Aaron Draplin has made logos for everyone from President Obama and Nike to snowboard shops and local food joints around his hometown of Portland, OR.
Aaron’s taste in food, and his design sensibility, have a lot in common. He likes things that are time tested, classic. Nothing fussy. In food, that means, for example, he loves yellow mustard. You can keep your aioli. In his work, that means thick lines. Bold letters. A retro feel.
Recently he designed a US postage stamp. It’s a single star, made up of a red, white and blue ribbon, on a plain white background. It seems so simple, but it’s really striking:
Aaron (below, right) said he was so excited about it because, “Everyone needs a stamp. Everyone gets to enjoy the art on them. Too many times, art and design is only for those who can afford it. Stamps? They are a democratization of design. And that’s my favorite kind of graphic design.”
Aaron’s democratic taste in design and food trace back to where he’s from. He’s lived in Portland for most of the last 25 years, but he grew up in Northern Michigan. His dad was an electrician and tool salesman. His mom was a secretary at Chrysler, then a homemaker. Aaron brings that midwestern sensibility, down-to-earth nature, and no-bullshit attitude into work and this week's conversation with Dan.
Interstitial music in this show by Black Label Music
- "Legend" by Erick Anderson
- "Slightly Carbonated" by Erick Anderson
- "Ya Gotta Instrumental" by Ken Brahmstedt
- "Mohawk" by Jazzy
Photos courtesy of Casey Campbell Photography, Aaron Draplin, and FlickrCC/George Groutas.