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Draplin Design Co., North America


OFFICIAL BUSINESS DOWN IN SAN FRANCISCO TOMORROW: So we're hopping a flight down tonight! We're heading down to the TYPO SF conference! We'll be a camper there tomorrow, seeing all the shit, and the on Friday, we tell our WHOLE STORY. Boom!

April 08, 2014
Taxes: Done!
Posted at 06:01 PM


SURE DOES TAKE A BITE: We got our taxes in today. Done! So relieved. And hell, a week early! For me, that's really good. Special thanks to my buddy Will for helping me with all this stuff. A professional guy who keeps this man mountain in line. Very appreciated, sir.


OUR NEW DDC ACTION CAP: This one's called "Storm Cloud" and it's got a killer turquoise patch on it. Get one here! Go! Fucker's are going fast! Act now!

April 06, 2014
Sunday Stuff
Posted at 05:56 PM


WE MADE IT BACK IN ONE PIECE: And of course, worked around the shop, tinkering on this-n-that. How we do it. Out of the frying pan, and right into the toaster! We're already prepping for our upcoming TYPO SF talk this week in San Francisco, and holy shit, only the 15 scariest minutes of our life this upcoming Saturday at TEDxPortland! Us, on a stage in front of 3,000 ortlanders! Might get asked to leave town after this one? Anyhoo, we're excited for the upcoming week. The show WILL go on.

- - - -

MANDATORY VIEWING: And, we watched an incredible documentary on Geraldine Ferraro, and you should two. American hero, that lady!

April 05, 2014
Flying Back From Canada
Posted at 01:33 PM


NOT WANTING TO LEAVE CANADA: The logos are just better up here. And shit, I didn't even get to meet Wayne Gretzy or take in an Oilers game. Damn, Edmonton. I didn't know you were this big? Warn a guy, will ya?

We did another workshop this morning, where I blather on and on about projects, how shit goes down, and whatever else I could pack in. One kid wrote, "Man, that guy can talk." That's the idea, right? And we delivered.

The biggest, hairiest, American/Canadian thanks to all the badasses of The Hunt and Gather for putting this on, putting me up, and, putting up with me for the last 24 hours. Went too fast! And to the good people of Startup Edmonton, too! Beautiful facilities with the coldest water! Thanks! And holy shit, thanks to MacEwan University for the use of their incredible "United Nations" lecture hall. The best! So great, with awesome A/V capabilities. We filled that room!

Man, I'm just happy as shit to have been able to visit Edmonton, and Saskatoon this week. Thanks to all the folks who came out to the show, bought some merch, ate a sandwich with me, shot the shit, hugged it out...ALL appreciated! Thank you.

April 04, 2014
Tonight, Edmonton
Posted at 11:12 AM


EDMONTON, WE THROW DOWN WITH YOU ALL DAY TODAY: Okay, first off, check that poster! Check that face! Off all the posters in my "Gig Graphics" section, this bad boy just be the front runner! Equal parts "scary as fuck" and "so awesome!" I mean, I try to place myself in the shoes of some kid seeing this poster and thinking, "Should I go to this? Will I get hurt? What's up with that guy's face?" And that's perfect. Thank you, Hunt and Gather!

Design is so nimble, precious and twinkling. This posters beats that stuff down dead. With that said, we've got a full day waiting for us in Edmonton! Hopping the flight out of Saskatoon in a bit here!

Be there, Edmonton! Two workshops and a speaking fiasco! We're giving you guys everything we've got. Seriously. Okay, bye.

Randy's outside and I gotta load my shit out of this room. Thanks to all my buddies in Saskatoon, too! Appreciated. Bye!

April 03, 2014
Tonight, Saskatoon!
Posted at 09:04 AM


ANOTHER SHOW IN SASKATOON: Yesterday we got to do the FUZE Conference. A killer day. Ate like a king, met a bunch of Saskatoon champions and got to tell my whole story. Thank you, Jacqueline!

And tonight, we're doing the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada Saskatchewan North chapter! That goes down at Louis' Loft at 7pm! Be there, Saskatoon! We'll be presenting our somewhat esteemed multi-media presentation that we call "Tall Tales From A Large Man." Our whole story!

And damn, check out that poster up above! Printed by the good people Odelay Design, with proof here!

And, word on the streets of the Canadian Prairie is that one Allan Lorde will be in attendance! Damn! Fired up to meet this guy. Been a fan for some time.

Alright Saskatoon, this one if OFFICIAL! 7pm at Louis' Loft! See you there!

