The shape of things to come

Symbols are everywhere. From the team crest you scream about on Saturday to the ketchup bottle, it just has to be. Clever thinking and distinctive design draws us in, and leaves us wanting more.

At Symbol we create those brands. What's new. What's better. What shakes us up. We're expert thinkers, makers and do-ers. Crafting new brands and reshaping old ones to create love and loyalty.


Steve Richardson
Creative Director

Symbol Studio is the practice of Steve Richardson. Steve has created identities and campaigns for some of the world's biggest brands and smallest start-ups. He's now working direct with clients and agencies crafting symbols and stories with real strategic backbone.

Previously Steve was ECD and Partner at Mr B & Friends in the UK and prior to that DDB/Interbrand and Bell. He is also part of a JV with a UK/US digital agency Noble.

Steve believe's that agile teams bring diverse thinking. That strategic brand design can be the rocketship for business growth. That partnering with real experts who enjoy a laugh along the way, makes business more enjoyable.

Ways I can help your business


Brand strategy
Naming and identity

Tone of voice
Brand guidelines


Insight & research
User experience
UI and web design
Design systems
Content creation


Literature systems
Video and motion
Internal comms


How does it work then?

Brief a project

Call for a zero-obligation chat. I'll ask lots of questions and enjoy even the smallest or trickiest business challenges. I work iteratively and inclusively and can crack your work in days not weeks.


Hired-in ideas

For you lovely agency folk. I can work in-house or 100% remote (which works quite well down here in NZ :) I've built experience in many industries, will work to your timeframes and knock your project out of the park.


Create a team

Having led agencies I know how it works. You want sh*t hot experts without the costly overheads. For larger projects I can bring in trusted partners to guide, collaborate and challenge. They'll always be available too.


In-house mentorship

Creativity can be a tough gig. Leaving us all with the dreaded imposter syndrome at times. I can give an outside perspective through workshops and coaching to help your team unleash their true creative potential.


Some nice words...

“A highly strategic creative who works fast; delivers fantastic concepts then brings them to life across every touch point. But that’s not Steve’s true USP. It’s his character that makes him one in a million. He’s enthusiastic, engaging, highly articulate and, despite his vast experience, a genuine solid and humble bloke.”

Brian Mansfield
NED, Agency Coach and Strategist

“Steve is brilliant at working with clients – he has some magical way of pulling out their thoughts, ideas and ambitions and turning them into amazing creative concepts that help to make them stand miles apart from their competitor sets.” 

Jo Redman

"Steve provided a wealth of knowledge, was easy to work with and seamlessly integrated into the team - all while working remotely from New Zealand. Steve approaches his projects strategically so his creative output is always grounded in logic and purpose.” 

Jenny Mangan
The Contenders

Symbols we like – tight hugs, clever people, squinty sunrises, stamped passports, sandy toes, crisp trainers, zingy pizza, Yorkshire accents, hazy IPAs, fist bumps, dog noses, top bins, 80s mixtapes, hard mahi, belly laughs, ear worms, curled ferns, hot chillies, kiwi can-do, green lights, downhills, happy clients.

A select few clients...


Got a project shaping up?

I love working with people who want to make a difference. This site is a small snippet of my experience, if you need further info or just a chat please get in touch.

Like what you see?

Symbol Studio is the site of Steve Richardson – Creative Director and Designer. Strategy, Brand and Creativity. Based in Wellington Pōneke, Aotearoa, New Zealand.