Lili Phillips

Nice to meet you, I’m Lili. I am an attentive thinker, tactile explorer and curious designer, whose work is bound by a critical awareness of content.

Employing courage and nobility, I deliver tangible results—from printed matter to community building.

1/2 of Nearly, a design studio & publishing house.

Copyright © 2020 Lili Phillips


London Grads Now. x Saatchi Gallery

'London Grads Now.' showcases works by graduating students from London’s leading fine art schools who, like us, had their crucial degree shows cancelled or postponed.

Our visual identity has been heavily influenced by the art of cartography—employing geographical maps (from each of the participating universities) as a design tool. This visual game serves as a celebration; an ode to our invaluable studio spaces that were lost during the pandemic.

(Project in collaboration with Abbie Lilley)

Exhibition Identity,
Promotional Material,
Multiple Formats,
Exhibition Identity, for Saatchi Gallery London, London Grads Now.

Work In Type

Work In Type is a multi-page, typographic newspaper designed and distributed by Nearly. The format was decided by the publication's purpose—to cancel out the current noise of the pandemic and to reconnect our peers in troublesome times. Nearly reimagined the conventional newspaper format, storming new territories for publishing, design and the distribution of information.

Abbie Lilley and I gathered submitted content by third-year Graphic Communication Design students during lockdown, analysed and translated their work into a unique typeface. This pairing was determined by the student’s practice, characteristics and type history.

We ask our readers to welcome what first appears as chaos, and to turn, flip, rip and enjoy the implanted large-scale poster, made possible by the unbound newsprint leaves.

289mm x 380mm
28pp Tabloid Newspaper
Co-designed with Abbie Lilley

2 runs of 20, printed in April & May 2020. All profits have been put towards our future degree show, Central Saint Martins.

An experimental typographic newspaper, by Nearly

GCD 2020 x Nearly

With the loss of our studio as a base for our community, the Graphic Communication Design (GCD) class of 2020 have been resilient and responsive to the current climate. We have laughed, cried and wobbled our way to each produce a body of work that is reflective of the times and of our individual identities as designers.

As our physical degree show became a distant dream and feeling dissatisfied with the digital exhibition we were offered, myself and Abbie Lilley took matters into our own hands. Setting up a team of 6, we produced a student-led graduate website and a supporting 300-page publication in only one week.

Our designed pages offer an alternative preservation of the work; a graduate catalogue for the class of 2020. Though this currently exists in a digital environment, we are asking for individuals to activate their showcase. Download, print, and pin up your spreads, for our exhibition is no longer limited to the walls of Central Saint Martins.

Myself and Abbie would like to personally thank the GCD contributors and the extremely generous team who made this project possible: Amanda Gayle and Jann Choy, who built the beautiful website. And to Olivia Alexander and Ruth Pickering, for your patience, working with us on the publication and brand identity. And of course, a special thanks to Kira Salter, for always believing in us.

Download the PDF here
View the website here
210 x 297mm,
Brand Identity, Publication Design, for Central Saint Martins, Class of 2020

Nearly, a Publishing House

A publishing house and design studio that celebrates processes, mess and failures. 

Nearly began as an online communicative platform that champions our peers and maintains the invaluable studio conversations amid isolation. Just like a typical CSM Tuesday afternoon critique, you're encouraged to showcase the unfinished gems from your current project—a crucial moment for group discussion, alteration and reassurance. Nearly is fuelled by optimism, fearlessness, and most importantly, the power of our community.

Nearly are now continuing to work on community-led projects, such as 'Exhibition Views': a quarterly publication exploring the world of London’s leading art schools. This is due to be designed, printed and launched in October 2020.
Brand Identity, in collaboration with Abbie Lilley

Critical Margins

At a time when we are inherently immersed in digital mediums, I ask: Can we reactivate the culture of the book? My critical report defends the bound book in the age of digitisation; presenting the joys of reading, the art of marginalia, and my unrequited love for books. 

In my search for publishing knowledge, I conducted a series of conversations with a diverse group of females, each having their own specialism concerned with bookmaking—these pivotal interviews live at the heart of my report. I would like to thank Billie Temple, Coralie Bickford-Smith, Genevieve Lapp and Rahel Zoller for enlightening my curious mind. It is through your words I found the courage to respond intelligently and position myself as a female book designer.

For many, the jottings in books symbolise vandalism, but I’m afraid I have to disagree. This report has been designed to celebrate marginalia, with my handwritten notes dancing across its pages. To me, there is a particular delight when you pick up a book, only to find markings of those who were there before you. These poetic traces are a beautiful presentation of individual expression. What we choose to underline and fold are manifestations of our interests—this book contains mine.

(still in production)
160mm x 230mm,

Dissertation, Publication Design, Central Saint Martins