Fresh From the Field — Alta — By Special
Fresh from the Field is a weekly article series sharing the fresh and inspiring work of our Design Assembly community.
Special Group walk us through their new brand identity work for Wimp to Warrior which reframed global perceptions of MMA fitness. The resulting brand identity, Alta, champions authenticity over the grandiose, encompassing real people with real struggles, stories, and transformations.
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MMA fitness brand, Wimp to Warrior, wanted the world to realise the true transformational power of their programme.
But perceptions of MMA as a gruesome, violent blood-sport were holding them back.
We were tasked with creating a new brand identity for Wimp to Warrior which reframed global perceptions and powered their next phase of growth.
The Wimp to Warrior brand had historically centred around showcasing physical transformations. Everything from the name, through to the imagery and graphic system perpetuated hyper-macho, aggressive category norms.
While it’s true W2W offers physical transformations, its true power is mental.
Participants from all walks of life are pushed to their limits and confronted mentally and physically. But through this they unlock latent confidence and resilience that they didn’t know existed.
We quickly realised that to get the world to engage with W2W we needed to showcase that it offered so much more than just fitness.
The design response
W2W is tough. But its rewards last a lifetime. So we set out to craft a new brand identity focused on showcasing the programme’s transformational power and how it enables people to reach new heights.
While the name Wimp to Warrior did communicate the idea of change, culturally and personally the label of ‘wimp’ added unnecessary friction. So we rebranded the name to ALTA – encompassing the new heights and the sense of altering one’s self. It also draws on themes of rising to the challenge and pushing the limits.
A new brand ID was born from showcasing the physical & mental elements of the programme & the stratospheric levels one reaches when training. The core colour palette of black, white and light blue was created to stand out by breaking MMA category norm, and is drawn from our earth’s upper most limit – the sky, stratosphere, and space – representing unlimited potential.
Our custom wordmark, shares Alta’s values with the extreme verticals representing the tough climb to reach new heights. This steep motion is then integrated across the rest of the brand as a graphic system bringing a sense of movement and focus. Our supporting typeface mirrors the sharpness and modernity of the logo.
Photography plays an integral role in communicating the authentic Alta experience. Most brands within the category focussed purely on final results, the action or the fighting, often skewing to a masculine-dominated look and feel. We wanted to highlight something more grounded and real, instead focussing on the journey of individual progress.
To do this we needed to capture the real. A focus on the highs, the lows and the moments in-between. We shot real participants in their natural element in real environments, aiming to capture not only the physical demand of our programme but the mental fortitude, determination and will-power that comes with personal transformation.
The end result was a brand identity that championed authenticity over the grandiose. Real people with real struggles, stories and transformations. A celebration of the bravery, confidence and perseverance that comes with completing a programme such as Alta.
Heath Lowe, Richard Francis, Ethan Lowe, Maddy Lissington, Emma Vivian, Shalin Kothare