Aaron Draplin

Aaron Draplin

Designer. Ex-Carny. Beard.

Let’s take it back to ’73 when a less hairy Aaron Draplin popped out onto the Detroit scene. A serious regimen of Legos, Star Wars, drawing, skateboarding and snowboarding brought him to age 19, when he shipped west to Oregon and a graphic for Solid snowboards birthed his career. It was a quick delivery. From there things just started taking off.

Next thing he knew he was lettering café signs, drawing logos, and starting this little thing called his own company, Draplindustries Design Co. (Oh right, there was that one summer he worked slinging dough as a carny.) The next some odd years were a mash of design, welding, photography, an art director gig at SNOWBOARDER magazine, another one at the Cinco Design Office of Portland, and a bunch of other cool stuff like launching the Field Notes brand.

Today he heads up Draplin Design Co. and can say that he’s managed to “keep everything out of the red,” which is #18 on his list of “Things We Love”. Saucony Jazz kicks are #31, and he once bought 36 of the same orange pair so he’d never run out. Just saying. You know what he doesn’t love?  Tribal tattoos. Country singers in the Bahamas. The state of contemporary roadside signage. WalMart.

Notes From The Takeover

More on Field Notes. Field Notes in general, and the National Crop Edition specifically, owe their existence to a tradition of promotional memo books distributed to American farmers over the last hundred years by seed, tractor, and other agricultural companies.

Most logos aren't designed in fifteen minutes, but in this video, Aaron Draplin takes on the challenge.

All he wears are Saucony Originals. His favorite model? “The Jazz is perfect to me. Perfect. Un-messwithable.”  

How would Draplin re-design the Saucony logo? He wouldn’t touch it.

Which Saucony Originals colors speak to Draplin? Orange + Aqua.

Where does his inspiration come from? Everywhere. Outside. Online. Babies. "I just want to hold babies because they’re pure."

Here's where you can find DDC patches and the Flaming Lips posters from the DDC studio.

He's currently reading Vacationland by John Hodgman

Music he's listening to at the moment: Neil Young. Howling Rain. Chris Stapleton. Dale Kroger. Chance the Rapper. David Crosby. John Moreland. Thundercat. The Temples. Merle Haggard.

“Everything I do, everything, is screen printed. First criteria is screen printed. Second criteria is I want it to be done with my friends.”