Alexander Cortes

Branding and design for a thought-leader of the fitness industry.

  • Brand strategy
  • Brand identity
  • Website design & development

2018 – current

Website launching soon

Alexander Cortes is arguably one of the most well-known personal brands in the fitness industry.

Since establishing his online presence in 2014, he has quickly amassed a sizable following on social media and at the moment of writing this, more than 12,000 people are subscribed to his daily email newsletter.

But with such rapid growth, new needs arise. Alexander partnered with me to help consolidate and professionalise his business.

Developing the brand strategy

Alexander and I sat down to create his new brand strategy. Since Alexander is based in San Diego, and I'm based in Sweden, we did the brand strategy over Skype.

Over a series of facilitated sessions, we defined Alexander's brand attributes, took a deep dive in the demographics and psychographics of his customers, and defined the project goals. I also helped Alexander realise problems with his product offering and come up with a solution.

The result: an actionable brand strategy, an improved product offering, and extended product life cycle of his workout programmes.

Defining the brand

Through a series of exercises in the strategy workshop, Alexander and I were able to extract and define his brand attributes. Among them: his brand voice, impact, and “x-factor”—what makes his brand truly stand out.

The thing we came to understand is that what makes Alexander truly stand out is his passion for ballet dancing. This encapsulates so much of his brand: his approach to writing has artistic flair, his approach to fitness is holistic and sophisticated.

Understanding the customers

We also created customer profiles to represent different segments of Alexander's audience, in order to better understand how he can serve his customers. We dove into the demographics, psychographics, as well as needs and wants of his customers.

Doing the Strategy sessions with Jon was of tremendous benefit to me. It helped me realize things about both my business and my customers that should have been really obvious, but weren't.

Alexander Cortes

Brand identity

Based on the information that we surfaced in the strategy sessions, I created a cohesive brand identity that would reflect Alexander's personality and brand voice, and appeal to his ideal customers.

Refined masculinity

Alexander is not your typical "gym-bro". His approach to health and fitness is multidisciplinary and holistic.

A big part of his life—and thus brand—is ballet dancing. He has a flair for the dramatic and his writing style borders on poetry at times.

At the same time, his voice carries a certain “weight” to it; Alexander possesses masculine gravitas.

The challenge was to combine these two seemingly opposing characteristics in a tasteful way.

Expressing the brand through colour

The colour scheme walks a fine line between sophistication and masculine intensity.

The base colours—a blend between ebony and violet, and white—were chosen because of the resemblance they bear to a scene from ballet.

The accent colour, a light hue of maroon, was chosen to communicate masculine passion.

A sophisticated typography with edge

The typography of Alexander's new visual identity encapsulates his brand perfectly.

In digital media, both the headlines and body text are set in Graphik, which—aside from being very well suited for digital use—is more purposeful and matter-of-fact, which provides a nice contrast to the colour scheme.

The typography was in part inspired by the typography used by the Hungarian State Opera House in their print material.

In print media, Miller Display is sometimes utilized. Miller is a transitional serif typeface that communicates the refined and cultured aspect of the brand perfectly.

Crafting a great User Experience

To kickstart the digital phase of this project, we talked about what pages and what content needed to go on the website. Based on this, I created a sitemap and began sketching on low-res wireframes.

Content with UX top-of-mind

Alongside the wireframes, I developed a content outline for the website. Thinking of content so early on in the project helped keep things efficient down the line and improved the overall quality of the website.

Professional photography

I worked with Alexander and a professional photographer to get visually striking photography for the website that was both on-brand and made sense composition-wise.

Design and development

Once all the puzzle pieces had been collected, it was time to put them all together. First, high-definition design mockups were created. The mockups allowed us to see what the final result would be like and quickly make adjustments.

Then, the website was built on the static-site generator Jekyll in order to ensure optimal performance and security.

An easy-to-use content-management system

The content-management system used in this project — provided by Forestry — is powerful, fast, and very easy to use.

The result

The live website is fast, user-friendly, and provides a frictionless User Experience for Alexander's target audience. We have successfully consolidated disparate parts of the business, and honed in on Alexander's product and service offerings.

Last but definitely not least, Alexander finally has a coherent and professional brand identity that represents who he is and what his values are.

Honestly, I'm blown away by Jon's work. He's worth every penny. It's an awesome feeling when everything is just right.

Alexander Cortes