The Queen of Country Gets Her Diamonds
Icon Image Graphics wraps instruments for country musician Miranda Lambert.
Icon Image Graphics is getting pretty comfortable wrapping instruments for high-profile musicians at high-profile televised events, from the Grammy Awards (see our May 2013 issue) to “American Idol.”
“Having the likes of Jack White or Imagine Dragons play an instrument that you wrapped for their performances, and the fact that it will be seen by a large scale of people on television, is both exhilarating and overwhelming,” says Sino Tour, co-owner of Icon Image Graphics (www.iconimagegraphics.com).
“Up until the day of the show, you cannot stop thinking whether you had post-heated enough or if film may have lifted in specific corners or recessed areas. I am put at ease though when I realize that my quality-control practices follow strict warranty guidelines for vinyl-film application and that every single piece of equipment has been triple-checked by a member of my crew. Overall, it’s a truly unique experience to witness vinyl film being utilized in another industry or capacity for cosmetic and aesthetic purposes – whether it be for short or long-term use. It’s also worth noting that paint is no longer the sole option!”
The shop’s latest wrap challenge: a full set of instruments for country-music superstar Miranda Lambert’s performance at the 2014 American Country Music (ACM) Awards in Las Vegas.
“When the opportunity came to wrap a full set of instruments for the Queen of Country Music, Miranda Lambert, we knew this project would become another high-profile wrap job,” says Tour. “What was also very enticing to us was the opportunity to install a new film that was not currently available on the market.”
Icon Image Graphics wrapped a piano, a piano stool, eight amplifers of various sizes, two keyboards, and three drums (also varying in size), with Ultra Metallic from Avery Dennison’s Supreme Wrapping Film Diamond Line (available for purchase late this summer), or “crushed diamonds,” as Tour likes to call it.
“A big factor in the selection of the film was based on the ‘titanium’ theme/style of Lambert's set design in terms of the color and the all-important ‘sparkle’ effect,” says Tour.
Since the instruments would be filmed, possibly up-close and in HD, there could be virtually no seams. “Overall, the installation detail work had to be immaculate and camera-ready,” says Tour. “We were not wrapping for just any musician or band, but for a major recording artist, so everything had to be absolutely perfect.” Icon Image used a total of 30 yards of the Ultra Metallic film, and took four days to install. At the time, Tour was also wrapping instruments for country musician Brad Paisley’s outdoor ACM performance (for this wrap job, Avery Supreme’s Cardinal Red film was chosen).
The instruments from Lambert’s performance at the ACM awards – minus the piano with an addition of one Hammond organ, and one more amp and keyboard – were also showcased during her duet performance with yet another country superstar, Carrie Underwood, at the Billboard Music Awards.
But even with his background and experience wrapping instruments for big events and even bigger stars, Tour found some challenges with these projects.
“Because the equipment was very expensive – including the last-minute addition of the organ (which was an antique/classic piece) for Lambert’s Billboard performance – I had to be extremely careful with my detail work, especially when it came to cuts,” he says. “For instance, I was told not to cut onto the drums, keyboards, and organ, so I had to make appropriate modifications to the installation, which included the selection of tools and techniques.” The organ was the most difficult for Tour to wrap, especially in areas like the legs and the organ keys “where you would find intricate curves, ridges, and contours.”
After the ACM Awards, Tour was informed that the wrapped instruments would also join Lambert on the road for a brief promotional tour in support of her new album, Platinum (released June 3) along with an appearance on “The Ellen Degeneres Show.”