Spotlight On NW Creative: Draplin’s Merch Pile

Pens and pencils. A simple wall calendar and durable little 48-page notebooks. Basic shit, right? Right. But take that basic shit and put some passion into it. Some craft. Then maybe you’ve got something.
In the case of Field Notes, Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Co. in Portland and Jim Coudal of Coudal Partners in Chicago definitely have something.
Inspired by agricultural memo books, ornate pocket ledgers and the simple, unassuming beauty of a well-crafted grocery list, Field Notes notebooks are perfect for drawing treasure maps, settling gambling debts, and making half-ass calculations.
Uncrate says “the brown cover and old-school Futura type will make you look more like an adventurer than a follower.” Which is funny because fashion statements are the furthest thing from these guys’ minds.
After visiting Draplin today in his industrial SE workspace I’m convinced he’s a true craftsman. He likes things made by hand, durable things, things worth having in your pocket and/or on your head. I have a hat he gave me on my head right now. I told him I’d wear it in public and be a brand advocate for him.
Draplin also gave me a poster, a coin purse, two different key fobs, DDC stickers, a hair organizer and three packs of Field Notes. I’m supposed to disclose all this according to the Feds, but, in this case, I want to disclose it. I love Draplin’s entrepreneurial spirit and his ability to bring design to the people via merch.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.