A Conversation with Michael C Place

31st March 2009
Michael C Place and Adrian Shaugnessy

It’s been busy times at Projector recently but I thought it about time I’d step back into the shoes of the man-in-the-press-box. Last week three of the crew of the good ship Projector took out a few moments from being consummate professionals and trundled down to Dance City. Despite the enormously alluring contemporary dance class, we opted to attend a Parkinson-esque interview of Michael C Place by renowned design lothario, Adrian Shaugnesssy.

For those of you who don’t know Michael is an outstanding contemporary designer (“I heard he’s the best in the world’ – overheard whilst getting a glass of wine, not exactly sure how that’s voted for?!) who treads on the cusp of art in his graphic design work. He is a definite favourite of mine and it was fantastic to see how he’d developed over the years, from placement work, to TDR moving onto his work under the name Build.

One question raised from the interview was what inspired Michael to start designing, which he replied with the albums covers of seminal designers, such as Vaughn Oliver’s sleeve designs for the Pixies. This led to me to think of what had started me on the path to becoming a graphic designer. Michael Johnson has recently written an excellent article on the same topic, which goes into a lot more detail.

The main point I derived however, from the display of his work and the seemingly relentless, but undeniably good, questioning from Adrian, was that hard work gets you where you want to be. Also obviously being given the gift of immense talent helps too. It’s definitely made me think that despite being diligent I can and will be working a lot harder starting right…………….now. Maybe then that incredible talent might slowly cultivate and begin to manifest itself.

Projector were inspired to become Graphic Designers by: Many things, but for me it was to not be an artist and have a stable income. Very Radical.