Michael Place for Build

It’s not like he’s saying finger painting is the superlative means to an end, but you get the feeling Michael Place wouldn’t mind being hunched over a kindergarten craft table if it meant he could get more inside his art work. Sought by giants including Nike, the NBA, and Sony, the Design by Build creative director has come a long way from sketching starships with crayons. Still, he remains resolute to a hands-on approach to work. The London resident cut his design teeth during the days of applied design principals in the ’80s and early ’90s, when there was more to creating a logo then clicking around in Illustrator. Though recognizing the benefits of the computer for his work, Michael prefers not to be tied down to technology, which explains his slipmat offering: “[It was] the sudden urge to draw again, the need to create. That, and my index finger seems to be getting the most exercise, so I thought I’d give my other fingers some.” Unique materials used: “My brain, hands, and eyes.” After an unsatisfying experience at the too-commercial design program in Newcastle College, he went to apply his uncanny aptitude for record sleeve design at Trevor Jackson’s Bite It! label in London. A year and a half later, in ’91, Michael took his collage and print mentality to the prominent firm The Designer’s Republic, where he spent nine years working for clients like R&S Records and Warp Records before establishing font-, print-, and recently [after a protracted resistance] motion-centric Design by Build.