Pretty Much Everything Review

He created Field Notes in his basement.
He cofounded Snowboarder magazine.
He designed a tour poster for Marc Maron.
This is Aaron Draplin.

The famed graphic designer released Pretty Much Everything, a classic design tome filled with graphics, anecdotes, and pictures. Bound in a thick debossed board cover, the book contains 256 colorful, 157gsm coated pages. The book is substantial in heft and design.

Draplin's personality shines throughout this book. His prose is raw, emotional, and conversational and reads like a high-energy autobiography dripping in bright colors and bold images. Draplin takes readers on a tour of his life from childhood to near the end of 2015. Along the way, he takes time to offer advice, share funny stories, and explain why he does what he does. From his take on technology:

"Our code is our code. Might not be pretty, but it still works and I can control it. The code, the format and my ability to update the thing somewhat efficiently. Sure, it might not be the prettiest thing, but it still does the job."

While his writing is easy to digest and his stories contain a delightful mix of humor and raw emotion, the pictures are the heart of this book. From posters and signs to logos, notebooks, patches, and other "junk" (there is a section focused on junk), the pictures are big, bold, and colorful. The range of colors that Draplin uses in his designs varies greatly from one project to another and it shows in this book.

Draplin covers all the main points of his design life including his pop-up shop, logo designs, print advertisements, and, of course, Field Notes. He also covers his love of music with glorious pictures of records and album art.

Pretty Much Everything is an ode to design filled with advice and examples. Draplin's personality shines throughout this book. If you don't care for the occassional curse word, avoid this book. Otherwise, I highly recommend the print version to fully enjoy the colors and texture. Pretty Much Everything is an affordable design reference filled with personality, advice, and vibrance. It is currently available at for US$25.