Graphic designer Aaron Draplin looks back on his career so far in this colourful, detailed and heartfelt book.
Aaron Draplin is the graphic designer behind the branding of Ford Motors, Esquire, and even the Obama Administration. This big colourful book takes a look back on his amazing career so far in this heartfelt and pointed retrospective.
Designer Aaron James Draplin’s book Pretty Much Everything certainly lives up to its name. This mid-career retrospective is stuffed with countless examples of his influential work, ranging from snowboard graphics to logo designs, and insights into Draplin’s unruly career path.
Readers follow his life story as inside you’ll find details about him growing up in Detroit, moving somewhere wild, and forging his career as a designer. These stories are nestled amongst a comprehensive collection of images that include childhood toys, notebook drawings, and family photos, as well as professional projects such as the Field Notes books and the ‘Things We Love’ state posters. As designer autobiographies go, this is as intimate as it gets.
Alongside shop talk, there are plenty of charming personal anecdotes which give readers a genuine insight into the mind of the designer.
As with any good graphic design book, there’s plenty to enjoy here as it’s very visually pleasing and beautiful to look at. You can tell from the cover and how it’s been printed this book has been made with love and attention to detail.
The books cover’s front and back is a hard embossed effect full of colourful logos which is absolutely gorgeous and once you have spent a good hour staring in delight you open the book to Pages and pages that are packed with countless examples of Draplin’s work, including everything from snowboard graphics to logo designs. Pretty Much Everything is a treasure chest of work and wisdom that any design studio could benefit from owning.
While the sheer amount of images might appear overwhelming at first, once you’ve got used to the flavor of Pretty Much Everything you’ll be hungry for more.
Not only is Pretty Much Everything a unique chance to look behind the scenes into how a successful graphic designer like Draplin works it’s also packed with valuable lessons learned from a variety of commissions and clients.
Including a wealth of work and a funny personal touch, Pretty Much Everything is a valuable and informative insight into the life of designer Aaron Draplin. It’s part showcase of his work, and part autobiography of his life as a designer so far.
Running through the whole book is Draplin’s do-it-yourself work ethic. From scrimping to afford his first home to dealing with big name clients, this is an eye-opening read that young designers just starting out would do well to take notice of. It’s some consolation to read that after 27 years in the business, even Draplin doesn’t know how to work out client fees.
Pretty Much Everything is delivered with his straight talking yet a heartfelt voice that is interesting and informative in a way that only Draplin could muster up.
The book is for sure the equivalent of Draplin putting his shoulder around the reader and guiding them through the different stages of his life. This bright and colourful book defiantly represents Draplin’s personality and character very well.
I would personally recommend this book to any designer or fan of Aaron Draplin you can love him which a lot of designers in the field do, or you can hate him but you have to respect him as no one does what Draplin does best as he provides his particular point of view in an inspiring and honest fashion, always modest and yet able to engage with his audience on multiple levels.
Aaron Draplin is without a doubt one of the preeminent graphic designers of our time, his influence not only covered in the pages of this book but also in design, is clearly visible. Witty, charismatic, and utterly engrossing.
It’s a must own and not just for the Field Note fans but those also wanting to understand what it takes to make it in the little leagues and forge a career in the very competitive world of graphic design.
Also published on Medium.