April 02, 2014
Today, Saskatoon!
Posted at 02:20 AM


SASKATOON, WE LOVE SAYING YOUR NAME: We're telling our WHOLE DAMN STORY, warts-n-moles and all today at the FUZE Conference! I'm up in the hotel room crying right now, scared. It's gonna be a tough Canadian crowd! Go easy on me, Saskatoon. Man, I love saying, "Saskatoon." Just a fun word to come out of a mouth. And, a kick-ass town. Okay, gotta get my ass back down there to tell my story...


WE'VE GOT OFFICIAL BUSINESS ON THE CANADIAN PRAIRIE: And this morning we're heading up to Vancouver, hopping the border, then catching a Canadian Rockies jumper flight over to Saskatoon. Canada! A strange and magical place!

March 31, 2014
Canada On The Mind
Posted at 09:50 AM


STRANGE AND MAGICAL: Man, we love Canada. And this week, we're heading to Saskatoon and Edmonton for some speaking gigs. Tomorrow! Gonna be awesome. So today, we're thinking about Gordie Howe and Joni Mitchell and incredible Canadian logos, preparing for our upcoming week...


GLAD TO BE DONE: Got our tax numbers done today. What a slog. Every year. Our yearly battle. For America. A small price to pay for living in the greatest country on the earth, right? I sure am thankful to live here. Thanks, USA.

And man, we love that IRS logo. One of America's best logos. I'm sure it'll be killed off at some point, like all the other good shit.

March 29, 2014
Sucky Saturday
Posted at 09:50 AM


SATURDAYS SHOULD BE AWESOME: Not this one. It's a battle between me and a shoebox of receipts. Just adding up all the bullshit from 2013 for tax time. Big fun. Crunching those fuckin' numbers. And, we're looking good! We might even get them in "before April 1!?" That would be a TRIUMPH for the DDC. Adventures in American taxpaying!

March 28, 2014
Goodbye Cleveland, Goodbye Mom
Posted at 08:33 AM


HARD TIMES FOR THE DDC: First off, I didn't want to leave Cleveland. I wanted Little Jacket to adopt me, put me to work and then hose me down at the end of the day. Damn. Cool shop! Check their stuff out.

And of course, I hated having to get on that plane and leave Mom behind. Always hate that part. My sweet, little mom, having to drive all the way back to Detroit all by herself? What kind of son does that kind of thing? Well, my mom isn't like other moms. She's tough, in a nice way. It was great having her as "security detail" in and around Cleveland. And I already miss her. Bad. See you in three weeks, Mom!

Special thanks to AIGA Cleveland and Cleveland Whiskey for taking such good care of me. What a kick-ass show. Thank you!

And EXTRA SPECIAL "FUCK YEAH" thanks to OK Pants and Jayson Shenk for coming to the show! Boom!

March 27, 2014
Al Day Today, Cleveland!
Posted at 08:01 AM


THREE TIMES TO THROW DOWN WITH THE DDC: Alright, Cleveland. Settle down. We're back and we're telling our story to AIGA Cleveland all day today, culminating in a go-for-broke design lecture/speaking fiasco later tonight! Serious stuff, serious stuff.

Here's the official link to "Aaron Draplin Day." Wow! Got a good ring to it, right?

Three events, so, hell, pick one, or pick them all. We reckon you should pick them all.

(From the AIGA Cleveland site...)

01. Behind the Scenes with DDC
9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Get a look Behind The Scenes Of DDC. Aaron will share his process, a sneak peek of open jobs, and insider tips and tricks. Once Aaron has shared his insight, he'd like to hear from you! Feel free to bring along some work examples. The subject and material of this event will be different than the evening event.

02. Lunch With A Leader:
12:30 PM – 2:00 PM
If you’re looking for some time with Aaron in a more personal setting, this is it! Aaron will be hosting the Lunch with a Leader for March. This event is open to members only, space is limited.

03. Design Speaker Series:
6:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Continuing the celebration of AIGA’s Centennial year, AIGA Cleveland is delighted to present a straight up shot of the formidable Aaron Draplin, with a chaser of warm and bright: Cleveland Whiskey.

- - - -

So what's it gonna be, Cleveland? Figure it out. We look forward to GIVING IT OUR ALL, all damn day. For you, Cleveland!

