides and grooms to personalize their reception spaces, using their wedding logo, initials, date, or names as projections onto their dance floors, behind the head table or cake table, or across a large wall space. Gobos can be made from various materials including steel, glass, plastic, and transparency film.
Steel gobos use a metal template from which the image is cut. These types of gobos are the sturdiest, but often require modifications to the original design (called bridging) in order to display correctly. In order to correctly represent the letter “O” for example, small tabs or bridges must be made in order to keep the metal tab in the middle of the letter supported. This effect may be undesirable in more intricate patterns or designs.
Glass gobos are made from transparent glass with a partial mirror coating to block the light and produce “black” areas in the projected image. This eliminates any need for bridging, since the glass itself is the support, and allows more intricate images to be produced. Glass gobos can also include colored areas (much like stained glass windows), whether by multiple layers glued on an aluminum or chrome coated black and white gobo, or by newer technologies that allow the thickness of the dichroic to be varied in a controlled way on a single piece of glass. Glass gobos generally offer the highest image fidelity but are the most fragile.
Plastic gobos or Transparency gobos can be used in LED ellipsoidal spotlights. LED Only” plastic gobos can be full color (like a glass gobo), but without the delicate nature. Plastic gobos can be purchased from stock images or can be custom made. In a “traditional” (tungsten/halogen) light fixture, the focus point where a gobo must be placed is usually extremely hot, so these thin plastic films generally need to be used with special cooling elements to prevent melting them.
Patterns & Designs
A number of simple and complex stock patterns are available, or custom gobos from customer-created images can be manufactured. Vario Weddings has commissioned and created hundreds of unique gobos that vary in detail and design. We have completely transformed spaces with the use of patterns such as leaves and snowflakes, added names, dates, and hashtags to mask large open wall spaces and add a personal touch, and even projected over fountains and waterfalls for the perfect photo backdrop.
We would love the opportunity to help you create the perfectly YOU atmosphere you’ve been envisioning for your wedding, so give us a call and let us show you how a gobo can do just that!