About Dao Design

Dao Design is a small design studio for small business owners. I mostly work with health and wellbeing practitioners, but if you’re doing good things in your community or the world, I’d love to help you.

I think it’s important to build a personal connection with my clients so we can create something that reflects the personality of your business and attracts your ideal clients.

Dao Design logo sketch


I’m the founder of Dao Design. I’ve always had an affinity with technology and design, but it was when I started in business as an acupuncturist that I realised how valuable these skills are to a small business owner or solopreneur. Aside from creating my own branding, website, leaflets and so on, I started helping other practitioners I knew with theirs.

Over the next 10 years, I learnt more and more about marketing and branding for my own acupuncture business, while at the same time I gradually built a design business more or less by accident through word of mouth. In March 2020 the world entered lockdown and treating patients face to face became impossible. I rearranged my clinic room into an office and design studio, and focused my attention on design work.

“Richard has designed two websites for me, one for business and one for a personal blog. The results of each are extremely professional and exactly the aesthetic I was wanting.

Richard listens very carefully to what you are hoping to achieve with the website, and consults with you throughout the process. He has great attention to detail, and always suggests tweaks and improvements along the way. He combines a wealth of technical knowledge of website-building with an intuitive eye for design, and also seemed to really understand my thinking.

He always responds quickly to emails and questions. I really appreciated the collaborative approach and would not hesitate to recommend him.”

Rozanne Swift


Anatomy of a logo

The purpose of a logo is to identify your business, not to explain what you do. But, like a lot of small business owners, I like my logo to have some meaning and purpose behind it, even if it’s not obvious when people look at it.

A good logo will work in a wide variety of formats and sizes, print and digital, from large signage to a small pin or bottle top. Sometimes there’s a mark within the entire logo that can serve to identify the brand at the smallest sizes.

dao design logo analysis

I’m inspired particularly by Japanese design, with its focus on minimalism, natural elements and craftsmanship. There are two types of identifying mark that have been widely used in Japan: Mon (or Kamon)—emblems used to identify an individual, family or business and Inkan (or hanko)—stamps used to sign documents. Both types are often circular marks with an outer ring and either an image or kanji characters in the centre.

The logo for Dao Design is a play on the Kamon of the Shimazu samurai clan, which is a simple cross in a circle. By changing the proportions of the cross to a golden ratio on both vertical and horizontal axes and removing the left part of the horizontal, we have a well-proportioned mark that also spells out ‘Dao’ (which means ‘the way’, as in ‘the way of design’ and also as a reference to Daoism, one of the key philosophies of Eastern thought).

Dao Design logo deconstructed