March 26, 2014
On Up To Cleveland To Meet Mom
Posted at 02:22 PM


UP TO CLEVELAND: And damn, we like the sound of that. But, we didn't want to leave Columbus. Met so many nice people there, I just wanted to stay and maybe start a band with Jack, or have Mackenzie hire me to sweep up the MindMarket, or maybe get a job at the record store a couple blocks away? Many options. Had a great time telling my story. Ate precisely every 19 minutes. Slept like a dead man for a couple nights in a loft apartment. Ate a Spam sandwich at a Tiki joint. All in all, a kick-ass couple of Columbus, Ohio days. Thanks, you guys! And to all you students: Stay fuckin' wild, and, MOVE SOMEWHERE WILD, while you have youth on yer side! That's an order, you scrubs!

Oh yeah, I drove up to Cleveland, loaded in to my hotel, got Mom sorted out, and then we went and hit the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame down on the shore of Lake Erie. Alway dig hitting that place up. Lots of cool shit to wonder about, and a fun building. Tons of artifacts and history. Sid Vicious boots. Bruce Springsteen album title ideas while recording Born To Run. Wow. Michael Jackson clothes. Replacements artifacts. A ton of weirdo Jefferson Airplane stuff. Old blue guitars. Hell, Muddy Waters' guitar! Jimi Hendrix childhood drawings. Weird punk shit. Weird new wave shit. The initial Public Enemy logo sketch! Funny Rolling Stones outfits. I think my favorite item was a couple of gigantic stage props from a Neil Young tour. Big tweed amps as tall as you are. So cool.

Up above, that's a drawing Joni Mitchell did some years back. Markers. Pretty incredible.

Mom and I had a good time, then went and hit Chop for a square meal. We had steaks.

Tomorrow, Cleveland! A jam-packed, whiskey-soaked motherfucker of a day! Excited!

March 25, 2014
Tonight, Columbus!
Posted at 08:47 AM


YOU BETTER BE THERE, COLUMBUS: Calling all Columbus College of Art & Design champion students! Call all Columbus designers! Hell, all Ohioans! C'mon, Columbus. One night only!

We came all this way! Braved turbulence and elbows and dying electronics to get here. We'll be telling our road-tested story tonight, with updates and twists and turns, and that shit's getting going at 7:00 in the PM. Here's the Facewhizz superlink for tonight's gig at MindMarket!

Us, telling our whole story. Orange stuff. Long dogs. Tall tales. Logos. Vectors. Laffs. Questionable content. Big words. Small ideas. Sweat. Fun. Multi-media. Full DDC merch table. Be there, Columbus!

March 24, 2014
Carry Me, Ohio
Posted at 09:55 AM


HEADING BACK TO OHIO: We've got official business tomorrow at the Columbus College of Art & Design! Telling our story to a slew of Central Ohioans. Hopping a flight to Minneapolis, then over to Columbus. Fired up to get back to the Midwest...

Here's the link for the gig at MindMarket!

March 23, 2014
Sorting The Unsorted
Posted at 11:41 PM


PILES AND PILES: Sorting out our 2013 tax year. No time for anything else. Bummed.

March 22, 2014
Musty Attic, Please Produce
Posted at 02:22 PM


HIT A LACKLUSTER ESTATE SALE TODAY: And luckily, found this little graphic up in the musty attic. Otherwise, it would've been a big, hairy bust. I don't like striking out. SpaceScope!

March 21, 2014
Mark Phillips Lunch
Posted at 07:31 PM


WORKED MY ASS OFF TODAY: Highlight of the day was having lunch with Mark Phillips. We had goopy sandwiches at Lardo over on Hawthorne. Good shit. Had the mortadella. Destroyed that thing. Spicy!


THE GOOD WOOD: The "Shelterwood" Edition! I can't believe it, either. These things are so cool. Click here and get it going.

- - - -

ABSOLUTE MANDATORY VIEWING: Check this INCREDIBLE film FN Midwest made! Another triumph.


FROM SUN-UP TO SUN-DOWN: Today's "John Moreland Day" on the DDC factory floor.He's playing at Dante's tonight, and we'll be damned if we're missing it. Last time he rolled through, we were on the road doing one of our speaking fiascoes in some rotgut city, and missed him. Still sore about that. John's at Dante's tonight, and you should come see this guy play.

My Santa Cruz buddy Eli turned me on to his Everything The Hard Way record a couple years back. Big anthems, and man, I was hooked right away. Shit's so precious these days. So nimble. And here's a guy playing rock-n-roll, and it's big and simple and just fuckin' right. I needed that. Thanks, Eli, and thanks John.

