Villainous brands: when fairy tale branding becomes reality
In a land far, far away, small business dreams are becoming a reality this Halloween.
From high-end shoe stores to streetwear brands and beauty services to die for, we challenged designers on our platform to create visual brands and logos for some of the world’s most notorious fictional villains.
Everyone—even the likes of The Headless Horseman, Rumpelstiltskin and the Queen of Hearts—can build a successful small business: they just need the right help to transform that side hustle into a fully-fledged brand and fairy tale success story.
The Wicked Witch of the West’s Shoe Emporium —
Soon after inheriting her sister’s last pair of shoes, the Wicked Witch of the West felt a spark of creative inspiration that she couldn’t ignore. It wasn’t long before she started teaching herself to cobble, and faster than she could click her heels together, she had a whole collection of ruby stilettos.
Her innovative designs and magical style made shoe fanatics melt, so she decided it was time to start her own label. Turning to the 99designs community, she soon had a visual brand to turn friends and enemies green with envy: an iconic monochrome initial that resonates with fashionistas across the kingdom.
Frankenstein’s Parts & Services —
Ever since his mom started calling him her little monster, Frankenstein felt like he was put together differently. With an uncanny ability to bring broken machines back from the dead (if turning it off and on again didn’t work), he always dreamed of starting his own shop.
2021 has been Frank’s year: taking a leap of faith he’s been able to earn a pretty penny with his skills, targeting a demographic that is young, fun and forward-looking with a brand as unique as his services. The logo design taps into one of the year’s biggest graphic design trends: retro-futurism, with designer AlarArtStudio taking inspiration from classic cars, bold color palettes and old-school sci-fi overtones.
The Headless Horseman’s Hat Shop —
From bucket hats to baseball caps, if there’s one thing the Headless Horsemen is an expert in, it’s stylish headwear. While the haters told him his inability to wear his own products was an impossible obstacle, The Headless Horseman only saw opportunity.
With the help of 99designs, The Headless Horseman Hat Shop has galloped into the 21st century with modern branding that really turns heads. The graffiti-inspired logo design, created by Satunusa, works beautifully across caps, sweatshirts, tees and other merch—turning a simple hat shop into a streetwear brand that screams style.
Rumpelstiltskin’s Knitted Goods —
With plenty of experience spinning thread (and tall tales), Rumpelstiltskin had a secret. He just really loved to knit. Taking a leap of faith, he decided it was time to embrace his lifelong passion and share his skill with the world: from scarves and beanies to the most divinely soft cardigans, his goods caused quite a stir everywhere from the village square to the castle.
His first happy customer was a passerby on the street, but he soon discovered she was a princess in disguise—with an extraordinarily large TikTok following. His products soon went viral, more orders kept rolling in and Rumpelstiltskin’s Knitted Goods was born.
This vintage-inspired, hand-drawn logo by abdzgn captures the artisanal values of the brand, looking at home across stickers, tags and packaging—and importantly, depicts the creator of the products in an authentic way that resonates with customers looking for a personal connection.
Step Sisters Cleaning Services —
After years of micromanaging their younger sister, the two ugly stepsisters felt empowered: it was time to get even more people doing their dirty work for them. Not typically known for their subtlety, the sisters wanted to cultivate a sophisticated brand with aspirations of appealing to high net worth clients. They co-founded their cleaning business and instantly delivered a level of quality that their competition couldn’t ignore.
Tapping into classic imagery within the logo design, Whitekoffie creates a flattering visual brand reminiscent of a statuesque Grecian style that adds polish across their marketing materials: from tote bags to posters and signage.
Werewolf Midnight Manicures —
After years of trimming and filing her nails in secret, this werewolf was sick of hiding in the shadows and shared her full moon manicures on Instagram. Her account blew up overnight and just like that she had a frenzied following foaming at the mouth for more. With endless requests for friends and family favors, she transformed from influencer to entrepreneur.
The Queen of Hearts started out just looking to commission a good deck of cards so she could play solitaire, but no artist in her land was up to the job. (In reality, she had already chopped off a lot of their heads). Instead, she decided to start a business sourcing the finest gaming collectibles and antiques from around the world, creating a modern brand from the heart.
Harnessing one of 2021’s biggest logo design trends, designer artantoni work created a logo inspired by stained glass, adding a touch of abstract simplicity to a business with its origins in a castle.
So we’ve reached the end of these villainous business backstories, and hope that they provide some creative inspiration and prove that the brand of your dreams doesn’t need to be just a fairy tale.
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