Esquire. Ford Motors. Burton Snowboards. The Obama Administration. While all of these brands are vastly different, they share at least one thing in common: a teeny, little bit of Aaron James Draplin. Draplin is one of the new school of influential graphic designers who combine the power of design, social media, entrepreneurship, and DIY aesthetic to create a successful business and way of life.
Aaron writes his own story (you can read it here) with self-effacing humor—he calls his bio “Draplinformation.” Aaron is not in it for the acclaim and doesn’t take himself too seriously. But his monumentally successful career has included clients like Nike, Burton, Patagonia, WIRED Magazine, Ford Motor Company, the Obama Administration, Condé Nast, and the New York Times.
He also works heavily with adventure, apparel, and gear brands; past clients include Coal Headwear, the Union Binding Company, Snowboard Magazine, Field Notes, Ride Snowboards, Forum Snowboards, Grenade Gloves, Chunklet Magazine, Cobra Dogs, Absinthe Films, NemoDesign, Gnu Snowboards, RVL7 Apparel, Burton Snowboards, K2 Snowboards, Bonfire Snowboarding Apparel, and South American Snow Sessions.
His graphic design book, Pretty Much Everything, is a mid-career survey of work, case studies, inspiration, road stories, lists, maps, how-tos, and advice. It includes examples of his work—posters, record covers, logos—and presents the process behind his design with projects like Field Notes and the “Things We Love” State Posters. Draplin also offers valuable advice and hilarious commentary that illustrates how much more goes into design than just what appears on the page. With Draplin’s humor and pointed observations on the contemporary design scene, Draplin Design Co. is the complete package for the new generation of designers.