Philip Kelly's work in visual communications encompasses graphic design, art direction, typography and photography. He began designing graphics for fine arts, theatre and music clients in New Zealand and London, before entering advertising with Saatchi & Saatchi Wellington in 1995. In 1998, he joined JWT New York as Type Director and in 2002 became Creative Director of Design, launching thompsondesign for JWT NY. He has operated independently since 2006. Returning to New Zealand in 2010, after a decade in NYC followed by 2 years in Shanghai, he continues to work for clients locally and internationally.
Philip created unique typography for the monograph Exhibition by acclaimed NYC design studio Socio X, published by Graphis Books. His custom type and type direction has appeared in Rolling Stone magazine, Paper magazine, Communication Arts and the Graphis Design Annual. Philip's work has been recognized with Cannes Lion, Clios, Obies and a Gold Pencil at the One Show. In the New Zealand Designer's Institute Best Awards for 2015 he received a Purple Pin for his work on the Tourism New Zealand Brand Identity and a Gold Pin for the catalogue design of Lisa Reihana In Pursuit of Venus for Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki.