Cue Design Ltd is a rising star in the UK production design industry for concerts and live events. Creating ground-breaking lighting schemes, special effects, video content and stage sets, the London-based design house has only been running for three years – but already boasts clients such as electro pop pioneer Gary Numan and US singer-songwriter Kelis.
Founders Luke Edwards and Miles Weaver first met while freelancing as lighting and production designers in the capital. They both perceived there was a gap in the market for a one-stop-shop offering an entire range of creative services for event producers – and so Cue Design was born.
According to Edwards, the company’s full-service concept is driven by his team’s affinity with music-loving audiences. “Everything we do stems out of a love for design and music,” he says. “It is important for us to create a visual experience that the fans love and enjoy.”
The duo begins each project by envisioning “the moment the punter buys a ticket” and then subsequently go through every minute of the gig-goer’s experience, mapping out the required design elements along the way. To offer these completely bespoke packages, Cue Design is staffed on a flexible basis – with a roster of London’s leading creative event production talent on call to deal with specialist briefs.
Black Honey, Photo - Cue Design
Both Edwards and Weaver favoured Avolites consoles, dimmers and media servers when freelancing and as a result the equipment is now fundamental to Cue Design’s technical kit.
“For me it’s the products’ ease-of-use combined with the support of all the lovely guys and girls at Avolites,” explains Edwards. “They truly understand the need for supporting young up-and-coming designers.”
Weaver focuses on the artistic freedom Avolites’ products facilitate. “With version ten of Titan, I feel the software enables me to achieve any creative vision without compromise,” he explains. “The Key Frame Shapes feature – with its ability to create any effect quickly – is incredibly powerful and completely changed the whole game.”
Gary Numan, Photo: Joeri Peeters
Both designers describe the compact Quartz console as their favourite piece of Avolites equipment. Cue Design owns one and is about to purchase another. “No matter if it's a fly show or tour bus show it comes with me,” says Weaver. “I’ve used it with rigs from two to 13 universes and it always performs amazingly well – but over the summer festival season was when it really delivered. Time is always tight in those situations, but being able to have everything up and running by myself in a very short space of time was impressive.”
The duo has successfully used Avolites products on three recent projects. For Gary Numan’s recent Classic Albums UK tour the brief was for a minimal amount of equipment, but lots of visual energy which Edwards delivered using a Tiger Touch II.
Mura Masa, Photo: Cue Design
For up-and-coming Brighton band Black Honey’s tour, Edwards and Weaver used their beloved Quartz console, because the band were travelling in a splitter tour bus, so space was extremely limited. The small and powerful console rose to the occasion, controlling a dynamic show that featured a customised visual of the band’s name in front of 24 Showtec Sunstrips.
The Quartz also proved itself on the UK tour of Mura Masa. The electronic music producer and instrumentalist sees visuals as integral to his performance. Cue Design, accordingly, came up with a boldly original and highly contemporary scheme. “A lot of the big moments we created came from the palettes and Key Frame Shapes,’ explains Edwards. “The software does the time-consuming work for you, allowing you to concentrate on the brief.” Weaver notes that watching Mura Masa perform at this year’s Reading festival alongside their lighting design was one of the most ‘incredible’ moments he has had as a designer.
Mura Masa, Photo: Cue Design
As for the future, the founders of Cue Design hope to keep travelling along the same upwards trajectory. “For us the aim is to do bigger and more spectacular shows,” says Weaver. “I think Avolites can help us in this, particularly with its Ai software, as video is becoming more and more an intrinsic part of our designs.”