Walker Art Center

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Aaron Draplin, Draplin Design Company, Portland, Oregon



Although he makes his home in Portland, Oregon, Aaron Draplin is more a product of being born, raised, and educated in the Midwest. A native of Detroit, he studied graphic design at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design before heading out west to work as art director of Snowboarder magazine. He founded Draplin Design Company (DDC) in 2004, producing a wide range of award-winning projects and developing products for businesses such as Coal Headwear; board designs for Ride, Forum, and Gnu; conceiving Field Notes journals with Coudal Partners in Chicago; and the array of merchandise for the DDC brand enterprise. Draplin’s iconic forms and bold designs are steeped in a no-nonsense Midwestern vernacular and work ethic. They project an authenticity and attitude that seems inseparable from his self-deprecating personality and his clients’ passions, reflected in the DDC motto, “Work hard and do good work for good people.”

Part of Insights 2012 Design Lecture Series.