The Man with Many Names

I met Phil in 2011. I was months away from leaving Auburn for grad school, and I had seen his design work on Dribbble and got in touch, asking if he wanted to meet and talk design, and a friendship was born. In the years since, Phil has helped me on more projects I can remember. He’s pulled me out of some jams, helped me figure out javascript issues and built some of my favorite sites. I love working with him. He’s a gifted communicator (a rarity with developers) and can contribute with the design process (ever rarer). Instead of being inhibited by my own coding abilities, I can work with Phil and be free to push myself and the design and know he’s there, watching my back.

Phil has done very well for himself without a unified branding presence, but this year he asked if I would help develop an identity suite for him, and I was thrilled for the opportunity. The first decision he had to make was what name he would go by, and with a name like Nathanael Phillip Moody, he had a lot to choose from. Phil Moody felt too British, same with Nathanael Moody, and besides, no one calls him by his first name. We settled on Nathanael Phillip, which is, for starters, a beautiful combination of letters, and also far enough away from what his friends and family call him to feel like separate, professional persona.

Phil wanted something that emphasized his appreciation and understanding of design, and the mark needed to work in print application as well as digital. I started with 7 options and we started eliminating logos one by one. After seeing the final 3 options in some material mockups, he decided on the final logo, the “spinning wheel” as I call it. It’s kinetic, modern and fresh, without being reliant on trends, and animates really well (check it out in the footer!) I’ve had a great time building out his branding and making sure he’s got materials that reflect himself and his unique talents. You can see the progress on it here.

Phil was just as great to work with as a client as he is as a collaborator on websites, and I think his branding and my website are great examples of what can happen when you find a unicorn at the end of a rainbow.