Michael C Place

I’m not sure what to write, I’m sitting here in the studio staring at the screen. OK, I’ll google ‘Ego’ and see what it comes up with…OK. I understand what it is, I just don’t understand why people have one? I have no time for people with an ego. Do I have an ego? I don’t think so? Do I? The concept of an ego does not compute…it’s more fun to compute. If Ego was a song it would be sung by Donald Trump.

I still don’t get it. Is it something I should get? 


We are all born equal. Not in the sense of wealth, or standing (whatever that is), that first breath outside the womb. That split-second. That first gulp of air. We enter the world un-programmed, innocent. Our brains ready to be filled with wonder, waiting to find our place in the world. We enter the world without an ego, why do some of us end up with one? Why? We live in a ‘Like’ world, do I like it that people like me? My work? Absolutely. Do I care if someone dislikes me, my work? Absolutely not. I’d be more pissed off if no-one said anything. I see negativity as a positive in that instance. I care if someone I know and respect doesn’t like what I do, what I have done. But a total stranger? No. Is that arrogance or honesty? Is that ego? Tangents. Tangents. Tangents. Focus on the task at hand Michael… Is ego already built-into a person, just waiting to be triggered. Waiting for its moment to step out of the shadows. To say hello, look at me! Look at me! I am great.

I don’t care what you do, listen to me. I don’t care. I care. I don’t care for cool people. I don’t get cool people. Why is it so fucking important to be cool? Is being cool a by-product of ego? I genuinely don’t understand the need to act cool. Why? Just be happy in your own skin. Please.

Birth. School. Work. Death. The cycle of life.

An ego gets in the way. People with an ego annoy me. I’m more interested in why they have an ego than talking to them. Shut up. Shut. Up. Is an ego an invisible shield for someone with little or no self-confidence? Or is it too much self-confidence that feeds an ego? Self-confidence is great, lets just leave it there shall we? Let others speak, listen rather than just talk about yourself. Listen, I love listening to people. A conversation is a two-way thing. Stop. Look. Listen. Don’t be the red crossing man, be the orange and green one too. It’s good to listen.

Do I have an ego? Is that why I said yes to doing this piece you are reading now? Are you reading this now? Am I being egotistical to think that you will be reading this piece? Do I believe that I have something to say on the subject? Is this a test? Have I failed the test?

I believe in self-belief. I do not believe in self-importance.

I believe in self-belief.

I believe.

Maybe that’s it. That is the answer?

Wait. It wasn’t a question was it? A trick question?

Was it?

I believe in self-belief. I believe in people.

I have no time for Ego.

I understand now. I think…

Michael C Place

Michael Christopher Place (me) is a Yorkshire born (1969, a moon-landing baby) graphic designer, creative director and founder of Design studio Build. I tend to bang on about being from Yorkshire. A lot. I went to see Star Wars with my mum in Harrogate in 1977 (aged 8), my life has never been the same since. I have only had two full-time jobs, one working for Trevor Jackson (Bite It!) in London which was scary as f**k. And at The Designers Republic in Sheffield, which was a lot of hard work. I started up the studio after being frustrated by not being fully in control of my own destiny…to be fair I still don’t think I am fully in control of my destiny. But that is part of the excitement. I have a tendency to write what is in my head.

We ran the studio from various parts of London, the last being in Walthamstow (North East London). We made the decision in 2016 to move the studio back up North to my native Yorkshire. The land of opportunity, pork-based products, breath-taking scenery, friendly people (it is true), a place where I say Ginnel (google it) and people understand what I mean, a place where blokes call blokes love, you get scraps (again, google it) with your fish & chips as standard and lots more. It's a place where I can indulge in my love of intricate stonework and where a good drystone wall brings a smile to my face.

We (Build) help clients to communicate, tell their story or grow their brand with contemporary, thoughtful design. We specialise in creating visual communications for forward-thinking clients in (typically) design-led sectors. Our tools are graphic design, art direction, image-making, moving image and typography. We work on a very broad range of projects with some amazing clients both big (Google, Nike, Microsoft, Virgin America, Getty Images, Coca-Cola, and small (independent business, makers, record labels).

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