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Enjoy Magazine

Boundary Waters receives first place for manual Textile Screen Printing

01/25/2018 05:00AM ● By Kerri Regan

1ST In Class

February 2018
Story by Kerri Regan
Photos by James Mazzotta

When you watch DJ Bobette Riggs bop non-stop from behind her sound board, you can imagine how difficult it may be to capture her essence in just one image.

But Michael Karns nailed it, and he’s won a prestigious industry award for doing so. Karns, the owners of Boundary Waters Screenprinting, was awarded first place for “Manual Textile Screen Printing” by the national Impressions Magazine.

“My dad was approached by Wade and Bobette Riggs, who wanted an ad for their growing DJ business,” explains Trevor Karns, Michael’s son and manager of Boundary Waters. “He made it in house and the judge thought it was first-place material.” It’s Boundary Waters’ first award from this contest, though his father has won the award before.

The shop will be featured in the February issue of Impressions. The 39th annual Impressions awards are touted as the industry’s most prestigious apparel decorating contest, with entries from all over the world. The overall grand champion was submitted by a company from Istanbul.

Michael Karns graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and illustration, and he has been doing custom art for nearly 30 years. In 2011, he founded Boundary Waters, which specializes in screen printing, embroidery and banners. After a year of running his shop on his own, he hired his son, Trevor Karns, as manager. 

The Riggs availed themselves of Boundary Waters’ design services when they were looking for a logo to advertise their DJ business. Karns’ creation features a sketch of the Earth “listening” to a headset, with the words “DJ Bobette World Tour” in gray, white and hot pink. The logo can either stand alone or be arranged atop a photo of Bobette’s long legs as she’s wearing her signature diamond-studded stiletto heels. 

“He had free reign,” Bobette Riggs says. “I immediately loved it. It totally encompasses who I am as a DJ. He rocked it, that’s for sure.” •