Text and Font Problems
Text created on a computer uses a special resource file, a font, to draw the shape and size of the letters. The data describing this shape is stored within that font file, not within the artwork you create. Your artwork simply "points" to the font information This can lead to an unexpected problem when sending files from one computer to another. If the new computer opening your artwork does not have the same font resource that the original machine contained, it will attempt to draw the text by substituting another font resource, often one that is in no way similar to the original. As far as your design is concerned, this can be devastating. Not only do the letters look wrong, but the size and spacing of the words is likely to be very different as well!
To prevent this, always include with your custom gobo order, information about any font used in the design. This way our graphic artists can maintain the original look of your design. Alternately, if you are using a program like Adobe Illustrator, the software allows you the option to convert you text into "outlines" that can be read accurately on any computer.
When you create artwork for a black and white gobo (Custom Steel, Silk Screen Gobos, or Black and White Spectrumgobos) make sure that you specify whether the artwork is "positive" (black in artwork indicate the black areas of the gobo) or "negative" (black areas in artwork indicate white/clear areas of the gobo).
When creating an image, a graphic designer chooses whether the design will be printed on white paper or black paper. When you design an image to be projected, you have the same choices to make. If a gobo is made of an image surrounded by white (clear glass) and then projected, the image will be surrounded by a pool of white light. Alternately, when the gobo has been made with a black background surrounding the design, the black/opaque glass blocks the light and allows just your design to project. We recommend that your design be set into a black background as this creates the most successful projection. When a design is surrounded by a pool of white light (from a clear/white gobo background) the design gets washed out and color saturation and contrast is reduced.
Some designs are more difficult to set into a black background and will require some minor redesign to accomplish. Here are a few examples of typical background problems.
Front or Rear Projection
The decision to project your image from the front side of a screen or the rear side of a screen may have significant impact on the design of the artwork for your custom gobo. If you are ordering a single layer gobo (custom steel, silkscreen, b/w, or one color) then it is not necessary to specify front or rear projection. If you receive your finished gobo and then decide to change the projection mode, you can simply flip the gobo over in the fixture, and "voila" it is oriented properly for your new projection mode.
However, Two Color, Multi-Color and Hi-Definition gobos have a flanged mounting bezel. Your custom gobo is manufactured into this ring, based on your specification for the projection orientation. If you later change this projection mode, your gobo cannot easily be "flipped" to project properly. Plan ahead and specify in advance which mode of projection you will be using.