Design by Theory Ltd.

A creative design agency based in York

We define your competitive advantage and convert that into compelling design that wins hearts and drives commercial success.

Strategy and

and Branding


and Video

Recent work

Culture Code

Coming Soon

culture code logo

Warrendale Wagyu

Coming Soon

a pack of wagyu sausages from warrendale wagyu

YO1 Radio

Coming Soon

YO1 Radio branded flags standing in front of green trees

Gemini Worktops

Coming Soon

packaging design concept featuring a branded mailer box

Our approach

Using techniques such as workshops, market research and competitor analysis, we look at your design challenges through the eyes of your customer.

How we work
close up of hands holding cue cards used in a workshop situation

Our story

Design by Theory was created by David Cliff. After two decades designing for iconic Yorkshire brands, and setting up a few of his own, Design by Theory was founded on his experience that effective design is born from strong, theoretical foundations. Relentlessly curious, David works with businesses to uncover what makes them unique, translating this into compelling design that connects them with their customers.

david cliff creative director at design by theory limited

What our customers say

Partnering with Design by Theory, we delved into the intricacies of our customer pain points, laying the foundation for a compelling narrative that resonates across our business.

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Lucy Hall


The process of working with David is straightforward, challenging and fun. He delivers creative and impactful results for your business that extend well beyond the territory of design, branding and identity.

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Louise Demetriou

culture code

Many thanks for your work on our branding and website. Both Rich and I have felt a big lift today. Your process has given us the confidence in our practice we were missing, so many thanks.

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Sean Graham

Walker graham