The graphic designer, author and founder of Draplin Design Co‘s couldn’t stress the value he gains from working on fun, personal and meaningful projects enough. He encourages others to reinvent and design things that make them and those around them happy – jobs for friends or those that help people and get an important point across.
One amazing example of this, is the logos he has created for his dog Garry. ‘When I was having a rough day with clients, I would make something for Garry and it would be fun, and before I knew it he became this little brand,’ tells Aaron. Another is the epic design-led documentation of a life, which he has thus far carried out for his young nephew. Aaron emphasised the importance of these fun projects, because there’s a good chance that you can end up getting work from them, work that you actually enjoy, and can be you’re proud of. Plus, It’s a good way to flesh out a style.
Aaron sees graphic design as a way to intrigue and start conversations, and always finds time to do the projects that matter, such as those in support of charities and activists. He urges creatives to make that time to do these kinds of projects, asking you to consider, ‘think about how much time you throw away over the course of a week!’.
For the past 15 years, Aaron has carried around a little passport notepad to religiously jot down all of his ideas, which are often inspired by America signage and nostalgic memories. ‘It starts on paper, it ends up as a nice little vector!’ says the graphic designer. ‘Design shouldn’t just be a nine-to-five thing, we’re so lucky to do this’.
From their Portland base, Aaron’s Draplin Design Co. ‘makes stuff’ for Coal Headwear, Union Binding Co., Richmond Fontaine, Esquire, Nike, Wired, Dinosaur Jr, Timberline, Chunklet, Eaux Claires, Poler, Incase, Giro, Cobra Dogs, Jill Soloway, Sasquatch! Music Festival, Rhett Miller, Old 97s, Nixon Watches, Patagonia, Target, Megafaun, Ford Motor Company, Woolrich and even the Obama Administration (!!). Their first book, ‘Pretty Much Everything’, came out last year.