Whether you want a complete set designed from scratch or just a logo resizing, our in-house design team can help.
We bring all our experience in the live production industry to your job and use only the most appropriate design tools. Whether it’s CAD, 3D visualisation, photo manipulation, graphic design or good old pen and ink, we can help.
Obviously every job will be different but below are a few examples of the process involved in some of our recent projects.
Hangman were charged with creating artwork for, and manufacturing, a drape featuring the band’s logo being held by a feminine hand punching through a Union Jack flag.
It soon became clear that the hand needed to be more masculine and aggressive to fit in with the band’s personality. We began by taking a photo of designer Ben Harrison’s hand pushed through a calico sheet and then using that as a reference to digitally paint from. The logo was rebuilt in a 3D software package and then rendered out to drop in the digital painting adjusting shadows, highlights and reflections in order to bed it into the image.
The final design was not only used for the backdrop but also ended up on t-shirts and merchandise for the tour - Ben’s hand is set to be emblazoned on fans’ chests for many years to come!
Hangman and Metalman’s work for Florence and the Machine began with just a drape - , the company was briefed to supply a backdrop for Florence’s tour that could convincingly capture the essence of designer, Chris Bushell’s concept but, crucially, would be small and light enough to travel as hand baggage on the tour. The resulting drape was manufactured on a satin trevira with metallic effect detailing, which Bushell was able to bring out with the tour’s lighting.
Given the success of the drape, Production Manager, Steve Gordon, approached Hangman when it was time to look at building the artist’s arena set, which comprised a flown piece measuring 40 ft wide and 16 ft high and seven cojoined trapezoidal panels.
Hangman & Metalman had just three weeks from sign-off to manufacture everything in time for rehearsals at London’s LH2 studios.
The initial concepts and overall layout were produced by designer and LD Chris Bushell, with the exact construction and design being established through a joint effort between Hangman’s artworkers and CAD department.
Fabric and material samples were agreed with the video department to establish the crucial characteristics of the central diffusion screen and rear projection IMAG screens.
The central screen proved the biggest test to stay true to the original concept whilst at the same time using the art and detailing on the front to work with the constructional limitations of the framework behind. The result allowed the entire screen to work both under front projection and rear lighting seamlessly. Not an easy task considering it all had to pack down into a transport dolly every night!
Metalman fabricated the huge central art deco screen that formed the main centrepiece of the stage, whilst Hangman was hard at work on the soft items including the Venetian backdrop, truss borders and riser skirts. The staging itself was a combination of rented decks from our stock and custom curved risers and stairs manufactured to order. Two custom art deco IMAG screens used at the MEN Arena shows were particular head-scratchers as well. In order to create such an unusual shaped screen without any visible bracing or shadows, we had to design and construct a custom ladder beam that twisted simultaneously in three dimensions. Not easy to draw – let alone make!
For the central screen Metalman suggested a series of lightweight aluminium frames. These were invisibly locked together with coffin catches from behind. The fascia was a clear fire-retardant polycarbonate with diffusion film applied to allow it to both work as a projection surface from the front and be lit from behind to produce striking effects. The detailing was achieved with thousands of metres of silver mirror vinyl applied by hand once the panels were assembled.
Of particular note was the difficulty of achieving the forward tilt on the screen as well as everything else – however working closely with tour rigger, John Ashton, we even managed to get the angle the right though it looked at times contrary to the laws of physics on paper.
This project for DJ duo Nero was one of those where we were given a hand drawn sketch on a piece of lined paper and were tasked with realising the idea as faithfully as possible but within budget and as lightweight, strong and tourable as possible.
Working from the sketch we drew up and rendered a series of more realistic visuals and construction drawings to try and nail down how exactly the set would work. Once these had been agreed it was decided that the best build strategy would be a combination of fibreglass and polycarbonate on a series of aluminium frames. This meant that the set could breakdown into more manageable chunks whilst at the same time allowing real LED screens – behind the old school fake TV fronts – to stay in situ at all times – even while travelling in trucks between shows.
Sourcing old TVs to use as formers for the fibreglass versions proved harder than expected but the end effect worked so well the band ended up ordering a second identical copy for use in the US.