The goal of 99designs is to help small businesses with their rebranding efforts. We are genuinely thrilled when we receive feedback from satisfied business owners and today, we would like to share the story of how we helped a talented UK entrepreneur fulfill her ambitions.
The Rise of Messy Nessy
Messy Nessy is an extremely popular blog and was launched back in 2010 as a means of sharing the world’s most weird and wonderful chic curiosities. The name comes from the fact that the founder is called Nessy by her friends (her real name is Vanessa) and they agree that she can be a little messy at times!
At the beginning, she was just happy to share her findings with people and managed this via a basic WordPress account. This all changed when she lived in Paris and met an array of wonderful people including “a very nice French boy who thought my silly little blog had potential.” His name was Alex and he completely changed the way she thought about her blog.
Her blog post on The Sapeurs, a group of impeccably dressed Congolese dandies, went viral on Reddit. She was then able to build on this initial success with a succession of articles with catchy titles and unique images. By now, she had a community on Facebook so it became obvious that WordPress could no longer fulfill her requirements.
Rebranding & Growth
If you have a blog or small business and get to the stage where you need to expand to continue succeeding, it can be a wonderful yet scary experience. On one hand, you have the opportunity to make a living doing what you love but on the other, you know that a single mistake could cause everything to unravel.
Since Alex had coding experience and Nessy had the passion and drive to spread the word about chic curiosities, they decided to create their own self-hosted website. The trouble was, neither Alex nor Nessy had much of an idea about web design.
Although it is relatively easy to find a professional graphic designer these days, hiring one in the traditional manner significantly reduces your brainstorming potential. After they pick a design, you’re kind of stuck with it and Nessy wanted to see as many different designs as possible before committing to one.
One day Alex and Nessy stumbled upon 99designs and we are happy to say that Nessy has become a big fan:
“Imagine being that kid in a candy store, except the candy store is filled with design proposals that people have brainstormed for your website, according to the styles you like– for free.”
On 99designs, you can hold a competition to discover the best designer and design(s). So you can see dozens of designs without paying a single penny; in fact you only pay when you have finally decided on the design that best represents your business.
Messy Nessy’s older looks
Messy Nessy has had three re-designs since 2010 and the site used 99designs to find the designer every single time. On the most recent occasion, it ended up with 66 designs from 29 different designers!
Here are some of the first logo designs they received.
Design by Urban Creative
Design by Space Invader
One of the first ideas submitted by their winning designer :: scott ::
The process is simple; you post your project on our site. It’s your job to provide would-be designers with a full brief so they know exactly what you’re looking for. Do this and you’re almost certain to find a design you’ll fall in love with. There were around 100,000 designers on the site the last time we checked so there’s no shortage of talent!
By the way, in the unlikely event you don’t like any submissions, you can submit a new brief or forget about the re-design entirely since you don’t pay unless you find and use a design. Don’t forget to rate the submissions so the community can keep an eye out for talented designers!
Winning design by :: scott ::
For example, even though Messy Nessy hired Scott, the winning designer, there were a host of really awesome entries from brilliant designers. Even businesses offering a moderate prize should get a lot of cool entries but obviously, you’ll have a lot more choice if you’re prepared to pay a little extra.
There comes a time when all small businesses have to rebrand. Pretty much every industry is in a constant state of evolution so your existing brand may not be capable of keeping up. Great web and logo design is a huge part of rebranding and Messy Nessy is one of thousands of SME’s that believe 99designs is the best place to find the design that really captures the essence of their business.