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Admirably Old School  

Draplin Design Co.: Admirably Old School

Seriously, surf over to the Draplin Design Co. website and you will not be disappointed.  Aaron Draplin is a compulsive blogger and designer with a strong bent for mid-century American graphics.  I’ve visited his site daily for months, compulsively reading his opinionated ramblings and perusing the odd ephemera uncovered by his rabid curiosity.  I look forward to every new post.

It’s remarkably powerful, the relationship between inspiration and ideation.  Everytime I drop by, his offbeat images spark my imagination. For instance, one of his links led to this stunning image.  Another led to this remarkable Flickr collection of shots of an old Kansas City Star newspaper press.

Which got me thinking how easy and fun it would be to assemble a collection of the most oddball hairstyles ever captured by film or pen and post them as a Flickr set provided by Supercuts.  It may never gather a huge audience like a TV spot, but it could earn a cult following.  And unlike TV, it costs virtually nothing.  As does a YouTube page, a Wikipedia entry or any of a hundred other new media opportunities.

In our Web 2.0 world, these kinds of innovations will grow increasingly critical to maintain meaningful engagement with our far-flung consumers.  Keeping a watchful eye on some of the most accomplished and interesting creative minds working the web today makes it far easier to integrate these ideas into our daily worklife. 

So thanks Aaron.  Wherever you are.  I’d really like to meet you someday.

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79

Thanks so much for the amazing words, man. Means a lot to me. Wind in the sails, man, wind in the sails.

You know, I do this stuff simply for fun, and manage to inspire just enough folks to buy t-shirts and trinkets enough to keep the thing funded. All in good fun, you know? I am so lucky to look at so much stuff daily, it’s just kinda fun to share it with everyone.

It’s the least I can do, considering how lucky I am to get away with surfing cool sites an hour a day.

So thank again for the kind words, and for coming by the site. Tell all yer buddies to buy some Field Notes and DDC merch!

Take care, stay strong and stay free!

//aaron

dennisr61684 says:

Nice build brother. And sweet lamps–makes me want to design an indoor grotto in my basement, kind of like the Italian Village.

Lance says:

As most of my comments are, this is a “yes… and” one. While I agree that web 2.0 helps more people become aware of great designs and cool pics from our past there is still no substitute for cool “thing”. How could would it be to see actual vintage posters of hairstyle designs (or an old chair complete with old school hair dryer and scissors to celebrate their heritage) while in a Supercuts to follow your example.

One of the themes of Russell Davies blog recently is that it’s becoming harder to impress people on a screen (TV, computer screen, etc). Whatever you do, they’ve probably seen something much cooler in that same medium. Completely agree with him. Example, the brilliance of Martin’s original UPS Whiteboard work was that Andy was actually capturing the thought simply by DRAWING it on the board. That is what made it different, stand out, and engage people. No special effects, no celebrities, no cool music track.

As a quick aside, how much more impressive would you’re next presentation be if you used no technology to make your point? Draw, write on a surface, use props.

One of the reasons design will always be “hip” is because it focuses on things that you can touch, feel, soak in. For example, an artist named Nick Foley designed this “lamp”. http://www.coroflot.com/public/individual_set.asp?individual_id=153405&set_id=99805

While cool in pics, seeing it in person, being able to interact with it, is where the genius really comes through.

While everyone wants to have the new web 2.0 cool idea that will be lost in a week or a month at best, I think balance is needed now more than ever.