Aaron Draplin ’00
After growing up in Michigan on a steady stream of Legos, Star Wars, family trips, little sisters, summer beach fun, stitches, fall foliage, drawing, and skateboarding, I moved out to Bend, Oregon, for the snow and mountains. My career started with a graphic for Solid Snowboards and then took off quickly—lettering café signs, drawing logos, and creating local advertising campaigns.
After five years, I decided to get a BFA and chose MCAD, primarily because of the excitement in the catalog and the college’s location in Minneapolis. It opened doors in the graphic design community for me, but it also opened me to new ways of thinking. I learned how to craft type, develop a photo, weld, build my own loft, and sandblast metal.
Most importantly, MCAD taught me how to go for the throat of a project, articulate the problem, and focus on solutions. I also learned how to talk about design and how to properly communicate in the heat of battle. I use these skills daily. After graduation, I worked as an art director and then a senior designer before starting my own firm, the Draplin Design Co.