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Draplin Design Co., North America


Got the coolest call yesterday morning…

DDC: “Aaron here.”
FPC: “Jerry French here. Congratulations!”
DDC: “Jerry French! How the hell’s it going?!”
FPC: “Congratulations!”
DDC: “For what? What’s going on?”
FPC: “You won for the month of November?”
DDC: “Won what? Uh. Wait, did I enter something?”
FPC: “You sure did, the Minnesota poster. It won the Run of the Mill Paper Sample Room contest for November!”
DDC: “Jerry, I’m a wreck. I have no idea what you are talking about. Forgive me, sir.”

And in that moment, half asleep, half dead, half-assed, it hit me: That’s right, the incomparable Logistics Dept. at Burlesque of North America submitted that Minnesota poster we made last month! Damn, that’s right. Thanks, guys!

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WE’VE GOT PROOF: Here’s the link!

And we went on with our conversation with some spirited chatter about Field Notes, their Run-of-the-Mill club, and even some spring break hi-jinx of Jerry’s son, Brian. All good stuff.

And I gotta tell ya, I love me some French Paper Co. paper, promotions and spirit.

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THIS ONE HAD BEEN GOING ON A LONG TIME: I’ve been a fan of French Paper since I first laid eyes on one of Chuck’s paper promos back in the very early ’90s. Just incredible. Weird ’50s clip art on the coolest paper, all gummed up with the thickest application of thermographic ink you ever saw. I was hooked. French Paper Co.? Niles, Mich.?

I had an instructor in middle school in Central Lake named Jim McNally. He was from Niles. I liked that guy. Had him for English. One of our papers we had to write was this: “Explain how to tie a shoe.” Try it sometime. Hell of a lot harder than it sounds. When I asked Dad about Mr. McNally, he had this to say, “Coach McNally, you imbecile. That guy looked like a football coach. Knew his shit. Kinda big. Balding. A Knute Rockne kinda guy. Great guy.” Anyhoo, back to FPC.

I followed that lead back to Charles Spencer Anderson, and which opened the first doors to the Minneapolis design scene, in turn, giving me direction. I was HOOKED.

And through those mid-’90s, with all those incredible French promos, well, I did my damnedest to not miss a beat. I’ve had a good collection going for going on 20 years now!

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SOME CONTACT WITH THE GREATS: Then when I got to Minneapolis and MCAD buddy Hoss got my big meatfoot in the door at CSA, I got to see the inner workings of the machine that made all that kick-ass French Paper Co. design. Right there, from the hands of Todd Piper-Hauswirth, Erik Johnson, Kyle from Iowa, Aaron Dimmel and Chuck. So incredible. I was a lowly scanner. Lowest little turd on the totem pole, and just so thankful to be able to be around it all.

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I’LL JUST TELL YOU RIGHT NOW: My favorite memory of my time at Chuck’s was digging through their archives. Just incredible. I’d go home with a headache each night. Seriously. There was just TOO much stuff to take in…to see…to wonder about…to learn from…to savor. Thank you, guys. So much.

And then I left Minneapolis, threw it all away, and moved back to The West. In 2006 I finally met Jerry, and took the full tour through the plant. Great, again. At the time, Jerry had this to say: “My son Brian. He’s almost out of college. He can do whatever he wants. No pressure to work here. And he told me, ‘Dad, I want to work for French.’ I was thrilled. So Aaron, that’ll be six generations of Frenches!”

Savor that, people. Six generations! And use paper from the French Paper Co. WHENEVER YOU CAN. Recommended by the DDC. Forever.

Thank you for the honor of being French’s November “the November 2010 Sample Room Contest winner.” I’ll carry that one with me for a long, long time.

Thank you to Jerry French for doing what he does. Thank you to Burlesque for believing in me. Thank to you to the CSA empire for so much inspiration. And thank you, the esteemed reader, for reading these words. Just a big ol’ pulpy goddman lovefest, eh? Just take it in and let it warm you up.

Thank you!

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DO YERSELF A FAVOR AND TAKE THE TOUR: Get a load of those sweaters!

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01. Field Notes proudly uses French Paper in its products. Without hesitation.
02. The DDC proudly uses French Paper in its products. Always.

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01. Greenhornes - ****
02. The Sea and Cake - The Fawn
03. Baroness - Blue Record
04. Mule - Wrung
05. Danava - upcoming track from Kemado 12” record
06. Lambchop - No, You C’mon

There Are 5 Comments

ALWAYS a great read with Draplin Design Co!

Posted by: PCARTER on 12/01/10 at 8:42 PM


That is awesome. Just goes to show you do some kick ass work.

French Paper ROCKS!

Posted by: Nick on 12/02/10 at 6:05 AM

I actually received the link to this page from the French Paper Company, which ironically is located only about a block from my house here in Michigan. The map of MN caught my attention as I do business there, too….and I’m glad I explored the link. I love your work and your kick-ass attitude, and it’s always cool to see a Midwesterner return home. We seem to have some interesting business parallels going here, might be some project potential down the road. Keep up the good work….Chris

Posted by: Chris Riley on 12/02/10 at 5:22 PM

I love this poster. It’s brilliant. Can I buy one please? I grew up in minnesota but have been a california resident for far too many years and need the reminder of where I come from!

Posted by: Meghan on 12/02/10 at 6:17 PM

Me too. For true at heart Minnesotan living in San Francisco, I really need to get my hands on one of these posters. They sold out like Pearson Nut Goodies at the State Fair! How about another production run???????

Posted by: Jack on 12/24/10 at 6:52 AM
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