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Design Isn't Just a Job

Posted by Aaron Draplin on 12/17/18 10:38 AM

It’s been two years since the release of “Pretty Much Everything,” and there’s so much new stuff I wish I could jam into the first printing! Since the release, there’s been so many new logos, road trips, ups, downs, triumphs, turds, speaking fiascos, new Field Editions, Skill Share class fallout and tons of new colorful, sort-of-clever Draplin Design Co. (DDC) merch items.

 Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 11.38.42 AMWriting a book is kind of like making a time capsule. You seal in what you’ve done up until a certain point in time, and then you hand it off to the printer. And that part of the process always made me squirm. Sometimes, books are made at the tail end of a career! Did Abrams Books see something I couldn’t see? Was I at the end? Knowing the book was a one-in-a-million chance for a guy like me, I made a pact to give it my all and decided to jam the thing full(hence the title).

See, design isn’t just a job for me. I’ve experienced “punching in” for a design job — to the point where I had to drag myself there each morning, but I still powered through it. I will never, ever go back to that stuff. I know how to get the job done, be a good employee and all that, but I also know how to apply graphic design to every other facet of my life, well past the 9-to-5 grind.

That's what I wanted to show, and I did. I’m proud of that part of the book. Sure, there’s the client work and case studies. Those people trusted me with their brands — and life — and I'm so thankful. But there’s also the tricky evidence supporting this: Before design was a job, it was a hobby. And to this day, that’s still the same sort of deal for me. I learned to love the stuff, long before I learned to loathe crummy bosses, difficult clients or any of the other things mouth-breather designers love to predictably lament. 

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I don’t complain about graphic design — I savor it. Every day on the job for me is a reason to give thanks for the privileged chance to live my life creatively. And so far, so good. 

This is precisely what I packed into the book. How I applied design to EVERYTHING around me:  my dog, Gary; my dad; my incoherent thoughts about the universe; collecting long-forgotten vernacular; merchandise; time on the job (and time off). I’m thankful to share that journey with the world, even if I’m itching to cram the last two years of wildness into one book! Maybe that means publishing another? Fingers crossed!Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 11.38.54 AM

 

See keynote speaker Aaron Draplin at THREADX 19 (February 17–19, San Diego) where will lead a limited-space hands-on design workshop. Register today.

Topics: SGIA, Printing, Printing Industry, Apparel Decorators, Graphic Design, ThreadX