Tucked away on a quiet residential street in Portland, Oregon, you’ll find the backyard studio of legendary graphic designer Aaron Draplin. When he’s not galavanting around the country, speaking on book tours, and inspiring tomorrow’s creatives, this is likely where you’ll find him. No fancy white-walled office space, no staff to spread the load — just Draplin.
Were it anyone else, you’d wonder how they could possibly pull it all off. But not Draplin. He’s a brazen one-man band that unabashedly marches to the beat of his own drum. Having started his career penning graphics for Solid Snowboards and helming the art department at SNOWBOARDER magazine, Draplin then proceeded to make the leap and become the solo artist/founder of the Draplin Design Co. in 2004.
Since that time, he’s never looked back, building a roster of clientele the likes of which few could ever hope to match. You may know Draplin for the Field Notes brand — which he co-founded — but he’s also designed for Fender, Ford, Nike, Nixon Watches, Patagonia, Woolrich, and even the Obama Administration, to name just a few. Suffice it to say — his decision to go it alone catapulted his career to stratospheric heights.
In the first installment of our EDC Essentials series, we sit down with Aaron Draplin as he walks us through his daily carry. A collector of Americana from across the ages, the creative luminary could fill an entire warehouse with the items that line his studio walls. Accordingly, Draplin’s carry is quite a bit more expansive than your average enthusiast’s loadout, but each and every piece is indispensable to his routine.