Ten Questions 001 – Michael C. Place

April 27th, 2010 by Mat Dolphin

As well as concentrating on our own work, I always try to ensure I take time to check out what our peers are doing and start conversations with other designers. I don’t think of this dialogue as ‘networking’, but more a chance to chat to other interesting, creative and passionate people who often have a great deal of interesting viewpoints and opinions on issues design-related and otherwise.

With this in mind, I thought I’d ask a range of designers, photographers, illustrators, writers, directors and other interesting people who’s work I admire to answer the same set of ten questions and share the answers along with some examples of their work.

First up in the series of sneak peeks into the minds of some of my favourite creatives is Mr. Michael C. Place. Starting out alongside Trevor Jackson at Bite It!, Michael moved on to a nine year stint at the legendary Designers Republic, working on some groundbreaking designs and inspiring any army of imitators. Since leaving tDR, Michaels main focus has been Build, the studio he runs alongside his wife Nicky. Since starting in 2001, Build has amassed an impressive client list including Nike, D&AD, Faber & Faber, Generation Press and The Design Museum.

1. How do you describe what you do?
Myself: A thinker and a do’er.
To people not involved the industry in some way: Logos.

2. What made you want to do what you do?
I found I was good at it, so I stuck with it.

3. How would you describe your workplace?
Us: Light and airy.
People who visit: Unexpected/Nice.

4. What is your favourite colour?
A potted history of my favourites by former studios I have worked at —
Bite It!/Trevor Jackson: PMS 806, PMS 873.
The Designers Republic: PMS 810 (love that colour), PMS 877, PMS Black 7, PMS Reflex Blue, PMS 811, PMS 812, PMS 813, PMS 804, PMS 805, PMS 806, PMS 265.
Build: PMS Black 7, Pistachio Colorplan.

5. Who is your favourite artist or writer?
Writer: Paul Auster.

6. What was your previous job?
I have worked on a pig farm with my dad, and did a few summers of erecting marquees.

7. Do you work within a team? If so, how many people do you work with?
There are currently two of us, with a third joining in a months time.

8. Do you listen to music whilst working? If so, what do you listen to?
Yes, I have to have music on, silence whilst working drives me crazy.
Mainly electronic music, sprinkled with indie classics from my youth.

9. Who inspires you to do what you’re doing?
The clients/people we work with.

10. Which advice has helped you the most?
This parting shot from one of my tutors at Newcastle College ‘Don’t let the bastards grind you down’. Which in itself isn’t exactly a deep pearl of wisdom, but it stuck in my head. I’m very stubborn as well, so the two combined is a bit like Max says in the intro to ‘Hart to Hart’ (an 80’s American series), “‘cos when they met it was murder!”.

Big thanks to Michael for his generosity and taking the time to be the first up in our Ten Questions series. Take some time to check out the work on his website and read his excellent blog here.

Watch this space for more in the series coming soon!


2 Responses to “Ten Questions 001 – Michael C. Place”

  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by deaks: RT @MatDolphin: [Blog] Ten Questions with Michael C. Place from Build http://ow.ly/1DxFW (http://wearebuild.com/ + @BuildsBlog)…

    Comment by uberVU - social comments — April 27th, 2010 @ 2:20 pm |
  2. nice! I always love to get inside the minds of creative people to think how do they come up with such amazing concepts! Merci.

    Comment by AudreyJ50 — April 27th, 2010 @ 2:50 pm |

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