Stefan G Bucher – monster god, kerning extraordinaire and sometime designer – answers questions from the Design Indaba Conference 2010 audience, submitted via SMS. Watch his live-action drawing skills at the Design Indaba party here.
Was the Super Bowl logo accepted?
The Super Bowl logo was done at the invitation of the New York Times, as a purely speculative piece for their pages. The real Super Bowl logos are pretty strictly codified stylistically, so the newspaper wanted to show how various designers outside the sports world would handle it. You can see the entire line-up here.
It looks like you draw your monsters upside down. Isn't that difficult or have you always drawn that way?
Thank you. I’m glad you like it. I do it purely to show off, and only picked it up when I started filming myself drawing. It just seemed like one more lo-fi way of making the clips more fun to watch. I also like that it makes the final drawing a surprise to me, too, when I turn it around at the end. But really, I only do it to be clever.
It’s not all that difficult, either. It forces me to be present while I’m drawing. It’s almost meditative. I can’t let my mind wander.
Which book cover for Graphic Eye sold better?
Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer for that. The book is brand new still, so I won’t get those numbers for months. But I know that the US run was bigger than the British run, and that the US edition got table placement at Urban Outfitters nationwide, so that’s pretty cool. (Of course, the British edition was on the table at the Tate Modern, and that made me very, very happy, too!)
To Troika, Michael Bierut, Stefan G Bucher and Harry Pearce: How important is the skill of drawing to graphic design?
As a guy who draws, I’d say that drawing is very important to graphic design, and to life in general. I always feel that I can tell from somebody’s typography if they can draw. You see it in the curves and in the sense of the page. But in reality, you either have an eye or you don’t. I’m sure there are designers who do gorgeous work, but don’t draw at all. And I bet that there’s going to be more of that going forward. I got my first computer at 20, so I’m only 16 years in. I’m very curious to see work by young designers who grew up using machines to do creative things, and who know their tools as well as I know my pens. For me, drawing is indispensable, though. A good drawing makes me feel prouder than a great design. I feel more connected to it.