“A designer is an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist, and evolutionary strategist.” Buckminister Fuller
Founded in 2012 by DJ Catrow and Jon Linton, Studio 424 began as a multi-disciplinary design company. Initially, we sought to provide a very large range of design and branding services for a wide variety of clientele. Since 2012, we have refined our focus down to creating digital brands.
In our experience designing, developing, and launching web applications, we’ve found that the branding side of our brains never shuts off. We are continually thinking about how to best position the work we do to reach audiences within the digital space, and how expressing ideas online can establish and solidify an organization’s outlook and reception.
We work collaboratively, internally as a studio and with client organizations, because we know that people with a range of talents are stronger when they combine forces. This is why our work continues to attract numerous small businesses, foundations, and nonprofits, as well as a number of Fortune 100 and 500 companies.
What we’re working on:
Our core projects focus on social justice, progressive education, clean energy, and environmentalism. Whether it’s website design and development, graphic design, digital strategy, printed material, or brand development, we’re working to elevate narratives about critical issues. See our work.
What sets us apart:
Our process is deeply immersive and collaborative. We spend a significant portion of a project conducting qualitative research, diving into the client’s world, and internalizing who they are. Every team member has eyes on every step of a project. Design, development, copywriting, content strategy — each of these skills inform the best possible solution, as a team. This results in an intuitive, instinctive design process, manifesting as bespoke experiences that embody the client and the cause. Meet our team.
Why we do what we do:
Each of our team members bring personal perspective and subject-matter knowledge to the studio. We care about the issues as individuals, and we’re invested in producing work that advances awareness and solutions. There’s a genuine sense of contribution to our clients’ missions — by telling their stories in engaging, interactive, and meaningful ways — with the hope of making a difference. And, as cheesy as it sounds, we love what we do. Work with us.
A transplant from Detroit to Chicago, Jon attended Columbia College and received his bachelors in Media Management before pursuing an MFA in Visual Communications at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His research focused on programmatic generative literature, abstract interfaces, and networked objects.
Jon’s portfolio includes projects for Clean Energy Trust, IIDA, The Joyce Foundation, Nike, McKnight Foundation, The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, Golin, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. He is interested in creating Digital Brands through immersive, interactive experiences and storytelling. Jon spends his free time enjoying the work of Kurt Vonnegut, writing songs for his daughter, Jane, and refining his “dad jokes.”
After completing his BSFA at Valparaiso University, DJ received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Visual Communication. His work explores models and complex systems that influence the overarching visual language of the studio.
DJ’s professional experience includes brand development and digital design for CVS Caremark, McDonald’s, Unilever, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Golin, IRi Worldwide, University of Chicago, Joyce Foundation, the City of Chicago, and Nike. He is the co-chair of the Make Work Venture Committee and member of the Chicago Ideas co/op, and believes collaboration is key to successful projects. DJ’s downtime is spent on competitive soccer leagues, his dogs, and his personal art practice — all fueled by an espresso addiction.
Stay in the know:
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