The Birth Of A Gobo:
Crawford Leaf – From Tabletop To Projected Pattern


Al Crawford has been the Lighting Director of the world renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater since 1998. In addition, Al is also the CEO and head designer at Arc3design where he creates lighting for over 100 projects annually, including architectural installations, light shows and corporate brand events. It was during one of these events that Al had Rosco make a custom gobo – and that design is now available for everyone to use as Rosco Gobo #R78766 Crawford Leaf. Al Crawford explains this new gobo’s origin story below.

This pattern was conceived for the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts’ annual Gala. This particular event took place inside the Knight Concert Hall. We wanted to create a re-imagining of the space for the donors and patrons whom all know it quite intimately. Often a texture is a good way to shift the overall architecture in an existing space to reveal something new about it. Sure, color can change that perception as well, but a texture can create new depths and even blur other architectural lines if desired.

The inspiration for our “Crawford Leaf” pattern came from the linens that were used on the tables. The fabric had an integrated pattern that had a little spiral, a little inversion and just a kiss of Islamic styling.

The inspirational table linens at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts Gala

We took the elements from that fabric and created an image that we thought could translate to light yet speak back to this motif being used on the tables. We often scan certain inspirations like this fabric into Adobe Illustrator, extract what might be useful to us as shapes or line art, and then assemble into a final design.

The original Illustrator file designed by Arc3design for the Crawford Leaf pattern

We worked with Rosco to turn our spiraled leaf design into custom steel gobos that we projected via ETC Source Fours to create a layered wash on the walls around the space. The projected pattern also became a great centerpiece on the ceiling to give the overall design some weight.

This story from Lighting Designer, Al Crawford, is not only a wonderful example of how Rosco creates gobos that are designed by lighting designers – it also shows how inspiration for your design can come from anywhere – even a table linen. The next time inspiration strikes and you need a custom pattern for your lighting design – be sure to visit the Rosco Custom Gobo webpage.

R78766 Crawford Leaf is one of over 150 new patterns that were recently added to our extensive gobo library. Click the banner above to see all of the new designs!

Joel Svendsen

About Joel Svendsen

Content Marketing Manager: Joel's Rosco career began in Rosco's Hollywood office in 1999 – first in sales covering the Western US and the Los Angeles Film & Television market, and then as Product Manager for Rosco's Film & Television Products. In that time, his knowledge of Rosco's products and how they're used in each of our marketplaces makes him well suited for bringing the stories in Spectrum to life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>