Branding for the Cannabis Industry

brand development + creative direction + design

copyright 7 Rays Marketing. Logo design and web design by 7 Rays.

7 Rays Marketing, a California firm that specializing in the cannabis industry, approached me to create a visual system and packaging for a client that would present their new product launch as a well-differentiated, premium retail cannabis brand.

The cannabis industry is evolving, from medicinal and legal use to the way it is consumed, purchased, and presented. Demographics are shifting from the steadfast hippies of the 70s and the iconic use of rainbows and cannabis leaves to markets that include physicians and patients for medicinal use as well as recreational.

In the first phase 7 Rays worked with the client, that came to them with a preexisting name, Goldleaf, which they did not want to change. With a market already flooded with the use of ‘Gold’ and ‘Leaf’ in their names, the challenge was to create a brand and identity that could stand apart from those products already on the market. A competitive analysis was completed and from there the brand positioning, which lent itself nicely to unique content creation centered around ancient myths, storytelling, and plant medicines like cannabis being used or reintroduced in the modern age. With a name already established, the tagline ‘Of Mythical Creations’ was created that would set the tone for the brand’s story. One of the more famous Greek Gods was Apollo, the God of Sun and the Art of Medicine, and his portrait would be used as the foundation for the logo. With a gold laurel leaf crown, as worn by Greek Gods, the mark was designed to mimic an ancient gold coin featuring Apollo’s portrait, here made of cannabis leaves for subtle wit. The unique concept with strong mystical and historical roots that brings the ancient into the modern was where I came in. Exploring the ideas of Greek mythology, Greece, and our audience, three different approaches to the brand and packaging were explored. View the concepts.

The chosen direction was inspired by the turquoise blue of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas and old apothecary labels that would allow space for growing information and amount as the packaging is used. Apothecary derives from the Ancient Greek word apothḗkē, “a repository, storehouse” via Latin apotheca (“repository, storehouse, warehouse”). In the old Apothecary shops, herbal medicines, in various forms, were personally formulated and compounded, as directed by the patient’s physician. Simple raw ingredients and/or preformulated standard preparations were mixed together in the right proportions, and in the right form, to produce the desired effect. (source) To reinforce the organic nature of the products, elements of nature were to be highlighted with the use of a dark wood. The color combination of dark brown with blue was both sophisticated and earthy. We had found that balance of ancient and modern. 

Rollout included social media, print and an online presence with a preliminary short run created for an event as well as various marketing materials and brand guidelines.