'S' is for Sincerity · Innovation & Creativity · Strange Geometries

15-second overview

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Here is an overview of our offerings for those in the A/E/C sector in 2022.


Environmental Engineers
Structural Engineers
Design-Build firms
Landscape Architects

… to consider DK for your next branding, brand identity design, or total rebranding project.

Here is a link to our eBrochure.

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Found in the Field · Ideas of Curiosity

Know your ‘why’ + Stay true

In this post, I will share something about what got me to re-start this company and why I do what I do.

I also want to tell you why that latter thing really matters.

Here’s me in 2012 talking about why I care so much about finding out what it is that really matters, and staying true to that, through your life. It’s a TEDx talk, in my hometown of Raleigh—it’s called ‘There’s Not That Much Time Left.’




A year after this, I was on the road in South and Southeast Asia. For a trip. A trip that I’m still on, in some ways, but with forays around to N. Europe to connect from time to time through 2017-2020 to make S P A C E the zine. And meet new people, and hear new ways of thinking. Was good. Was really fun.



The whole thing about the overwhelming saturation of things that gets in the way of the real. The real and the authentic and the sincere. I’ve been very tired of this culture of the global trend towards ‘look good’ but… I always peel back the curtains and try to get to the depth of the thing. Usually finding nothing of remarkable quality, behind the scenes. My questions go all in the same direction. Where is the substance? What is truly behind it? Who are you and what you do mean when you say this? Wait, you’ve not thought about it? So what is all this… song and dance?….

I’m tired. So I wanted to restart DK to bring back classic branding. Which is really about getting to the heart of something and to communicate that passionately. With the passion behind it. The passion, in other words, the ‘heart’. To connect. Meaningfully. I haven’t seen that around lately, so I wanted to share my tools with some who are ready to try out Design Kompany’s informal, light, but substance-based angle on approaching the creative process.


What branding can do is connect us

Like I said I don’t have a smartphone. I deleted my personal twitter and made the @designkompany one private, a long while ago. Because it was getting out of hand, ‘managing’ some kind of abstract ‘image’ or whatever. Would rather just go for a walk, run into people, start a conversation. (I don’t do this anymore, given covid and a change of phase in life that really is about nurturing a few key relationships instead of starting all over, all the time, because I value strength in things that build over time. They may change. They will hopefully grow. But at their root, they share an interest in evolving, for the long haul. I like that. Longevity.) I went offline and stopped DK because I needed to remember that the point of it wasn’t to ‘grow my followers’, for me. It was to connect.

I still feel that way. I still host conversations, and online ‘salon’s along with eWorkshops like Mirror and Interactive Papers, but I do it more personally through those things, at my own site, now. Not at DK’s. DK’s is a service. How to get to the story, the proper and most authentic and realest story, that is, no some airbrushed glossy nonsense with flying graphics that doesn’t mean anything.

So I reopened DK in March 2022. Let DK do its thing which is clarify for people what it is that matters to them, by listening together, and sharing, and going that way, one step at a time.


Purpose. ‘Start with Why’ video by Simon Sinek

What’s your purpose? This might help you figure it out. It’s called ‘Start with why?’ The ‘golden circle’ idea by Simon Sinek is oft-referred to when you talk to anyone who might help you think out your branding, your market positioning, and the things you can do. ‘People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.’

Check out this video.

To paraphrase, the goal is not to sell to people who want to buy what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.


‘Be authentic to who you are, the values you have’

This article in Forbes talks about branding like this. ‘Be authentic to who you are, the values you have, and the skills you excel at. Authenticity is imperative to branding success. Avoid pressure to constantly reinvent yourself or overstate and inflate your message. A simple articulation of who you are and what you are good at – shared succinctly and clearly – will suffice to nail down your brand.’

DK wants to just do what it wants to do which is branding, brand identity design, and nothing else in the middle to get stuck with explaining to people because the pictures say it. Clearly, simply, straightforwardly.



'S' is for Sincerity · Short Courses

25 April | Short course in Branding

Sign up for Design Kompany’s virtual workshop on brand identity design. This is a six-week course. It is designed for the graphic designers who work for a small team, perhaps under a marketing manager, and who need some guidelines for how to ‘do branding’. Take the time to get the ideas right, before you start pushing pixels. Read more about this course at the Eventbrite link, where you can register, directly, to book your spot.

The link is:


100 Conversations · A Philosophy of the Moment · Gallery · Ideas of Curiosity · In Việt Nam

Brand identity design for Lá

DK’s Atelier S P A C E made zines with teammates in Vietnam in real life, over a period that stretched from fall 2020 to fall 2021. During this extended period, our work for the zines took on a curious, yet highly relevant, theme. Time.

With titles like ‘A Cool Evening,’ ‘Here and Now,’ and ‘Summer Noon’, the set was moving in a particular direction. The concept was emerging, organically. Soon it was clear. We could settle on a motif. Of a leaf.

Leaf… Lá.

‘Al Fresco’ // Photo by Van Tran, June 2021

That’s how it started. Atelier S P A C E Ho Chi Minh City Fall 2020 and Fall 2021 Art Director Van Tran, who is a chef and a photographer, worked with Design Kompany’s Dipika Kohli in HCMC to make the art books, zines, and journals that he led the art direction for. Cutting, collaging, and cooking, the team made a popup restaurant series, too: ‘New Cuizines,’ along with soft paper books using dó papers for ‘The Book of Feelings’ issues of S P A C E, too. According to Wikipedia, ‘dó paper is a paper made from the inner bark of the  tree and traditionally produced in many villages in Vietnam.’ We also used packaging papers found around the day to day of our lives, collaging here and there to make books like these:

Unique and handmade: those were the aims.

Could Design Kompany brand and package it? Could DK express the feeling of meticulous and handmade, but with a subtle touch of a modern sophistication, too?

That was the design directive. And that’s how we made, together, the brand identity design for Lá.

Kohli had originally flown to Dalat to deliver an experiential workshop for a large NGO, but got stranded when the borders closed in March 2020. ‘What’s remarkable to me,’ says Kohli, ‘is that ultimately I found myself more inclined to work with the people I met on my own. Instead of networking, which had been the entire point of the retreat that brought several dozen people together thanks to EU funding, I gravitated to those I found. Much like in other countries, on other travels. I discovered people who were real, honest, intriguing, curious, and thoughtful. I found out that most people in Saigon that I would meet were “so busy, just so busy” and that they had zero interest in what I was trying to create. Why make art, they seemed to be asking. What the hell is the point. After a while, I just took to watching the street. We made ‘Street Museums,’ a special issue, in collaboration with a poet in Europe, IK. The street, for me, is where the fun is. It’s more true, more real, and delightfully more informal. Which suits me better, anyway.’

More pictures are here.