Why do I introduce myself as Elia and not Ilia or Ilya Kabanov?

Choosing “Elia” over the more common “Ilya” or “Ilia” for my name’s spelling was a step towards crafting a personal brand and ensuring it visually aligns with my ethos and aesthetic preferences.

Since at least 2009, I’ve embraced this spelling, a choice validated by The New York Times, which once referred to me as “Elia Kabanov, 26, director of a public relations agency in Novosibirsk.”

I transitioned to using “Elia” in my professional life—retaining “Ilya Kabanov” in official documents—to adopt a name that’s visually striking and sidesteps the frequent mix-up between the letters I and l, a common issue in digital typefaces where they often appear indistinguishable.

This choice mirrors my approach to everything I do, from my writing to my work in communications. I strive for the clarity, precision, and sleek, eye-pleasing aesthetic that “Elia” represents. It exudes a certain effortless cool.

In our noisy world, the presentation of my name—the cornerstone of my personal and professional essence—must make an impact. “Elia” accomplishes this perfectly, encapsulating who I am with precision and flair.