Icon Magazine asked us to create a Rethink for Issue 122: Future 50. We chose to address marijuana. Rethink is a one page feature where Icon asks graphic designers to redesign something they think needs updating, has been poorly designed, or relates to a problem in need of solving. Marijuana was in the news, it was about to be legalized in our home state of Colorado, and as a consumer product it was in much need of a new identity, brand, and packaging overhaul.
Colorado has always been considered a frontier state, a beautiful and wild place, full of opportunity. With the passing of Amendment 64 this past November and the legalization of recreational marijuana we’ve done much to further that reputation. An entirely new and taxable marijuana industry is about to emerge in Colorado and we chose to take this opportunity to rethink the branding and packaging of this once elicit, still controversial substance.
The consumption of marijuana, let alone its legalization is a polarizing subject. We’re in favor of both, and like most things we favor, we seek to exert our influence where appropriate and applicable. Given our affinity for identity design and our desire for refined packaged goods we set out to conceive a boutique smokable marijuana brand and then package that brand’s product in a variety of consumer friendly configurations.
We created Delta-9, the name being derived from delta-9 tetrahydracannabinol, the principal psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The name is succinct, memorable and evokes a refined, science-inspired brand. We sought such a name to position our brand as high-quality and boutique, geared towards an informed and aesthetically conscious consumer – a consumer we understand.
In packaging Delta-9 marijuana we considered what we believe to be four highly viable configurations, the 10-pack of pre-rolls (slimmer than a pack of cigarettes and intended to reside in a shirt or pants pocket), the single pre-roll (for more immediate consumption), the 1/4 ounce (the maximum volume the state allows to be purchased at one time) and the 2 gram container (to support portability while not being pre-rolled). All of the configurations were packaged in non-transparent containers and labeled according to new state guidelines.
Additionally, we created an iconographic information system to support ease of product selection and further define the brand’s packaging while applying special emphasis to four key criteria, predominant marijuana type (indica or sativa), potency (3-tiered: 0-10% THC, 10-20% THC, and <20% THC), organic, and the mandatory "this product contains marijuana" designation.
Laurenz Brunner's LL Circular was the typeface selected to support the identity for its contemporariness, "unmistakable character and universal appeal."
Ultimately, we created the sort of brand and packaging evocative of the kind of retail marijuana experience we could endorse.
Scope of Work: Identity / Packaging