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Split Aperture Technique Go to Betallic Logo Photo
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The illustration to the right is a drawing made to plan a balloon graphic 18 feet wide and 6 feet tall.  The graphic would use about 1700 five inch balloons that have been inflated four inches in diameter and loaded into the openings (apertures) in an expandable plastic framework (RMS-2 Banners).

This design by Graham & Mary Queen Rouse of Special Events by Air Apparent in Columbia SC, USA calls for some of the apertures to be split into two colors.

For example, the bottom of the two "l"s and the bottom of the "i" shown to the right each make use of split aperture colors to get straight edges along the bottom of the letters.
This split can be achieved effectively by making a special cluster of four balloons and inserting the cluster into the appropriate aperture.  The cluster is shown to the right.
This cluster can be made with five inch balloons inflated 3" in diameter. Tie the neck of the balloon near the lips of the balloon.  You can make the cluster with round balloons that have relatively short neck like the blue balloon in the photo to the right.  It will be easier to do with longer neck balloons like the yellow one.  It will be easier still if you use balloons with tying extensions on both ends of the balloon like the "Bee Body" balloon shown to the far right or Link-O-Loon balloons.  Link-O-Loon balloons look very much like the Bee Body but are available in many more solid colors.
If you use round balloons, squeeze most of the air into the neck of the balloons as shown to the right.
Tie the four balloons end to end to o make a square as shown to the right.
Twist opposite joints together to get the combination shown to the right.
Take one balloon from the pair on the left above and pass it between the pair on the right to get the cluster shown here.
Insert the cluster into an appropriate aperture in your graphic.  The straps of the framework should wrap around the cluster so as to leave two balloons above and two balloons below the framework as shown to the right.

You may rotate the balloons in the aperture so as to fit your design.  The natural overlap of the aperture by the cluster secures the balloons in the framework even though they may be rotated with relative ease.

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Last Updated: 22-December-2000
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