For decades or even centuries, cannabis businesses never needed professional branding to attract customers. In fact, bearing in mind the taboo that surrounded the product itself (and legal repercussions), the popularity of the particular brand could be detrimental.
Things have changed and the design of cannabis-fueled ventures is becoming as important as any other type of business across industries. Cannabis branding is worth investing in.
The default cannabis leaf, stereotypically paired with Bob Marley’s headshot is simply not enough since culture has come a long way from hazy basements and bong-filled cabinets. With literally thousands of providers springing up across North America, each one needs to create a distinct brand identity.
These are the best, highest-quality cannabis branding examples out there.
JUJU Joints is a brand-new piece of vape technology, designed for ultimate ease of use, mobility, and discretion. Their branding, done by Headquarters, is a textbook example of refined sophistication and by extension – breaking of the aforementioned taboos.
The primary branding element, Adinkra Fern, an ancient African symbol used front and center is the key conceptual link to the product. The agency put tribal wisdom and rituals (juju magic) at the heart of the JUJU brand but also contrasted them with an upscale visual approach that helped successfully launch a first-of-its-kind e-joint while avoiding industry clichés.
Generous foils, built-in displays and a hidden accent color are details that bring said magic to the packaging which help it stand out on the shelf.
As Rick Stevens, founder of JUJU Joints puts it:
“Headquarters created an identity that embodies the market category, yet clearly positions us as a premium brand. They pushed the original vision beyond our expectations and into the realm of serious recognition and sales.”
Embedded in the lush tropical forest and the untouched habitat of Costa Rica, Virtu was born out of a desire to leverage the ancient wisdom of Nature to promote the well-being of today.
Since the dawn of humanity, plants and their curative effects have been allies to better the quality of our lives, both physical and mental health. Virtu is simply a continuation of this long tradition to bring human beings and nature closer.
Both in its essence and outlook, Virtu draws from a rich tradition of cultivating genuine mortal virtues (arete - ἀρετή) that has its roots in the philosophy of Aristotle. Visually, the concept, established by Gitanos, promotes the cherishing of the body and mind.
The packaging’s delicate colors and linework combined with wooden decals and generally minimalistic aesthetics bolsters this message, by offering a visual representation of the balanced scale of different virtues.
RISE Cannabis, a new craft cannabis brand looking to penetrate the ever-growing Canadian market worked closely with Yesterday Design Co. to... well rise. The design elements were heavily weighted on how cannabis makes you feel – high above and beyond.
For this reason, the agency incorporated a “lifted” or “elevated” strategy and chose an appropriate name.
Simple wood and natural notes with a zen vibe in their dispensaries complemented by powder blues created a minimalistic setting and atmosphere, all without relying on stereotypical iconography.
Caliva is the leading and “most trusted name in cannabis” single-state operator in California. Founded back in 2015, Caliva's industry advantage comes mainly from its vertical integration and direct-to-consumer platform.
Caliva's plant-based solutions are designed to fit any lifestyle. Widely known for their recreational products featuring colorful and illustrative packaging, Caliva branched out into a new category and sought to add a new wellness sub-brand. Enter Lauren Jane Studio!
The studio created a color-coded packaging design that features custom illustrations and a hierarchical design system to communicate product attributes and potency. While the general aesthetics are mainly contained within the broad medical-oriented design trends borders, it still conveys well the “natural” and “relaxing” aspects of each product.
Noise 13, a San Francisco branding agency is continuing with their practice of bringing their unique signature elevated style to the blossoming cannabis industry with the latest redesign for cult wellness brand OM Edibles.
The revamped packaging oozes sophistication only found in uber-luxe apothecaries. From cannabis-infused Epsom salts, elixirs and edibles to balms and beyond, OM Edibles packaging demonstrates that “weed” and opulence go hand in hand seamlessly.
The new system hierarchy works perfectly across a variety of form factors and boosts the brand’s luxury, both in design and consistency.
By slightly redesigning the sacred Sri Yantra symbol to a more elegant, minimalistic line-art style, the packaging finds its balance, both aesthetically and spiritually. Additionally, the vibrant color palette enhances and reflects the natural energy and passion that OM puts into every single product.
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To mark and expand their growth (pun intended) in the CBD market, Realm of Green came to Black House Creative looking for a bit of a make-over - the first step being the product packaging.
Naturally, the agency looked to the brand’s origins for inspiration, which resulted in a slight European, “old-school" feel and aesthetics.
Additionally, BHC chose bold colors to complement the prevalent green namesake on their loose leaf tea pouches and kept the labeling clean and elegant.
Looking at the Heavenly Berry CBD Tea, it is a perfect paradigm of beauteous, yet simplistic packaging. The subtle linework pattern evoking the rich local history growing alongside all-natural product gives it another layer of meaning.
The result? Realm of Green’s new packaging can now proudly compete in this growing market on a level footing with their main competitors, knowing that their products not only taste good but look good as well.
Light Garden is a new and exciting addition to the expanding CBD wellness market that aims to “find light in your day” with its range of CBD-infused products.
Since the brand wanted a strong visual DNA to boost their recognizable personality and stand ahead of the competition Light Garden approached I’m Lucy to get them there.
Light Garden’s branding feels strangely familiar to the customer, having a tongue and cheek voice that makes it stand out not only among competitors but among medical products in general. The products’ packaging is simple fun, empowering and is highly “shareable” amongst the enthusiasts. It can sit proudly on the shelves among beauty and skincare products, without relying on its CBD quality alone.
When Wicked Root reached out to Rule29 to help them launch their brand it was obvious that the result had to look, well, wicked. With the use of bold typography and sharp, geometric angles, the Wicked Root brand has a sense of confidence and energy.
With an established and vibrant color system, prospective customers clearly know what they’re getting into, i.e., what they’re purchasing.
In fact, each packaging designed for Wicked Root was created with the consumer in mind. The accent colors could easily be switched out to differentiate the product from others in the line.
What grabs attention from the get-go is the hypnotizing logo. Not only is it the first letter of the brand, it also represents three stems growing from the same root. The resulting combo of typography, black backdrop, vibrant color accents and light illustrations reminds us of the sleek, almost metal genre-inspired aesthetics that is bound to turn some heads.
Sometimes the right way is usually the least complicated one. Since most cannabis-oriented brands in their pursuit of original design shun the classic aesthetics, it leaves space for those that don’t aim to think “outside the box”, but rather find new ways to reinvigorate the “old ways”.
Such is the case with Wonderhamp’s branding, courtesy of Redsky Agency. It relies heavily on the natural color palette that is simultaneously the color of its product, before and after processing: green cannabis turned into golden hemp oil!
However, the usage of traditional imagery and nature-inspired color scheme doesn’t mean a lack of creativity. Quite the opposite.
In fact, each design element, from minimal typography to the prominent logo, relies on a meticulous sense of symmetry that is impossible to ignore, on a shelf or otherwise.
Going the step further from your typical cannabis industryNeonMindnd represents a well-respected name in the psychedelics space. The industry that has branding-wise been dominated by outdated healthcare style visuals, reminiscent of dour hospital waiting rooms, or diametrically opposite, wildly futuristic, sci-fi-inspired stereotypes, never actually found its footing.
NeonMind’s coffee infused with adaptogenic, immune-boosting medicinal mushrooms opted for a packaging that unites the two extremes into one sleek and forward-thinking solution.
Perry Chua, that designed the packaging, tamed the psilocybin-inspired color scheme and illustrations and made them an engaging pattern used as an amusing background for prescription medicine.
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