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Draplin Design Co., North America
Things We Love


  1. Mom.
  2. Dad.
  3. Leigh.
  4. Sister Sarah.
  5. Sister Leah.
  6. Little Gary.
  7. Big S the Passat.
  8. The DDC Factory Floor.
  9. A small Craftsman on NE 67th Avenue.
  10. Our roof.
  11. Our backyard.
  12. Fall foliage.
  13. The month of Octobrrr.
  14. Cool summer nights.
  15. That Flat Midwest.
  16. The Wet Northwest.
  17. Graphic design as a way to “Make An Honest Living.”
  18. Stayin’ outta the red.
  19. Acoustic guitars.
  20. Electric guitars.
  21. Walls of sound.
  22. The Open Road.
  23. Helvetica 55.
  24. Trade Gothic Condensed no.20.
  25. Futura Bold.
  26. Legos.
  27. Bad wildlife art.
  28. Thick paper with a good tooth to it.
  29. My beat-up Carhartt jacket.
  30. Levi 501s.
  31. Saucony Jazz kicks.
  32. Gold Toe socks.
  33. A new pair of socks.
  34. Adobe Illustrator.
  35. Adobe Photoshop.
  36. Adobe InDesign.
  37. Being straight with Uncle Sam.
  38. Being a good citizen/being a bad citizen.
  39. Standing up to shit that, “Isn’t right.”
  40. The stars in the summer night sky.
  41. A cold Coke.
  42. Vignelli oversize calendars.
  43. Compact discs.
  44. iTunes.
  45. iPods.
  46. Apple Products big, small, brilliant and absolutely crucial to our paltry existence.
  47. Books.
  48. Corner rounders.
  49. Flat files.
  50. A disc on the player.
  51. A stack of recently-purchased discs from the local record store.
  52. Checks showing up in the mail.
  53. Midwestern accents.
  54. Girl hands.
  55. Clean sheets.
  56. Down comforters.
  57. Cold water.
  58. Hot water.
  59. A hot shave.
  60. A tall glass of ice-cold water.
  61. Mom’s spaghetti.
  62. Dad’s “killer pizza.”
  63. Club sandwiches.
  64. The Ideal Diner in Minneapolis.
  65. The working man.
  66. Untucked shirts.
  67. Autobiographical tattoos.
  68. Impko stickers.
  69. Cards of business.
  70. Cards kits.
  71. Spot UVs.
  72. Ikea.
  73. Old postcards with “scalloped edges.”
  74. MInneapolis.
  75. Route 66.
  76. Leaving Southern California.
  77. The Flaming Lips.
  78. Schaedler rulers.
  79. Aluminum items.
  80. A vanilla milkshake.
  81. Making lists.
  82. And checking everything off.
  83. Feeling “complete” after a hard day of catching up on house chores and bills.
  84. Jackalopes.
  85. Bigfoot.
  86. Nessie.
  87. Skunk Apes.
  88. Flying home to mom and dad.
  89. A good, brisk walk with Gary.
  90. When Gary performs a “two-fer”: Pissin’ and shittin’ when we go out back.
  91. Ham radio cards.
  92. Bose Speakers.
  93. Rain squalls.
  94. Fall.
  95. Spring rainshowers in Portland.
  96. Mowing the grass.
  97. The color, “Orange.”
  98. Pantone 165.
  99. 1” rocker buttons.
  100. Those bridges of Madison County.
  101. Kentuckty’s rolling hills.
  102. Appalachia.
  103. Universal icons.
  104. A Western straightaway.
  105. Business loops off the highway.
  106. “OFFICE” signs.
  107. Jackalopes.
  108. Going home.
  109. Mom’s french toast.
  110. A letter from a girl.
  111. Dad’s vegetable beef soup.
  112. The hills of Eastern Oregon on Highway 20, east of Burns.
  113. Joe Beebe. A champion.
  114. A full tank of gas.
  115. Flat screen TVs.
  116. Flat screen monitors.
  117. Old dimes stores that let the stock “sell out” before rotating it with new crap.
  118. Log typography.
  119. Brick buildings.
  120. The houses of Louisville.
  121. Shotgun houses in Louisville.
  122. A nice piece of Alaskan Halibut.
  123. Uncle Bens’ wild rice.
  124. Chicken fried rice.
  125. “Pad Kee Mao” from Chaba Thai down the street.
  126. Beans & Rice, Dominican style, off the J train in Brooklyn.
  127. Punjabi, latenight, on Houston in Manhattan.
  128. Water chestnuts.
  129. Baby corn.
  130. Green beans.
  131. Asparagus.
  132. Utah’s license plates.
  133. Moab.
  134. Those Badlands of South Dakota.
  135. Gary gallops/hops and endos when throwing the ball around.
  136. Getting home after a long roadtrip.
  137. Writing things down.
  138. Field Notes.
  139. Practicing my penmanship.
  140. Harmonicas.
  141. That “Dm7” chord.
  142. Pilote Butte.
  143. Luis Guzman.
  144. Philip Seymour Hoffman.
  145. People who exhibit good grammar and punctuation. (I’m trying!)
  146. Apsco pencil sharpeners.
  147. Boxer shorts.
  148. Pesto.
  149. Old warehouse buildings.
  150. Dogs who lay on their sides.
  151. Bullet pencils.
  152. Old maps.
  153. Cholula hot sauce.
  154. Dogs who jump from bed to bed in a hotel room.
  155. Ford Econoline vans.
  156. Scandinavian flatware.
  157. 70s textile wall art. Specifically, “Geometric stuff.”
  158. Heartart textiles by Hiroshi Awatsuji.
  159. Political campaign buttons of the 60s and 70s.
  160. Union pinbacks.
  161. Golden books.
  162. Golden guides.
  163. Volvo station wagon typography.
  164. Orange iPhone protective cases.
  165. Strawberries, a banana and some orange juice blended into some ice.
  166. Carl Sagan.
  167. Guatemalan Chicken Buses!
There Are 16 Comments

