We are 39steps – a small, Edinburgh creative team with a big mission. We want to help all businesses, no matter how small, have attractive branding and beautiful, engaging websites, so they can stand toe-to-toe with big business, and win.
“We’re devoted to small business.
But we want them to grow big”
Born from our will to assist small business growth, 39steps’ philosophy draws inspiration from our roots in graphic design, while embracing new marketing platforms, using jargon-free language and transparent pricing to demystify marketing and design.
Started by Julie Diver in 2003, 39steps was born with a mission to make businesses look good, offering “stunning creative design and marketing ideas at a budget affordable to all”.
39steps today has not drifted away from the original vision. While remaining true to the ideal of stunning creative design, 39steps now builds slick websites and embraces the opportunities presented by our digital landscape.
In keeping with our values; sparky, curious, engaging and logical, 39steps’ Edinburgh creative team is always looking to the future. We’re on a quest to simplify the complex, and harness it to help small businesses grow.
39steps – Design unboxed.
Meet our Edinburgh creative team
We’re a wee team with big ideas and oodles of experience from across the creative industry.
Our clients tell us they like us, what we do for them, how we do it and the impact we have on their business. Which is just as well, as that’s what gets us up in the morning!
We’d love to be part of your story and for now, here’s a bit about us:
A designer by trade, Julie set up 39steps in 2003 and continues to be the main gaffer when it comes to meeting new clients. She also runs Edinburgh-based charity Kids Love Clothes which helps struggling families across the Lothians. Aside from work, she’s mildly obsessed with shoes, Scandi noir, her two small boys and red wine. Not in that order, of course…
Marketing & finance
Steven started in publishing and freelanced before heading up the creative team of a training company. Recently he’s been more involved in digital marketing, having built up some considerable knowledge over the years. In fact, he’s the main man behind our digital marketing service. As well as an illustrator, Steven is a major car geek and is a tragically accurate resource on all things automotive.
Nicky’s been a project and programme manager for 15+ years, working across the education, IT and charity sectors. She loves a Post-it® Note and covets desirable stationery items. She’s also the Scottish coordinator for the charity CICS, offering support to profoundly deaf children and their families. When not organising things, Nicky likes to spend time with her family, drink coffee and wine, is addicted to Netflix box sets (recommendations welcome) and cooks a mean curry.
Eri is a seasoned multidisciplinary designer, and has worked extensively over the past 20 years in her native Japan, Australia, Ireland and the UK, for both commercial and corporate clients. On her days off, she loves drawing (award-winning!) illustrations and walking her cute pug Gyoza around the Meadows area.
Jackie was born and bred in Aberdeen and has been working there as a designer for the last 6 years. She started her career working on magazine layouts and has moved on to all things webby. Jackie loves to travel but after exploring the world, decided to settle in Edinburgh and join our team. Aside from travelling she is happiest visiting art exhibitions or binging on boxsets.
Liam has been a designer and developer for over 15 years, working on games, software, and commercial web projects. He has worked for various companies, government organisations, and design agencies around the world. In his spare time, he enjoys visiting cafés and discussing the salient points of Foucault, Wittgenstein, Berkeley, Russel, Kant, and Nietzsche.
Charlotte is a multi-award-winning planner and researcher with over 15 years’ experience. She has worked in customer insight and planning roles, both in-house and agency side, across multiple sectors including public and third sector, FMCG, construction and financial services. When she’s not working or chasing after her children and puppy, Charlotte is the world’s slowest runner, often to be seen being overtaken by a tall man walking.
Gyoza is a 4.5 years old experienced multi-tasking studio security guard and floor cleaner.
Yeah, so we’re a pretty clever bunch AND we’re nice to work with, too. Take a look at what our Edinburgh creative team could do for your business…
What our clients say…
Julie and the team are great to work with and we are absolutely delighted with our brand. we are pleased the team captured the essence of what William Purves is about with what was a challenging brief and look forward to working with 39steps in the future!Tim Purves
Immensely pleased with our shiny new website. 39steps certainly went that extra step to put in place something that truly showcases our business in all its glory.Clark Whitehead
We went live with our new site in late November 2014, and compared with the same period last year, we’ve seen an increase of 212% in the number of donations and an increase of 326% in the value of those donations. Delighted!Gary Brough
We’re not ones to brag but as you’ve read, our clients are pretty happy with us. It can’t just be ‘cos we’re nice people! Learn how our Edinburgh creative team helped them grow and get inspired…
Our partnership means we can help you do more with web. Get your website working harder this year to achieve more whizzbang for your online budget. We can share ideas and best practices from what is working for discerning businesses across the country. Together, we can pick out proven initiatives.
As part of the Nettl network, we’ve helped tens of thousands of businesses promote themselves better online and offline.
We want your business to grow. Nothing’s more important to us. Think of us as your marketing department, your brand stylists and your technology team. Our web studio does marketing strategy, responsive web design, ecommerce websites and helps businesses like yours with brand identities, exhibition & display, graphic design and printing.
We will keep things simple and we will keep our promises. You will be treated with respect and we won’t bamboozle you with jargon.
Do you work across the UK?
We love helping local businesses to grow. It’s great to meet face-to-face and pass our designs as we walk down the street but we’ve also worked with businesses from as far afield as Hemel Hempstead, and even Germany.
It isn’t a problem for us to take on a website project from anywhere in the UK, or Europe. We can communicate via telephone and Skype and we manage all of our projects in Teamwork to keep things on an even keel. If the budget allows, we’ll even visit!
Why are you called 39steps?
We’re often asked where our name came from, and yes it was influenced by the Hitchcock film, based on the book by John Buchan. Here’s why…
Our first offices, were a couple of grimey little rooms in a Victorian block on the seedy-sounding Fleshmarket Close. It was a setting that seemed more suited to a private eye with a drink problem, than an Edinburgh-based creative agency.
Julie and her colleagues were struggling to come up with a name but were keen to have a number as part of it – so it would appear at the start of directories, of course!
As they mused over the many options, the sound of train platform announcements could be clearly heard echoing up the close from Waverley Station. It was then that they remembered the scene from “The 39 Steps”, where Richard Hannay boards a train from Waverley and heads out across the Forth Rail Bridge to evade capture.
It just seemed to fit with the vibe of mystery and seedy intrigue. It had a number and was short, too — job done!
It wasn’t until a few weeks later, long after registering the business name, that they actually counted the number of steps from the bottom of Fleshmarket close to the office door. You’ve guessed it, there were 39!
We’ve moved twice since then, once to Great King Street in Edinburgh’s posh New Town, around 2008. We stayed there for 6 years but never really got along with the vibe (it only had 12 steps!).
In 2014 we moved to our current place, near Edinburgh city centre in Morningside. We love it and would you believe it, after signing the lease, we counted the number of stairs up to our office – 39 again. Sometimes, things are just meant to be!
take the next step
Let’s discuss YOUR project and see which bundle suits you best.