The weed industry is having an identity crisis.
And it’s great. Cartoon pot leafs, Tommy Chong puns, and Rastafarian flags have finally given way to minimalistic graphics, subtle palettes, and sans serif typefaces.
With medical marijuana legal in 29 states now, the game is changing faster than some businesses can keep up with. For most cannabis companies, producing a product people will love is relatively easy — the hard part is creating a brand that new consumers truly identify with.
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… 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.
– Christopher Simmons (Creative Director at MINE)
One example of a company doing just that is The Bloom Brand. This company engineers premium cannabis oil “meant to enrich life’s highest moments.” They’re targeting high-end clientele—working creatives, urban explorers, professional athletes, educators—with simple, elegant, and honest branding that makes their products feel truly premium (before you even get one in your hand).
Consuming cannabis is definitely more accepted in society nowadays, but companies like The Bloom Brand knows there’s a gap in the market for people that want to be discreet.
In a sense, they’re making cannabis go business casual.
The new aesthetic created by modern cannabis brands reflects a stark change in stoner culture. Today’s cannabis enthusiast is less Cheech & Chong and more chic, low-key, and professional.
Getting high and watching Netflix is fun, but harnessing your high to do something that empowers you—creating, exercising, appreciating nature, whatever floats your boat—is even more fun. And that’s how modern cannabis companies are trying to position themselves. In order to alter the way their products are perceived, brands are starting with how they’re presented.
As a creative, I absolutely love the culture change. People have been preaching the medicinal benefits of cannabis for quite a while now, but it’s really just starting to reach the professional world. In other words, THC is great for pain, but it’s also great for refreshing your perspective on a design project.
If there’s one takeaway, it’s that stoners just can’t be put into the same box anymore. There are so many different types of cannabis consumers, the only approach is to create an aesthetic that feels approachable to everyone.