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THE I/O is a fitness club founded in the Spanish coastal resort of Marbella on the Costa del Sol in 2021. Right from the start, THE I/O brand was targeted at the luxury end of the market. The Zapiens Design agency in Madrid was commissioned with the development of the brand as well as the design of its visual identity. That meant overcoming the challenge of doing away with all the clichés related to fitness centres and workouts in order to produce something that was genuinely new. “Our task was to break away from the traditional paradigm so we could create a unique experience, one that was memorable and humane, and went beyond mere training. To put it in a nutshell, we wanted to design tomorrow’s fitness world,” Zapiens Design’s Miguel Ángel Gómez, CEO and Creative Director, said. “With this aim in mind, we managed to create a brand that communicates luxury without appearing extravagant, one that also makes fitness an expression of wellness.” The brand name “THE I/O” stands for Input and Output, Inside and Outside, and thus not only echoes the flow of energy, in other words, the sporting aspect, but also the characteristics of the space, as life in the club takes place in both indoor and outdoor settings. However, the core of the brand is its philosophy of “Elegant Energy”. The two terms on the one hand reflect the rational side of the brand – energy as an expression of fitness – and on the other hand its emotional component in the form of elegance. The tagline thus succinctly communicates the studio’s claim to be a sophisticated, relaxed place that has little to do with exertion and effort. This is also clearly evident in the club rooms, designed by Archidom in collaboration with Zapiens Design and inspired by luxury hotels.The brand’s visual identity is based on the wordmark “THE I/O”. Broken up into its individual components, the logo forms the basis for icons and numbers that create a self-contained, striking sign system – an aspect that particularly appealed to the jury, which commended the design quality of the system. The main brand colours are black, off-white and white, which convey serene elegance. They are complemented by saturated secondary colours that recur on Mediterranean elements such as a palm, the sea or the sunset and, through their stark contrast, capture the energy aspect of the brand. Particular attention was given to ensuring that the visual identity would be scalable not only in physical but also digital environments so that everything is conceptually and visually linked – from the club itself through to its digital extension in the form of an app. The underlying aim was to create a consistent design concept that would offer members a seamless experience when using digital services such as blended classes, remote personal training, workout gamification, etc. “You have to search far and wide in this industry to find brand design of such quality,” the jury commented. “The logo gave rise to an entire corporate design system, which is perfectly suited to analogue as well as digital use and which significantly contributes to making the brand visually distinctive.”

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