Design, Rebranding and Cannabis

Design/creative blog 99U looks at rebranding efforts in the cannabis industry:

In the last few months, Christopher Simmons, creative director for MINE, has designed branding and packaging for several dispensaries in San Francisco, including BASA, Dutchman’s Flat, Petra, and Prophet.

“With Prophet, the question was: How do you get away from the dominant paradigm in the industry, which is still holding on to that Bob Marley stoner culture? Because that’s not where the market’s going,” he says. “When I design packaging for these premium brands, I don’t ask if it’s going to look good in a head shop; I want to know if I could reasonably expect to see this at a Whole Foods or a Starbucks.”

Simmons’ work for Prophet’s flower features a sophisticated, bold, sans serif typeface and masculine color palette on a canister that mimics chewing tobacco tins. On the other end of the spectrum, his work for Petra mints is aimed at women, who generally prefer edibles to smoking. Each color hints at a flavor, and each pattern draws inspiration from a country where the plant is indigenous: A Moroccan pattern is paired with mint, and an Indian pattern is paired with mango.

As we move toward legalization, and experienced marketing firms are charged with growing sales, how will it change the culture and what will it look like? What regulations on marketing and sales will be needed?