About Nela Dunato

Nela Dunato

Hello, fellow creative dreamer!

I'm Nela Dunato, a multi-passionate visionary artist, designer, writer, and teacher from Croatia (EU). My mission is to empower creative people to express themselves authentically in their life and business.

I help passion-driven service-based businesses and independent creatives by crafting expressive brand identities and exceptional client experiences. Among my clients are consultants, writers, coaches, inventors, lawyers, counselors, musicians, artisans, and non-profits.

My superpower is combining artistic creativity with technical knowledge and problem solving. This enables me to create design solutions that are beautiful, functional, and meaningful. I translate the language of words, emotions, and sensations into the visual language.

I've poured over a decade of experience in design, marketing, business, and personal development into the book “The Human Centered Brand”, a practical guide that teaches small business owners everything they need to know about branding.

I teach graphic design as an Adobe® course instructor, lead in-person workshops, and speak at events, schools, and companies.

So that's me in a nutshell, can we talk about you for a minute?

Here's why I think (hope) you're here...

Nela Dunato, author of The Human Centered Brand
Passion hand-lettering by Nela Dunato

You have brilliant ideas you want to share with the people that get you.

You know that you could reach many more of them through your website and online marketing, but you're overwhelmed just thinking about all the options that exist out there, and how you could possibly stand out in a crowd of similar offers.

You've spent all these years improving your skills and developing your creations, and you know you can make a huge difference in other people's lives. You're ready to take the spotlight. Now, if only your brand and your website were up to this task...

You feel a disconnect between what you and your business are like on the inside, and what other people perceive on the outside. While your current brand has served you well up until now, you've overgrown it. Like a caterpillar whose destiny is to turn into a butterfly, you need to grow a new set of wings to take you further. That's where the art of Human Centered Branding comes in.

Masks are meant for Halloween, not for your business.

With my branding approach, you’ll never have to pretend you’re someone else. Human Centered Branding is not about pure cosmetics. It communicates clearly with your dream clients – the people that appreciate you as you are.

Forget relying on passing design trends and cookie-cutter templates. In my design studio every detail is custom crafted just for you, and your clients will be delighted and impressed by your marketing. We'll build a brand founded on your core values, unique skills, and personality traits.

If you need an ally to take care of your entire visual brand identity and all of its applications, I'd be happy to accompany you on your business adventure. Check out my creative services.

If you're not yet ready to work together and would prefer to read free tips, in-depth advice, and stories from my artistic and entrepreneurial journey, I recommend taking a look at my blog.

Connect with your Dream Clients hand-lettering

My work has been featured on...

Grazia GoDaddy Freelancers Union Fast Company Photoshop Creative Pick The Brain Awarepreneurs Podcast Wild Sister

My core values

I believe that successful professional relationships rest on a foundation of overlapping core values. Here are my core values, and how they affect my work.


I craft original content with love and care that expresses my unique point of view, and I also encourage others to express themselves creatively. Our creations have intrinsic worth, regardless of whether people consider them “useful” or “needed”.


I’m committed to respecting everyone’s freedom of choice and sovereignty, and encouraging people to make their own best choices. I refuse using manipulative business practices that impede people’s freedom of choice.


I encourage my clients to express their individuality through their business and branding. I refuse to conform to the cultural expectations, and I support healthy rebellion.


I intentionally cultivate an atmosphere conducive to deep thought and inventive problem solving. I avoid forcing the creative process and stifling innovative thinking in order to push things out faster.


I do my best to create conditions for authentic sharing and connecting with my audience and clients. I don’t avoid difficult conversations or gloss over uncomfortable topics because of shame.


If the world is to change for the better, we need to envision things that don’t exist, and that sometimes even seem impossible. I’m committed to trusting my vision and doing what it takes to make it a reality.

If you share some or all of these values, we’d most likely have a great time collaborating!

Nela Dunato

Need a little magic fairy dust in your business?

I can be your design fairy godmother who gets to the core needs of your project and delivers visual magic, every single time.

Check out my creative services

Official biography

Nela Dunato is an artist, designer, writer, and teacher from Croatia with over 15 years of professional experience building brands and digital presence for companies and nonprofits. Her belief that business can be fun, and that we do our best work when we can allow ourselves to be authentic and fully ourselves in relationships with our clients is what drives her to help passion-driven business owners to create and grow expressive brands that are a natural extension of their deepest personal values.

She’s the author of the book “The Human Centered Brand”, a practical guide that teaches service based business owners and creatives how to create an authentic brand and grow meaningful relationships with their clients. The ideas and methods presented in the book draw from Nela’s career as a brand designer, as well as her deep interest in symbolism and the human psychology, and her experience as a facilitator of personal development techniques.

Nela also teaches design as a course instructor, leads in-person workshops, and speaks at international industry events. She’s been writing articles about art, design, marketing, business, and creativity for over a decade. Her art has been exhibited in Europe and the United States, appeared on the covers of sci-fi genre books, and received the European Science Fiction Society award in 2012. Nowadays she creates art for her own pleasure, and aims to inspire more people to embrace creative self-expression as a regular practice, and get in touch with their own essence.

Nela Dunato speaking at WordCamp Europe 2018

Photo by Ivan Gatic

Nela in Barcelona Montjuic park

The less official version: My meandering creative journey

I grew up in a small town, isolated from the larger world and without any professional artist role models. I loved drawing since I was a kid, but I never dreamed of making a living doing that because I didn't even know that it was possible for me. I followed the path of an engineer, up until the third year of my studies when I realized what I was meant to be doing with my life and quit university.

My career is as a result of years of experimenting and discovering new passions along the way. Designing websites was a favorite pastime of mine in high school, and after several years of working on personal projects, I started getting job offers from clients.

During my engineering studies, I got more serious about drawing, painting, and digital art. For a while, it was just a hobby — sleepless nights spent watching as my magical and surreal visions came to life. As I shared my works online, they've found their way to the hearts of art lovers all over the world, and opportunities to exhibit my work and illustrate books opened up.

For a while I held a job as a lead designer in several web development agencies and continued to expand my knowledge in design, branding and online marketing.

I kept pursuing my artistic passions on the side and got very curious about the deeper meaning and purpose of human creativity, and contemplated questions such as "What is creativity? Are we really all born creative? How can we use creative expression to improve our lives?" My interest in the intersection of creativity, livelihood, and personal development grew, and is now a big focus of my writing.

The 9-5 office environment just didn't suit my spirit.

I've felt constricted in a job description that didn't fit me, and that I was always expected to conform to expectations. I felt there was so much more to me than being a “web designer”.

I wanted to grow and use my multiple talents on projects I was passionate about, and I realized that no job in the world would ever give me that.

In September 2013 I embarked on a new journey and founded my own design studio. Now I live a more fulfilling life than ever before, and I'm thrilled to be able to help my clients grow their own businesses in a way that's aligned with their values and brings them joy and fulfillment.

Apart from my professional work, I continue to explore personal curiosities and love spending time drawing, painting, and sketching for my own pleasure – whether it's in my own studio, in cafés, on the beach, or in nature.

Nela Dunato sketching on the beach

Photo by Matija Raos

Thank you for reading! ♥

Next step? If you still haven't, download the free chapter of my book The Human Centered Brand right below...