I plan on getting a big, meaty handshake from John tonight. If time allows, we're hoping to have him by the shop to shoot the shit some, outfit him with however we can help and celebrate the power of a guy driving around the nation playing his songs. It still exists. Go see John tonight, Portland. Seriously.


GOT THOSE FLUORESCENT BLUES: Working on a project that requires a mess of fluorescent inks, and damn, always tricky getting them to realistically show the hues on screen. All these years, whenever I need a couple big colors, I have to rebuild 'em each time. So I built the whole set today, once and for all. So bright!


UPLOAD, UPLOAD, UPLOAD: 55 files! A whole deck of cards, a couple of jokers and a box. Uploaded! Print! Print! Print!

March 16, 2014
Making A Deck of Cards
Posted at 01:18 PM


GOT THE CALL: Accepted the challenge. Making a deck of cards this weekend. Been waiting for this shot for a long time. Will show 'em as soon as I can.

March 15, 2014
Spring Listening List
Posted at 01:21 PM



01. Bill Callahan - Dream River
02. Temples - Sun Structures
03. The Men - Tomorrow's Hits
04. Drive-By Truckers - English Oceans
05. Beck - Morning Phase
06. Guided By Voices - Motivational Jumpsuit
07. Calexico - Spiritoso
08. Sun Kil Moon - Benji
09. Led Zeppelin - CODA
10. BIlly Bragg & Wilco - Mermaid Avenue Vol. III
11. The Damned - Damned Damned Damned
12. Johnny Fritz - Dad Country
13. Volcano Choir - Repave
14. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Hummingbird 10"
15. The Sea and Cake - The Biz
16. The Sea and Cake - Everybody
17. The Delines - Colfax
18. Big Business - Battlefields Forever
19. Jason Isbell - Southeastern
20. Polvo - Siberia
21. Richmond Fontaine - Post To Wire
22. Scud Mountain Boys - Do You Love The Sun
23. The Shrine - Primitive Blast
24. Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats - Mind Control
25. Craig Finn - Clear Heart Full Eyes
26. Flaming Lips - Peace Sword EP
27. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Wig Out At Jagbags
28. Red Fang - Whales and Leeches
29. Desertshore - Drifting Your Majesty
30. All Tiny Creatures - Dark Clock
31. Son Volt - Artifacts
32. Melvins - A Senile Animal
33. Hum - You'd Prefer An Astronaut
34. William Tyler - Impossible Truth
35. Spiritualized - Sweet Heart Sweet Light
36. Robbie Basho - Visions of the Country
37. Lord Dying - Summon The Faithless
38. Gaytheist - Hold Me...But Not So Tight
39. Cardinal - Hymns
40. Patterson Hood - Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance

March 14, 2014
Cool Minnesota Patch
Posted at 11:47 PM


WAS DIGGING IN SOME STUFF: Found this cool Minnesota patch. Had to get it on the site. So good.

March 13, 2014
New Mac Pro Super Tube!
Posted at 11:34 AM


FINALLY GOT THE THING IN HERE: Took long enough, Uncle Apple. What, two months since we put the order in back in late December? A lifetime. Was sweating that fart tube pretty hard.

Well, it's finally here, and fast as fuck. Our sleeves are rolled up and we're getting down to work transferring data, tuning knobs, configuring this and that to get this rig ready to SLAY some American Graphic Design. The only way we know how. Our life.

Made it to middle age with this shit. Hope to go another 100 years, and then, die a brave, wet death at the hands of nature, and then I hope I'll join Dad in the void and we'll go explore the cosmos together, fighting over who's feet stink worse and other serious shit.

March 12, 2014
Ninety Inches Of "Fuck Yeah"
Posted at 02:17 PM


DAMN, THAT'S A LOT OF REAL ESTATE: Three 30-inchers! Bam! One for the artboard, one for email/iTunes/Twitter/Calendar, one for some other shit. Haven't figured it out just yet. Wow. Feeling very thankful to sit in this cockpit. So weird. Love yer tools.

March 11, 2014
Jury Duty - Day 02
Posted at 06:34 PM


WAS SO NERVOUS GETTING INTERVIEWED BY THOSE ATTORNEYS: Courtrooms just freak me out. Like hospitals. I get nervous and nauseous. Getting interviewed yesterday, I had the butterflies going hard. Adn the kid sitting there on trial, I just felt bad for him. Whether he did it or not, he was still in there under all that pressure.. Damn. So weird. All of it.

And yet, beautiful. We're lucky to have it.

I didn't make the cut for the trial and got released. How it goes. Democracy!