January 2013

I had the good fortune of seeing Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Co. for the second time last night.  The first time I saw him was at the HOW Conference in Boston, and it was quite an experience. I went into it because I knew he was a sole owner of a graphic design design business – little did I know he was also a dynamic speaker that would touch everyone in the room that day.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with Aaron Draplin, let me start by saying he is not your stereotypical designer – no black glasses, blue jeans and blazer – no fancy studio with a million Addys.  More like trucker hat, full beard, mustache and straight shooting from the hip. He is humble but also tells it like it is.

The first slide in his presentation sets the tone for the whole talk.  It states “1. I should not be up here.” But Aaron Draplin should very much be up there – no doubt about that.

Draplin took an unconventional route to design. I won’t spoil it for those that see him in other cities, but my big take away from Draplin’s talk is that there are good, humble people out there who remember the joy of doing design just because they love design. He tells you to value the small jobs as much as the larger jobs – he has made a name for himself, but no job is too small. He also pays as much attention to the detail of those small jobs (“Look how I Saul Bassed those corners!”) He tells you to “Say yes a little more than you say no.” And his best advice is work hard and love what you do – because it is not something that you HAVE to do – it is something that you GET to do.

If you get the opportunity to see him in your city, I highly recommend it. Everyone needs inspiration like Aaron Draplin once in a while. I’ve seen a lot of speakers and few have touched me the way his talk did, not once, but twice.

It is January 2013, and among my other resolutions, I’d like to work on reviving this blog.  I got sidetracked with out wedding blog last year, outlining the wedding process and all our plans, but with the launch of my new website today, I think it is time to devote my attention back to the design blog at hand.  I’m going to try to get more personal with this blog – dig into things that interest me, maybe some explanations of the process of some of my projects, hints on what to look for in a design and overall, just good design in use.  Welcome to 2013!  It is going to be a good year.