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Screen Printing Goes Boom

(April 2011) posted on Tue Apr 12, 2011

This article demonstrates the importance of broadening your skill sets and experimenting with new materials and techniques.

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By Ryan Moor

Here is the concept behind Nike’s BOOM as demonstrated by Media Bistro: Consider, if you will, boom replacing snap at the forefront of the American exclamatory lexicon. In other words, where a professional football player might say ‘boom’ after delivering a cranium-crushing blow to the opposing team’s quarterback. Rick Ross might say ‘boom’ after dropping about $1 million for extravagant jewelry designed to resemble his face. The average layperson, on the other hand, might say ‘boom’ after tossing a piece of trash into a garbage can 12 feet away, or after catching the bus right before it speeds off. Really, boom can apply to any situation.” (Visit for more on this.)

How do you show all that in a format that translates seamlessly and beautifully into usable promotional products? Screen print it onto glass and have one of the best photography studios in the country photograph that glass breaking. Screen printing the glass was only one part of the BOOM equation. The studio went all out to achieve imagery that would capture the essence of BOOM as they envisioned it. They used a high-speed camera and a sound trigger to capture the explosion of glass as a high-powered slingshot catapulted a marble-like ball through the screen-printed surface (Figure 3). Now you can literally see the image going boom.

Once things were said and done, Tyler told me that it was one of the more fun and creatively challenging projects he had collaborated on in a while and then thanked me profusely for screen printing the glass. Imagine being thanked for getting paid $30 per print! I was happy and pleased that Ryonet had the opportunity to be involved. The image has been used in many facets of ad campaigns and promotional materials: posters, banners, P-O-P displays, billboards, and yes, even on T-shirts.

In conclusion
After the images were edited, Nike’s campaign ran with them and produced them in typical, larger-than-life fashion: a stadium-sized, digitally printed banner photographed at a local football stadium with Tyler and a colleague proudly showing off their work, and even the familiar warm and cozy territory so many screen-printers are comfortable with: printed apparel (Figure 4).


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