“Marketing unearths and activates buyers. Branding makes loyal customers, advocates, even evangelists out of those who buy.” ~James Heaton

My name is Tony de la Riva and I am a multi-disciplinary graphic designer in San Luis Obispo County, CA. My area of focus is branding for startups and small businesses.  My work includes web design, logo design, identity system design and brand management, print, packaging, and digital media, among others.

I’ve worked with small businesses, startups, individuals, and institutions from all across the country, though most of my work is done for clients right here on the California coast in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties.

Recent Work: The Children’s Catechism

Branding & identity for an app that takes a new and creative approach to teaching children the Bible


Recent Work: The IBCS Rebrand Case Study

Walking through the steps to an effective logo design


“Design that’s only creative is just art, but design that’s strategic is powerful and profitable.”

You have a message to tell, something specific that you’re trying to communicate to potential customers. You know exactly what makes your product great and how it makes their lives better. I believe that great design is foundationally grounded in listening to that and understanding it. That kind of listening is the only kind that is really able to create a visual message that speaks directly, and with clarity and appeal, to your target customer.

In other words, great design begins—not with artistic ability, not with aesthetic trends, and not even necessarily with creativity—but with you, the client.

I believe in an approach to design that is essentially strategic. It begins with listening, aims to get it right, and is intentionally client-centric from first to last. If a branding scheme—or logo, or business card, or website, etc.—is going to be right, you have to keep feeding the knowledge base, strengthening and informing the understanding, and building at the strategic level. And that happens by working hard to understand the client, their product, and the message they’re trying to communicate.

Design that’s only creative is just art, but design that’s strategic is powerful and profitable.

“I am impressed with how clearly Tony was able to understand our vision for IBCS and then turn that into an excellent identity that perfectly fits what we’re doing here.”
Jeff Caupp, Dean of Students • International Baptist College & Seminary
“Tony has an unrivaled ability to understand a product and turn that into what it needs to be visually. When powerful, dead-on branding is absolutely critical, there’s just no one else I want working on it.”
Eric Boyd, VIP of Sales and Marketing • The Paddleboard Co.
“I’ve worked with a lot of designers and hands down Tony is the best and easiest to work with. The quality of his work is excellent and his service is second-to-none. I would recommend him to anyone.”
Daniel Morales, Owner • Mr. Reliable Plumbing & Heating

“The impulse to communicate who we are isn’t rooted in some particular economic system; it’s rooted deeply and directly in human nature. Branding is simply the inevitable application of that impulse in the spheres of business and organization.”