May 31st, 2017

Meet the Man Behind the Logo

Joshua Phillips is an Arkansas based graphic designer. He currently spends his days creating print and digital advertisements at Hytrol, and nights hand-lettering for his own brand, Joshua Phillips Design.

Dark Blue: What made you want to be a graphic designer?

JP: I loved art and doodles in high school, and spent most of my time in the art department. Graphic design was the bridge between that and the business world, and everything sort of clicked from there. I get to make art for a living and it makes me happy.

 Dark Blue: Describe your creative process. What are the major steps?

JP: Lots of sketches and ideation. I like to spend a lot of time thinking through a piece or a project before I make it to the computer. I feel like you owe it to yourself to get all of your ideas out on paper to get the bad ones out of the way (and so you don’t miss a gem). So it looks something like this:

-Thinking
-Sketching
-Present first ideas to client
-Talk about refining first round, new ideas
-Second round
-More thinking
-Final direction
-Vectoring, color matching, file saving

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Dark Blue: What was your inspiration behind the Dark Blue logo?

JP: Iggy wanted something original and approachable. I remember we arrived at that k-B ligature and it really felt like that was the selling point, the a-ha moment for the composition, and everything sort of built from there. Iggy was awesome to work with and had great feedback at every interval.

Dark Blue: How do you measure the success of your designs?

JP: Tough question. If we’re talking about my lettering in general, I consider it a success if I enjoyed creating it and I learned something new in the process. For client work, obviously if the client is happy then that’s a success. Ideally, each step you take in design will have fewer mistakes the the previous.

Dark Blue: As a graphic designer, whose work do you admire? Who are your design heroes?

JP: All of the living legends, of course. Aaron Draplin, Jessica Hische, James Victore. I really love letterers like Jeremy Friend, Scott Biersack and Dan Lee. Vector champs like Jeffrey Everett and Hydro 74’s Joshua Smith. The Heads of State, Hatch Show Print, Mark Caneso.

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Dark Blue: Who would be your ideal brand or client to work on, and why?

JP: I’d love to do something with the LEGO Group mostly because if I’m not lettering or working, I’m building LEGO. They could just pay me in bricks.

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Dark Blue: What qualities and skills should a good graphic designer have? What would your advice be to aspiring designers?

JP: Patience and knowing when to say no. The designer/client relationship is one based on trust and knowing when to pick your battles and what to push for. It’s your job to present your ideas clearly and effectively. And speaking of ideas, you need a lot of them. You need to be an idea machine. Anyone can learn the Adobe suite, what’s important is the creative behind your design decisions.

Check out more of Joshua’s work on Instagram @joshuaphillips_