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Draplin Design Co., North America
The Minneapolis College of Art + Design


My experience at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design put some icing on the cake, as I was coming off five hot years of “wingin’ it” Out West. I had learned a lot on my own, but always felt there was a unattended-to lapse in my academic career. I wanted to finish school up, for the sake of completion, for me, and wanted to see if I could cut it in the big leagues.

Folks like Jerry Allan, Santiago Piedrafita, Jan Jancourt and Kali Nikitas guided this reckless energy into a big city, hi-falutin’ design degree.

Jerry Allan

Jerry Allan taught me how to look at things in different ways. This skill, forever to be honed into something involuntary and automatic. His genuine positivity, vast knowledge of technique and form dynamics and willingness to accept ALL students are fondly remembered for that one 3D class I was lucky enough to have taken with him.

Santiago Piedrafita

Santiago Piedrafita once went to the length of cursing out the whole class and exclaiming, “Go be lawyers or a insurance salesman or something…,” and concluded the sermon with a couple steamy expletives and stormed off. Class was dismissed-and rightly so-due to a lack of “work up on the wall” to be discussed. That was a tough moment, but taught all us a crucial lesson: “Don’t waste people’s time.” He was there to help us, and a lot of those fuckers didn’t have work to show, so he let us all have it, and hard.

Santiago’s worldly quality, contemporary design awareness and contagious energy still continues to inspire me when we cross paths back in big city Minneapolis.

Jan Jancourt

Jan Jancourt has “good hair.” (Or so all the gals in class had to say.) His support and guidance and overall ability to make a kid feel like a colleague instead of a student created a welcoming air of one-to-one respect. I always found his insight and critique valuable.

Kali Nikitas

Kali Nikitas in the most basic of Typography classes. Abrasive and condescending (involuntary, I’d like to think) are an interesting way to win over an eager, excited student. She’s a tough cookie and even if I don’t agree with some of her methods of driving a point home, I do gigantically respect her love and commanding knowledge of typographic rules and finesse.

Plain and simple, she taught me a skill set that will forever resonate with every type decision I make. Plus, she wore this interesting foil sweater deal that was always good for some perplexing thought.

Ben Clemence

Ben Clemence in the Woodworking Shop had an amazing amount of patience and calm in that big, loud-possibly dangerous-environment. He taught me some lifelong woodworking techniques.

Pam Arnold

Pam Arnold of Designworks always had a pat on the back for me, and an inspiring optimism about the profession, and the opportunities for me out there in the big, wide, real world.

Fellow Students

Fellow students like Ryno Simonson, Matt Cooley, PJ Chmiel, Michael Godfrey, Kurt Halsey Frederiksen, Matt Rezac, Chad Kloepfer, Geoff Schley, Andy Maniotes, Atsushi, Bryan Haker, Will Staehle, Justin Israels, Jamie Pulley, Charlie Ross, Brad Randall, Michael Gaughan and Jason Miller were all “pretty good to me.”

There Are 5 Comments

at MCAD Aaron and Juice dropped “mad knowledge” on the sciences of life, design and hollr’n at the ladies.

Much respect.


Posted by: Bryan Haker on 07/07/05 at 7:08 AM

yes, the mcad ddc dropped the k no in the printshop, setting up in fine style, the draplindustris design co. screenprinting dept.

i adopted his print apron even though he scrawled on the back “return this or die, fucker, to: [insert top secret headquarters info.]”

i still strap it on for wild design inspiration.


Posted by: justin clifton on 09/19/05 at 9:18 AM

I have NO idea how I got here. Once here however I enjoyed your site and can see why you were like “fuck you cat fancy” and took the award when you were in LA. After more exploration I find that we share a similar background:
“During this time he polished up his design skills, learned how to weld and how to develop a photo in nasty chemicals”
I ended up in the photo dept. of a good school near a great resturant called Little T’s. I forget the name of the school but I owe them money. Anyways I droped the Photo dept loke a bad habit had Woody and Mike Tousman in the Shop teach me to weld instead while taking my Design classes.
After a touch more exploration I ran across Santiago’s name in your site. I know’em. Did some work for him through Man.Trans. for AND1 with Arya and Ben Conrad. Good times. Rock Soild Humor! Work that would make master P say “Urrrgh”. Good show! Maybe I’ll see you around. Oh yeah I too am in Portland.

Posted by: Crack laa Rock on 06/26/07 at 10:25 PM

I find it very interesting that you have Jerry Allen at the top of your list of MCAD instructors/mentors. I am guessing you have never met Lester Shen (Former Dean of B.S. - now its Jerry Allen), Anyways, he would be at the top of mine…With Jerry Allen Second of course…

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Posted by: Carlo Trennell on 04/22/12 at 8:59 PM
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