What is a gobo?
Our prospective clients ask us this question often, so we'd like to explain the meaning and applications here.
A gobo is a steel or glass stencil-like sheet that is used in light projection fixtures. Gobos project patterns, textures, colors, and graphics on to floors, ceilings and walls.
The name gobo comes from "go between" or "goes between optics". The gobo is inserted into a sleeve in between the light fixture's light source (bulb) and its lens. The lens allows the installer to focus and size the projected image based on the desired look.
There are two primary types of gobos: standard stock gobos and custom gobos.
There are also two types of gobo materials: steel and glass.
Standard gobos, or stock gobos, are gobos that are pre-manufactured in thousands of different patterns, images, and objects. Many common items, such as landmarks, hearts, stars, sports imagery, and abstract patterns are available as standard gobos. When you select a standard gobo projection fixture rental, we include your choice of standard/stock gobos at no additional charge.
Custom gobos are manufactured specifically for your event. They can include your logo, company name, couples' names, initials, event date, graphic of choice, and so on. They are manufactured by taking your image (a high resolution JPEG, PNG, or PDF) and manipulating it based on the type of gobo.
Steel gobos are the most frequently used kind of gobo. They are laser-cut from a thin sheet of steel. This means that the image being produced has "bridging", which refers to very thin lines to hold the gobo pattern together. For example, this image shows the difference between the original graphic and the gobo pattern: