Aaron Draplin exhibition at University Art Gallery

Cal Poly’s University Art Gallery will present the work of Aaron Draplin, internationally lauded graphic designer, Jan. 9 through Feb. 6.

The exhibit will open with a talk by Draplin at 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 9, in Room 101 of the Baker Center for Science and Mathematics (Building 180) on campus. A reception will follow in the gallery, located on the ground floor of the Dexter Building (No. 34). The talk is not recommended for people younger than 13.

The exhibition features the design work of the Draplin Design Co. (DDC) from Portland, Ore. A wide range of Draplin's work will be on display, including logos, records, posters, clothing and more.

The Walker Museum of Art in Minneapolis describes his work as “iconic forms and bold designs that are steeped in a no-nonsense Midwestern vernacular and work ethic. They project an authenticity and attitude that seem inseparable from his self-deprecating personality and his clients’ passions, reflected in the DDC motto, ‘Work hard and do good work for good people.’”

“Aaron is known as a colorful speaker whose passion for design, combined with the work ethic of the American Midwest and the DIY of the Northwest, comes through in abundance,” said Jeff Van Kleeck, coordinator of the University Art Gallery. “Patrons will leave fired up to create and make cool things.”

Although he resides in Portland, Draplin was born, raised and educated in the Midwest. A native of Detroit, he studied graphic design at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design before moving to Southern California to work as the art director of Snowboarder magazine.

In 2004 he founded DDC, a multifaceted graphic design company offering a variety of design services, including print, identity, Web development and illustration.

Under Draplin’s direction, the company has produced numerous award-winning projects and has partnered with clients such as Nike, Wired, Burton Snowboards, Union Binding Co., Richmond Fontaine, Esquire, Timberline, Hughes Entertainment, Ford Motor Co.,  Woolrich, and the Obama Administration.

DDC has also conceived Field Notes journals with Coudal Partners in Chicago and has an array of merchandise under the DDC brand.

Draplin is well-regarded in the design community. He has spoken at the AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) national conference, TEDxPortland, How Design Conference, and at AIGA chapters across the country. He has also been profiled in Communication Arts, Design Matters with Debbie Millman, How Magazine, and The Great Discontent.

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