WHO OR WHAT IS 344 AND WHY?


IMG_4573-Linda-Abbott-7-June-2014-square.jpgA great project deserves to find its ideal visual and physical manifestation—the shape that makes it most useful to you and your audience, the tone that makes it funny or moving, the look that makes it entrancing and delightful! I’m here to help you find that ideal manifestation for your project, and to do it in a way that makes the process as enjoyable as the end result.

My name is Stefan G. Bucher, I’m a graphic narrative designer and illustrator. There’s a lot of work for you to see on this site. Possibly too much. There are certainly too many stories. But each of these projects was the most important thing on my mind at one point, and each story tells you why the final thing looks the way it does.

This site was built primarily as a resource for other designers. If you’re looking for a more concise introduction to the studio, please take a look at the 344 Design website. And if you have an interesting project you think we should tackle together, please say hello. You can reach me at stefan@344design.com or at 323 638 4344.

Photo by Linda Abbott. Used with permission.

A few questions you may have about the 344 Empire

And a few answers

Do you work at your studio exclusively or do you work onsite at your clients’ companies?

The great majority of the work is done here at the studio. It’s where I work most efficiently. If we’re dealing with an unusually complex project, I will normally come in for a day or two of meetings and brainstorming sessions. After that I take the actual work back to the studio. Presentations can happen via phone or Skype, e-mail or FedEx, or I’ll come by personally.

If the situation requires me to work intensively with an in-house team, it is possible for me to pack up and join them onsite for a maximum of two weeks. This option requires some lead-time and increases cost substantially.

Awards. You got any?

Awards? Sure! I’m an Art Directors Club “Young Gun.” D&AD gave me a Yellow Pencil once, I have a few One Show pencils, a bronze cube for typography from the ADC, and a bunch of awards from Communication Arts, the Type Directors Club, Print Magazine, HOW Magazine, STEP, and others. Lynda.com made a documentary about me, which isn’t an award, but its still pretty nice.

Do you still do work for ad agencies?

The short answer is Yes. Yes, I do. Typically, I’ll lend a hand creating custom lettering or as an illustrator. On design-centered projects I frequently come in to do a creative audit of ongoing work. Over the course of a few days, I’ll absorb all the work done by the team—on one or all your of jobs—and talk with all the creatives. In the process I’ll give you my thoughts, depending on your needs. I will generate ideas for current projects, even help you assess the strengths and potential weaknesses of your process. It’s a very cost-effective way to generate a lot of work, and it ends up being a fun experience for everyone.

I’m a student. You’ve not answered any of my questions. At all. Why?

Because I have answered many of them right here on this student FAQ page. If you have a question I haven’t covered, please go ahead and ask away.

Do you give talks?

Sure do! I’ve been a mainstage speaker at Design Indaba (Cape Town), at the -ING Creative Festival (Dubai), and at the AIGA National Conference, I was the keynote speaker at TEDx Santa Barbara and led a workshop on typography at actual TED. I recently spoke at San Francisco Design Week, and at the RGD Design Thinkers Conference (Toronto). I’ve spoken to the corporate design departments at Target and Starbucks; at dozens of schools including Carnegie Mellon, MICA, Art Center, CalArts, and Otis College; and at design associations all over the United States. I’ve also painted some murals in the process.

If you’d like to have me come visit, please reach out.