Aaron Draplin

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Aaron Draplin in San Francisco, March 2016

Aaron James Draplin is a graphic designer, author and founder of Draplin Design Co. (DDC). Born in Detroit, Michigan,[1] on October 15, 1973. He is now based in Portland, Oregon.[2] His clients include Nike, Burton Snowboards, Esquire, Red Wing, Field Notes, Ford Motor Company and the Obama Administration.[3][4] His book, Pretty Much Everything, is a mid-career survey of his work including case studies and advice which was released in May 2016.[5][6]

Early life[edit]

Aaron Draplin was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan on October 15, 1973 to the parents of Jim and Lauran Draplin.[7] Before giving birth, Lauran Draplin was a secretary at Chrysler and Jim Draplin was an electrician at Great Lakes Steel. Draplin has two sisters Sarah (1975) and Leah (1983). He attended St. Francis High School until 10th grade then finished up at Traverse City Senior High, graduating in 1991. At 17, Draplin started his associate degree at Northwestern Michigan College. Here, he learned to basics of visual art. At 19 he moved to Bend, Oregon to pursue his career in graphic design.


He started his career with a snowboard graphic for Solid Snowboards, which jumpstarted his career. After five years, he moved to Minneapolis to finish his design degree at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. During this time, he polished his skills, that he applied later on during his professional career. In April 2000, he accepted an art director position at SNOWBOARDER magazine. He won "Art Director of the Year for Primedia 2000. In 2002, he became a senior designer at Cinco Design Office of Portland. Here, he worked on accounts such as the Gravis, Helly Hansen, Nixon.

Draplin Design Co.[edit]

Draplin Design Co. was founded by Aaron Draplin in 2004, specializing in brand identity, logo design and typography.


Sporting goods: Brewery Outfitters Carmagnum, Finish Line/Cinco Design Generic Man, Icebreaker, Nike, Patagonia, Redwing Farms, Re:volve Apparel Project

Publications: AOL Autos Conde Nast, Filed & Stream, New York Times, Outdoor Life, Wired

Tourism: Hotel Max/ NemoDesign Princess Tours, Timberline Lodge

Software: Cocoabox Lookout, Panic

Politics: Obama Administration / Mode Project Wesley Clark for President

Agencies: Abe Froman Bold, Bonehook, Consolidated Fiction, Coudal Partners, Great Jones, Hutcho, New City Media, Shutterwink Photography, Skookum Digital Works, TEN7, The Other Firm

Rock: All Tiny Creatures, Casey Neill, Chuck Prophet, Chunklet, Copper Press, Danava, Dopes, MDP Basswork. Megafaun, Juno, Port O'Brien, Recall Seven, Richmond Fontaine, Scott Sullivan, Viva Voce, Yacht

Chow: Chateau Grand Traverse, Cobra Dogs, Forktown Food Tours, Sizzle Pies, The Peoples Sandwich of Portland

Shred: A4 Distribution, Asymbol, Betty Rides, Bonfire, Burton Snowboards, Coal Headwear, Compatriot Snowboards, Drink Water, ESPN Action Sports / NemoDesign, Exit Real World, Flow Snowboards, Forum Snowboards, Grenade Gloves, Gun Snowboards, High Cascade Snowboard Camp, K2 Snowboards, Lib Tech Snowboards, Mob Distribution, Ride Snowboards, Salomon Snowboards, SASS Global Travel, Solid Snowboards, Snowboard Magazine, Snowboarder Magazine, Suburban Blend, Tactics Board Shop, Union Binding Co., Windell's Snowboard Camps


Art Director of the Year

Snowboarder Magazine, EMAP Publishing, Los Angeles, California

Spring 2001

Featured interviews[edit]

"Tall Tales From a Large Man: Aaron Draplin"

By Firebelly Design for Design Envy, December 2013

"Aaron Draplin: In Praise of Simple Logo Design"

Graphic.com October 2013

"With Aaron James Draplin for HUGE Magazine."

as shot by Parker Fitzgerald. HUGE Magazine May 2013


  • Pretty Much Everything (2016) Abrams Books ISBN 9781419720178[8] Pretty Much Everything is a mid-career summary of work, case studies, inspiration, stories, lists, maps, how-tos, and advice. The book also includes of his work—posters, record covers, logos. Draplin reveals his process behind the Field Notes brand and his latest project, "Things We Love" State Posters. Draplin also offers advice and hilarious commentary that shows how much more goes into design than just what we see on the page.


  1. ^ "Designer Aaron Draplin is a 13-Trick Pony". Format Magazine.
  2. ^ "Aaron Draplin: There Is No Battle Plan". 99U by Behance. Behance, Inc. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  3. ^ Discontent, The Great. "Aaron Draplin on The Great Discontent". The Great Discontent. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  4. ^ "President Obama Unveils New Logos Designed by Mode Project". Mode Project. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  5. ^ "Making the Rulebook of your Life with Aaron Draplin". Lumi. Retrieved 2016-07-28.
  6. ^ "Designer Aaron Draplin wrote a book, and it's probably going to be hilarious". WIRED. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  7. ^ "Draplin Design Co.: Aaron James Draplin, A History". www.draplin.com. Retrieved 2017-05-08.
  8. ^ Aaron, Draplin (May 17, 2016). Pretty Much Everything. ISBN 978-1-4197-2017-8.

External links[edit]