How We Became “Quince”
Explanations behind the Quince name have clouded and morphed into myriad stories over the years. When one first meets a true “Quincian”, the inevitable question is: Quince?? You actually have a founder with that name? Where in the heck did the “Quince” name come from?
Our brand development began as we searched for a derivative of “Eidophor” (our original, Swiss-made, large-screen projector), which translates in Greek to mean “image bearer.” Our goal was to feature a tool, part, skill or technique that obliquely referenced our vision, yet did not limit us to a defined business. I had become particularly impressed by the company “2 Guys and a Truck”; ergo how about “Two Guys and a Projector”?
Next, pondering firms named after their founders, e.g., Dell, Bloomberg, Ben & Jerry’s; we considered the idea of using “Currier & Williams AV”. But No… too reminiscent of “Currier & Ives.” As music fans of the likes of Willie, Merle and Kris, we considered our last name initials: C&W AV. Alas, the search continued.
There came a job where I was on hire as a freelance projectionist; and working alongside Scott, in the great state of New Mexico. Although we both traveled extensively in our careers, neither of us had ever been in New Mexico. I mused during our slack time, that this was our initial visit to the ‘Land of Enchantment,’ and how poetic a place it would be to finally come up with a name for our then, yet-a-dream company.
The letters “K” (or Q), “X” and “Z” feature the most interesting among all sounds in the English language. Witness many medications that use them. There are dozens. Countless companies utilize the sounds: Exxon, Zenith, Kodak. These memorable sounds were not chosen or invented by accident. As it happens, The “K” sound is also the funniest in English. Chicken; Duck, for example… both are much more humorous than Poultry.
Back to New Mexico: One morning after breakfast I announced to Scott, “I‘ve got it!! QUINCE!!!” I said. “It has EVERYTHING we have searched for”.
Scott just beamed at me with amused bewilderment. “Isn’t that a fruit?”
Right then a vendor passed by us, with the computer company APPLE on his shirt, Scott said, “Well there ya go. We could be BANANA!”
“True” I replied, “Already got a corporate color, and when you answer the phone, ‘Head of the bunch here’.”
But Quince! “The ‘Q’ sound adds brevity, uniqueness, whimsy and even more,” I gushed. For the reader who knows how a capital “Q” is penned in cursive, I further demonstrated the possibilities by writing out several “Qs” in script.
I pressed on… “See the numeral 2?? You know, ‘Two guys and a projector’? And come on! Is it not kismet that we are in Albuquerque?? The only U.S. capital city spelled with two Q’s???”
As one might also imagine, stories of the origins of our company LOGO are varied, plentiful and interesting, but I’ll reserve that tale for another time…
-Ron Currier, President & Co-Founder, Quince Imaging, Inc.
Quince Imaging and the Evolution of Image Projection
A Historical Timeline
Founded in 1997 by Ron Currier, Scott Williams and Adrian Gautchsi, Quince Imaging has evolved from humble beginnings as a live-event projection display company, into an experiential display and design powerhouse. Check out the following timeline for an overview of Quince Imaging history and the intertwining evolution of image projection.
Origins of Image Projection
We find references to pinhole cameras, projecting images of their surroundings, dating back more than 2,000 years to ancient Greece and China. In 17th-century Europe, candles and oil lamps were used as light sources for “magic lanterns” that projected images, painted on glass slides, onto larger surfaces.
1930s – 1950s
Going back some 80 years, people started using slide projectors to transform concert and theater stages. Productions on Broadway and in London’s West End dabbled with projection as early as the 1930s.
In 1943, Dr. Fritz Fischer – the grandfather of widescreen image projection – invented the Eidophor! Using an electron beam to produce high-voltage charges that interpreted light refractions, images were “painted” by creating turbulence in mineral oils that thinly coated a mirror surface, as it constantly rotated with a vacuum assembly. Bright, crisp, projected images produced by Eidophor were cast upon a theater-sized, 24x32 square foot viewing surface. Vivid projections were enabled by passing a high-intensity arc light through the refractions caused by the electrostatic charge upon the oil, via a system of lenses and mirrors.
By the 1950s, projectors were being used to blend theater, opera and dance productions shown upon massive backdrops.
At the end of the 1960s, the “Imagineers” of the Walt Disney Company started applying projection technology to small, very focused surfaces. For the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland, Disney’s creative engineers shot the faces of five actors singing the attraction’s theme song and then projected the 16mm film output onto busts. The ghostly, disembodied singing heads were what some technical observers say was the first commercial instance of projection mapping onto a complex curved surface.
Image from Haunted Mansion, Disneyland, CA
Quince’s Founding Three lay their foundations in the industry!
- Ron Currier, President & Co-Founder
– Ascension of Pope John Paul II
– Founder: Currier Imaging
- Scott Williams, COO/CFO & Co-Founder
– 1996 Summer Olympics
– VP & GM at SAIC
- Adrian Gautchsi, Chief Engineer (1954 – 2005)
– Chief Engineer for the Eidophor – Greta, Switzerland
– Chief Engineer, SAIC
1980s – 1990s
In 1983, Quince Imaging Founders were the first to deploy video displays for television backdrops.
