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kottke.org posts about Aaron Draplin

Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches by John Hodgman

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 13, 2017

True Stories Beaches Hodgman

John Hodgman, formerly of The Daily Show and those Apple commercials, is out with a memoir of his middle-aged wanderings through New England called Vacationland.

Disarmed of falsehood, he was left only with the awful truth: John Hodgman is an older white male monster with bad facial hair, wandering like a privileged Sasquatch through three wildernesses: the hills of Western Massachusetts where he spent much of his youth; the painful beaches of Maine that want to kill him (and some day will); and the metaphoric haunted forest of middle age that connects them.

Vacationland collects these real life wanderings, and through them you learn of the horror of freshwater clams, the evolutionary purpose of the mustache, and which animals to keep as pets and which to kill with traps and poison. There is also some advice on how to react when the people of coastal Maine try to sacrifice you to their strange god.

Some of this hits remarkably close to the bone:

Though wildly, Hodgmaniacally funny as usual, it is also a poignant and sincere account of one human facing his forties, those years when men in particular must stop pretending to be the children of bright potential they were and settle into the failing bodies of the wiser, weird dads that they are.

I don’t know about wiser, but weird dad with a failing body is pretty much right on the money. And I love that cover by Aaron James Draplin. *kisses fingers*

Pretty Much Everything by Aaron James Draplin

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 03, 2016

Draplin Book

You’re probably familiar with Aaron James Draplin through his work on Field Notes. Well, as his upcoming book shows, Draplin is an uncommonly prolific designer who has done a ton of amazing work.

Pretty Much Everything is a mid-career survey of work, case studies, inspiration, road stories, lists, maps, how-tos, and advice. It includes examples of his work — posters, record covers, logos — and presents the process behind his design with projects like Field Notes and the “Things We Love” State Posters. Draplin also offers valuable advice and hilarious commentary that illustrates how much more goes into design than just what appears on the page. With Draplin’s humor and pointed observations on the contemporary design scene, Draplin Design Co. is the complete package for the new generation of designers.

I’ve been a fan of his for a long time…this is an easy purchase.

Inside the brain of a designer

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 10, 2014

If you’ve ever wondered how a designer does their thing (or even if you haven’t), this look-over-the-shoulder view of Aaron Draplin designing a logo for a fictional company in about 10 minutes is great. A nice reminder that design is truly about making it up as you go along.

I love Draplin. Internet treasure, that guy. And that lefty writing claw! Go lefties!

Later today: Layer Tennis

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 12, 2009

This afternoon at 3pm ET, I will offering the commentary in a first round match of the 2009 Layer Tennis playoffs. The match features Aaron Draplin vs. Sam Potts and promises to be awesome. Come by and heckle. BTW, the morning match between Chris Glass and Greg Hubacek with commentary by Rosecrans Baldwin has already begun.

Redesigning the Super Bowl logo

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 28, 2009

Some designers take a crack at redesigning the most recent Super Bowl logo. Most are completely impractical, but I thought Aaron Draplin’s had a nice throwback style.