It is apt that Phil Jones divides the website for his company Real Time Consultancy into ‘work’ and ‘play’. While he is nonexecutive director and mentor of various design groups, including branding consultancy Navyblue and digital group Naked Penguin Boy, both of which employ him as chairman, he is the king of networking in design.

For more than 20 years, he has brought people together. Initially, this was through events staged by his typsetting business Real Time Studio and the Typographic Circle – of which he was then chairman.

Some 20 years ago, he set up the annual Podge lunch for design leaders and the monthly Bladdered by Fax drinks sessions for consultancy staff. Podge has spawned the annual Digital Podge for the interaction industry and Sports Podge for key players inthat world – a keen Manchester United and England fan, Jones is also creative consultant to the annual international Soccerex show. Bladdered has meanwhile become Bladdered Again and is organised by Jones’ daughter Clare, Nykeeta Barkakoti and Pippa White.

Over the years Jones’ enterprises have been responsible for various consultancy ‘marriages’ – and one quite literally between designers Tim and Georgia Fendley, founders of Applied Information Graphics and Construct respectively. Long may his influence continue.

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