AKA: Gobos for Weddings

Wedding Monogram Gobo DJS calgary

Wedding Gobo Sample

Wedding Monogram Gobo Calgary DJS

Wedding Gobo Sample

Wedding Monogram Gobo Calgary DJS

Wedding Gobo Sample

Wedding Monograms (gobos):

Monograms are a sweet flourish for your special day. There are a few different methods to achieve this effect, however the best is still the traditional Leko(lite) fixture with glass/metal gobo (pattern). We have many years experience projecting images for special events & weddings. We have learned that projecting images can be challenging even under perfect conditions! We go into some of the background complexities below.

Gobo Considerations:

What is a Gobo?

Gobo was the leader of the Fraggles back in the 80's. Hehehe...

Gobos are a piece of flat steel or glass inserted into specific lighting fixtures to project the gobo design. The word GOBO is an acronym for the phrase “Goes Before Optics.”

There are specific lighting instruments that accept gobos. The most common is an ellipsoidal (leko). Gobos were traditionally used in theaters & create shapes such as windows or to create a texture. Nowadays they are commonly used now for company logo projection, branding and even ... wedding monograms! Most gobos are made of steel (1 color only) but more complex patterns and colors can be achieved using glass gobos.

Metal gobos are generally cut out on CNC machines while glass gobos are made by depositing dichroic color onto glass.

Be sure to order your custom gobo a minimum 6 weeks in advance of your special day.

Glass Gobos vs. Metal Gobos:

Glass Gobos:

While more expensive, glass will always give you a more precise & reliable image as well as the option of multiple colors.

Glass Gobo

Detailed Glass Gobo. No metal at this wedding...

Glass Gobo Lake Louise

Glass Gobo Wedding Monogram. A beautiful live acoustic Celtic evening in Lake Louise

Metal Gobos:

We have found that metal gobos tend to warp easily from heat, even KISS designs. If there is not enough bridging done, the swirls, etc. can warp, bend or break off. See this example that a customer supplied to us:

Metal Gobo Warmped

Metal Monogram. Note the minimal bridging.

Metal Gobo Warmped

There is warping of the entire gobo and especially the two outer swirls

Metal Gobo Warmped

Close up of the metal gobo warping. The outer swirls will never be in focus with the rest of the gobo.

Leko Light Fixtures:

An ellipsoidal reflector spot light. A special lighting instrument that allows you to focus the light (or optionally a gobo) by moving the lens back and forth in the lens tube. Popular in theaters, concerts and special events.

Lekos are a versatile (& heavier) lighting fixture. Weighing about 17lbs with pipe clamp. They are in the hard edged profile fixture category and thus allow for accurate light framing on subjects. Featuring:

  • 4 separate shutters
  • Optional iris
  • Focusable
  • Color Frame - for colored gel or other special effect
  • Swappable lens tubes for different throw distances and image sizes

ETC Source Four Ellipsoidal 5 degree

5° Leko

ETC Source Four Ellipsoidal 10 degree

10° Leko

ETC Source Four Ellipsoidal 19 degree

19°/26°/36°/50° Leko

ETC Source Four Pattern Holder

Gobo Pattern Holder

ETC Source Four Ellipsoidal 5 degree

Leko Parts Drawing

ETC Source Four Ellipsoidal 19 degree

Leko on stage without gobo. Perfect for illuminating performers. Note the hard focused edge and the atmospheric haze. Without haze you only see the light hitting the stage floor.

Lay people often use the term "Spotlight" when they may mean "Leko".


The keystone effect, is caused by attempting to project an image onto a surface at an angle, as with a projector not quite centered onto the screen it is projecting on. Keystone is a distortion of the image dimensions, such as making a square look like a trapezoid, the shape of an architectural keystone, hence the name of the feature.

ETC Source Four Ellipsoidal 5 degree

Keystone Effect. Note image stretches (distorts) with distance.

ETC Source Four Ellipsoidal 10 degree

A more traditional use of a gobo projected on ice. Note the angle of projection and the keystone effect. One could argue artistic license.

ETC Source Four Ellipsoidal 10 degree

Internet example of poorly thought out monogram placement. Even a simpler design would make the keystone effect less obvious.

Image keystone is frequently overlooked by couples and should be the first thing to consider before proceeding with a wedding monogram.

Without proper hanging points allowing for parallel projection on to your desired surface(s) your beautiful gobo will look distorted. In our experience, anything over 5°-8° off center looks warped. *Remember the pictures you see on the Internet are under near perfect conditions and do not accurately represent the reality of hotel and community hall limitations. For example, if you want your image centered on your dance floor, then you need a hanging point almost directly above your spot.

Alternate Monogram Projection Options:

When your room of choice has a finished ceiling and no hanging points here are some other monogram projection options:


If you are seriously considering a projected monogram the questions to ask are:

Then give us a call!

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