In 1986, Quince was first to activate a high-definition large-screen display to a live, viewing audience.
While artists found ways to push the limits of slide projectors, the introduction in the 1990s of bright, computer-driven commercial projectors was a big moment for the art form. More brightness led to greater possibilities, and ideas constrained by limited light started to get switched on. Computer graphics then sped production and made full-motion video and graphics possible without film.
In 1996, Quince Imaging Founders were first to activate video display on a ‘human’ screen.
QUINCE IMAGING is born!
By the mid-to-late 1990s, corporations started working with staging and event companies to use projection as the powerful, over-scaled backdrop for presentations to investors, customers and the press. Staging companies began retaining projection technology in rental inventory, allowing fast turnarounds on events while controlling costs for event producers. Over time, corporate presentations evolved and started to include product launches and splashy events that also let the general public see these ambitious shows projected onto flagship stores and public landmarks.
In 1999, Quince Imaging was the first to provide a 10,000+ Lumen Video Display to a live audience.
As the equipment became brighter, portable and more rugged, mapping outdoor structures evolved beyond simply projecting onto large buildings as screens. Instead, intrigued artists started looking at the shape, contours and colors of a structure and began experimenting with architecture, infrastructure and technology to create an “immersive” projection experience.
In 2002, Quince Imaging was first to provide TRULY seamless widescreen video.
In 2003, Quince was first to provide 18,000+ Lumen Display.
Many of the best and most active event production companies now have years of experience. Projection tools and technology are steadily getting better, and more visual artists are finding their way to this medium, intrigued by all the possibilities. Great projects now have storylines and visuals that flawlessly work without limitation on nearly every imaginable surface!
Quince Imaging Creative Services team is born!
As the sports projection craze took off, so did the need for dynamic 3D content. Recognizing the opportunity to add value to their service offerings, and eager to meet and exceed client needs and expectations, Quince Imaging began recruiting exceptional new talent in the form of video producers, graphic artists and 3D animators.
First Permanent Sports Projection Image Mapping System installed for the NBA. In 2014, Quince Imaging was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks to design, install and maintain the league’s first permanent court-projection systems.
Clips of one of the first Cavaliers’ games were shown on the Today Show, all over the Web and across social media platforms, which made it one of the first Quince events to go viral. Click the link above to view the content!
The First Discrete Motion Tracking System was installed to enhance Sports Projection Image Mapping Systems with interactive court projections. The Cleveland Cavaliers were the first team to implement discrete, full-court, real-time tracking of individual players. The system was set up to track the Cavs starting lineup while interacting in real-time with the court projection system.
Quince Imaging celebrated 20 years of success and dedication in world-class imaging display and design! Starting out humbly as “Two Guys and a Projector”, surmounting two decades of providing services for nearly 400 live events per year, Quince has acquired the talent of more than 40 full-time employees. Now functioning in a multinational market, Quince is pleased to serve clients all throughout the United States, Canada and beyond.
First Permanent Sports Projection Image Mapping System was installed in a University Arena for the University of Florida Gators. The four-array projection system, is able to multitask and handle variances in sporting events, which especially benefits Gator men’s and women’s basketball games, volleyball matches and gymnastics meets.
Quince Imaging relocates to spacious, new corporate headquarters at 22601 Davis Drive in Sterling, VA. The new facility, which occupies a total of 45,000 square feet has more than doubled available floor space, creating unique opportunities to provide custom accommodations for Quince’s rapidly diversifying client base and expanding staff.
Vision of the Future
Progressing beyond our 20th season, we have had the opportunity to reflect on our dynamic history. We are fortunate to share and celebrate this milestone with our team of dedicated staff and valued customers and associates. The live events business has evolved throughout these two decades and continues a rapid development to a much more service-based model.
When Quince began, what we had in available inventory was a significant factor in gaining new business. While technical prowess and/or service was important then, it was not necessarily the defining characteristic in choosing an event partner. Still, it’s important today to own, maintain and leverage up-to-date equipment and systems. However, current primary factors for growth in our business are to provide expert technical design; incorporate unique content; and deliver savvy and experienced on-site engineering.
What can you expect from Quince Imaging? We are only just beginning to scratch the surface of the methods that imaging technologies employ to genuinely engage, thrill and interact with live audiences. We will continue to bring forward new and interactive activations that not only impress with their impactful content, but evolve in real time to synchronize with viewer response. The entirety of each event space will be challenged to keep up with the power of malleable imaging and communication.
We have set lofty goals that are right in step to achieve new heights, for which we always have aimed. Just like our intensely hardy and unique namesake, Quince Imaging looks to the future, striving to remain ever-fruitful and thriving into perpetuity.
-Scott Williams, COO & Co-Founder, Quince Imaging, Inc.