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Draplin Design Co.: Pretty Much Everything - A Review
If you are a fan of graphic design, you have probably heard of Aaron James Draplin. He is the founder of Draplin Design Co., a Portland-based studio that has worked with clients such as Esquire, Ford Motors, Burton Snowboards, and the Obama Administration. He is also the co-creator of Field Notes, a popular brand of notebooks and stationery. But how much do you really know about him and his work? In this article, we will review his book Draplin Design Co.: Pretty Much Everything, which is a mid-career survey of his work, case studies, inspiration, road stories, lists, maps, how-tos, and advice. We will also tell you why you should read this book if you are interested in graphic design or just want to have some fun.
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Who is Aaron James Draplin?
Aaron James Draplin is one of the most influential graphic designers of our time. He combines the power of design, social media, entrepreneurship, and DIY aesthetic to create a successful business and way of life. He is known for his bold, colorful, and simple style that draws inspiration from vintage logos, signs, posters, and ephemera. He is also known for his personality, which is funny, honest, generous, and passionate.
His background and influences
Draplin was born in 1973 in Detroit, Michigan. He grew up in a blue-collar family that encouraged him to be creative and curious. He loved playing with Lego toys as a child, which taught him the principles of simplicity and universality. He also loved collecting old stuff from flea markets and garage sales, which sparked his interest in graphic design history.
He studied graphic design at Northwestern Michigan College and then at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He also spent some time in Alaska working as an art director for Snowboarder magazine. He moved to Portland in 2002 and started his own studio, Draplin Design Co., in 2004.
Some of his influences include Saul Bass, Herb Lubalin, Paul Rand, Charles S. Anderson, Emek, Art Chantry, Milton Glaser, and Massimo Vignelli.
His style and philosophy
Draplin's style is characterized by thick lines, bold colors, geometric shapes, and retro fonts. He likes to create logos that are simple, memorable, versatile, and timeless. He also likes to create posters that are eye-catching, informative, and expressive. He often uses humor and irony in his work to make it more engaging and fun.
Draplin's philosophy is based on hard work, honesty, generosity, and passion. He believes that graphic design is not only a profession but also a hobby and a lifestyle. He loves making stuff for himself and for others. He also loves sharing his knowledge and experience with other designers through his blog, podcasts, workshops, books, and social media.
What is Pretty Much Everything?
Pretty Much Everything is a book that Draplin published in 2016 with Abrams Books. It is a mid-career survey of his work that covers almost everything he has done since he started his career in graphic design. It is also a collection of case studies, inspiration, road stories, lists, maps, how-tos, and advice that show his process, his challenges, his successes, and his failures. It is also a showcase of his posters, record covers, logos, and more that demonstrate his style, his skills, and his creativity.
A mid-career survey of work
The book is divided into 12 chapters that cover different aspects of Draplin's work. The first chapter is an introduction that tells his story and his influences. The second chapter is about his early work as a student and as a snowboarder. The third chapter is about his freelance work for various clients and projects. The fourth chapter is about his merchandising work for his own brand and for others. The fifth chapter is about his Field Notes brand and how he created it with Jim Coudal. The sixth chapter is about his rock and roll efforts for bands and musicians. The seventh chapter is about his open road trips and adventures. The eighth chapter is about his thick lines style and how he developed it. The ninth chapter is about his tall tales world tour and how he traveled around the world to give lectures and workshops. The tenth chapter is about his personal projects and hobbies. The eleventh chapter is about his future plans and goals. The twelfth chapter is a conclusion that summarizes his work and his philosophy.
A collection of case studies, inspiration, and advice
The book is not only a portfolio of Draplin's work but also a guide for other designers who want to learn from him. Each chapter contains case studies that explain how he approached different projects, what challenges he faced, what solutions he found, and what results he achieved. Each chapter also contains inspiration that shows where he got his ideas from, what sources he used, what references he followed, and what influences he had. Each chapter also contains advice that gives tips, tricks, suggestions, recommendations, and warnings for other designers who want to improve their skills, their business, or their life.
A showcase of posters, record covers, logos, and more
The book is also a visual feast for the eyes that showcases Draplin's amazing work in graphic design. Each chapter contains hundreds of images that illustrate his posters, record covers, logos, and more. Each image is accompanied by captions that describe the project, the client, the date, the size, the medium, the color scheme, the font choice, the concept, the message, and the story behind it. The book also contains some special features such as a fold-out poster of all 50 state posters that he made for the "Things We Love" series; a tear-out sheet of stickers that he designed for various occasions; a section of sketches and doodles that show his creative process; and a section of testimonials from his friends, family, colleagues, clients, and fans.
Why should you read Pretty Much Everything?
If you are still not convinced that you should read this book, here are some reasons why you should:
To learn from a successful graphic designer and entrepreneur
Draplin is not only a talented graphic designer but also a savvy entrepreneur who has built his own brand and business from scratch. He has worked with big-name clients such as Nike, Ford Motors, Patagonia, Esquire Magazine, and the Obama Administration. He has also created his own products such as Field Notes notebooks, Draplin Design Co. merchandise, and Pretty Much Everything book. He has also published articles, given interviews, and appeared on podcasts to share his insights and opinions on graphic design. He has also taught classes, given lectures, and conducted workshops to educate and inspire other designers. By reading this book, you can learn from his experience, his expertise, his strategies, and his secrets on how to become a successful graphic designer and entrepreneur.
To get inspired by his creativity and passion
Draplin is not only a skilled graphic designer but also a passionate creator who loves making stuff for himself and for others. He has made thousands of posters, record covers, logos, and more that showcase his creativity and passion. He has also made personal projects such as state posters, space shuttle patches, family tree charts, and more that express his interests and passions. He has also collected vintage stuff such as matchbooks, pins, signs, and more that inspire him and fuel his passion. By reading this book, you can get inspired by his creativity and passion on how to make stuff that you love and that others love too.
To have fun with his humor and stories
Draplin is not only a professional graphic designer but also a funny guy who knows how to have fun with his Conclusion
Pretty Much Everything is a book that every graphic designer should read. It is not only a showcase of Draplin's amazing work, but also a source of inspiration, education, and entertainment. It is a book that reveals the story behind the work, the work behind the story, and the story behind the story. It is a book that celebrates graphic design as a craft, a business, a hobby, and a lifestyle. It is a book that pretty much has everything you need to know about Draplin Design Co.
Here are some frequently asked questions about Draplin Design Co. and Pretty Much Everything:
Where can I buy Pretty Much Everything? You can buy it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, or directly from Draplin Design Co.
How much does Pretty Much Everything cost? The list price is $45.00, but you can find it cheaper online or in some bookstores.
Is there an audiobook or an ebook version of Pretty Much Everything? No, there is only a hardcover version of Pretty Much Everything.
Is there a sequel or an update to Pretty Much Everything? No, there is no sequel or update to Pretty Much Everything yet, but Draplin said he might do one in the future.
How can I contact Draplin Design Co.? You can contact Draplin Design Co. through their website, email, phone, or social media.