I really enjoy the style and subject matter of this site. I am a freelance graphic design geek from Portland, OR and I am always looking for cool websites with this sort of indie DIY sensibility. I don’t know why I am saying all of this, I just feel like I have a one-way connection after a few months of e-stalking this site. Is art school pretty much the only way to crack into the full-time graphic design world? I have absolutely zero business savvy. It’s cool to see such an artistic person being able to do it for a living and, from what I have seen you don’t seem like a sell out. Anyway, great site, I’m done rambling now.

Posted by: Oyl Miller on 07/02/05 at 3:31 PM

oh i am putting together mine now…

from a fresh outta college graphic / multimedia designer…

Posted by: amanda b (ab design) on 02/07/08 at 3:52 AM

How come you love Ikea? Talking about respect in the (graphic design) world while at the same time bashing your friends over at the furniture department by loving Ikea seems so unlikely to go well with the rest of your attitude.. alas, its just an opinion. Just wanted to remind you that IKEA is one of the reasons why America is (as) fucked as the rest of the world, furniture-wise.


Posted by: Jan on 08/05/08 at 7:40 PM

I was thinking the same thing about Ikea.

Posted by: jmw on 01/24/09 at 6:18 PM

I love the greatest rock band in North America - Rush; kicking ass for over 30 years!

Posted by: Darris on 03/03/09 at 3:44 PM

Oh yeah, and I love the landscape of North America too, specifically the Colorado Plateau.

You guys have a lot of love; that’s “real good”

Posted by: Darris on 03/03/09 at 3:47 PM

keep on !

i’ll eat it!



Posted by: caruso on 05/15/09 at 1:20 AM

Have you ever considered adding more videos to your blog posts to keep the readers more entertained? I mean I just read through the entire article of yours and it was quite good but since I’m more of a visual learner,I found that to be more helpful.

Posted by: okazii on 02/23/10 at 1:06 PM

Considering #154…
We should then therefore have Scandinavian flatware?


Posted by: leigh McKolay on 03/09/11 at 10:46 PM

Regarding Ikea, as long as you don’t have the Poang chair which is one of the great design crimes of the last 20 years, it makes the list.

Posted by: Sara Noonan on 11/11/11 at 1:07 AM

Little Gary needs all the love he can get. He’s got some troubles. :( :( :( Viva la CBB!

Posted by: Brian Bieber on 04/19/12 at 1:21 PM

Little Gary needs all the love he can get. He’s got some troubles. :( :( :( Viva la CBB!

Posted by: Brian Bieber on 04/19/12 at 1:22 PM

Digging your list, Hearty White on WFMU, and Diamond Dogs lyrics this morning. Thanks!

“This ain’t Rock’n’Roll
This is Genocide”

Keep spreading the love

Posted by: Raj Crow on 07/02/13 at 7:26 AM

Hey Aaron. I was your lackey/speaking assistant slave in Dekalb, IL at Northern Illinois University. I really enjoyed our brief time together. So thanks again for that.

I love the list. Nice to see a list of things many of which I also appreciate. Like cold cokes, unfortunately.

P.S. just a heads up #103 says “Univerisal icons.”

Cheers. Take care.

Posted by: Neal Zetek on 12/16/14 at 2:23 PM

That Punjabi place on Houston is the shit. (I think it may have been “gentrified” this year though.)

Thanks for your fire and your inspiring work.

Posted by: Joel D on 12/16/14 at 11:22 PM

Hey, found your site from the link in Marc Maron’s email today (haven’t listened to the podcast episode yet, but if its anything like your site i’m sure it’ll be a blast).

Love your site, honesty, and the way you put it all out there. Your love for your dad - and family- comes through too and is really touching. Not sure if he’s still with you (I lost mine 3 years ago) but I’m sure he’s very proud of what you’ve accomplished.

Anyway, I’ve been wanting to build a personal site for awhile now, to tie together all the loose threads of my professional and personal interests: market research, photography, reading, writing (mostly poetry - IDK why but still find it faintly embarrassing to admit to writing poetry), woodworking, etc.

So, bottom line, I love your site, and am seriously going to rip off some of your ideas (“things we love list”, for sure)! :)

Thanks and continued success!


Posted by: Carlos Pelay on 10/26/15 at 10:39 AM
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