"Draplin Design Co. Pretty Much Everything" by Aaron Draplin
| 📖 # 66 |
Quick Take: thick lines
Source: Aaron Draplin
Why I Chose It: You know I love Field Notes. Did you know Aaron Draplin created them? He is, among many other things, a fantastic designer. I love his aesthetics, whether displayed in my favorite notebooks, or in his other work, like the fantastic state design identity posters he has been cranking out. When I heard he was working on a book / portfolio, I was obviously excited to obtain a copy.
Quotes: (1) "There was an appreciation for the past, and yet it all felt fresh, considerate and respectful." (2) "I still consider 'moving out west' as one of my finest achievements...I'll remember that road trip...my whole life. Every place we camped, lurked, ate...each state galling away as we made our way out west. The sky seemed so big. And it was." (3) "It's sad to me how the simpler the item is, the harder it is to make. Things like socks. Turns out America sold the looms to places far away, and now it's harder and harder to make a simple pair of socks. I find that incredibly disheartening. If we can't make the simplest of stuff, what's that say about the save American manufacturing?...It's just fun to make stuff. And put your name on it, or trick out the coffee to make it fun, or what have you. There's an absurdity to making a thousand combs, knowing that combs just aren't a thing that people use anymore, you know? But then they pick it up, and a smile, and invokes an old fond memories from growing up. I've sold over three thousand of my DDC-035 "Hair Organizer" comb! Take that, eye rollers!" (4) "[My dad] had this really generous side to him. Be it lending out tools to neighbors are noticing when someone liked something in his garage. He'd just say, 'You like it? Take it." And they'd freak out. I apply that same quality to the moment I notice someone marveling at a Field Notes three-pack or playing with whatever of my latest trinkets that's come into the shop. Just take it, use it, enjoy it and remember that there could be room to breathe in this stuff." (5) "I can't tell you how many times I've heard that classic designer's lament: 'We showed the client the stuff, and of course, they picked the **** one.' And Im bristling, thinking, Why'd you show them ****? That's shameful." (6) "Kids will ask me the age-old question each time I fill out their monotonous questionnaire for whatever school project they are squirreling through: 'How do you get to do what you do?' And I always try to break it down for them: 'You need to get busy making stuff.'" (7) "Nothing beats a road trip. The freedom, wanderlust, lowbrow chow, new faces, places and spaces all packed into eight days across the nation. That's an aspect of America I cherish. The ability to jump in a car and drive as far as you can...That's the most free I've ever been. Sure, I had a plan, but I could've gone in any direction I'd wanted."
Other Notes: I knew I like Aaron, and I knew I loved a lot of what he has made over the years. But this book provides a deeper dive into this "mountain of a man". Getting a full biography helps me appreciate him and his work all the more. He tells a compelling story to accompany his objectively (in my subjective opinion) compelling design work. I'm not sure this type of book is typically intended to be read cover to cover, but I did, and I'm sure I'll refer back to it from time to time for inspiration or admiration. I came for the Field Notes and stayed for the rest. PS - thanks to my pal Michael for helping me get a copy from the man himself, pre-filled with some ownership information!