A Cannabake Story
Their brand transformation involved the creation of a modern, friendly, and slightly high-end visual identity, centered around a logo design that reflects the delicate nature of a smoke cloud, while maintaining a welcoming appeal.
I served as Graphic Designer.
Design a store bag embodying Cannabake's enjoyable offerings. Despite initial logo reservations, I crafted a solution to achieve this, subtly creating a brand that resonates with all patrons and newcomers.
Increased Customer Engagement
Boosted Sales Performance
Positive Customer Feedback
Won the Client Over to Further Invest in Branding
Avoid Stereotypes: Given the nature of the products, it was crucial to not give in to stereotypes associated with cannabis.
Be Different: Within a nearly saturated market growing in popularity locally, there was a challenge to stand apart.
Evolving 'Tastes': Trends can snowball, so the solution had to remain appealing over time while still adaptable (no easy feat!)
Underestimated Value: The client did not see value in establishing a cohesive brand so there was a fair amount of shooting in the dark, and the only shot I had, was to design the bag: nothing more, nothing less.
In this phase, communication and mood boards played a pivotal role, serving as the exploration for inspiration and refining ideas:
Design Brief: This crucial initial step is a constant in all my creative projects. While some questions may require time, about five key ones must be addressed before starting.
Mood Board Themes: After taking notes and locating examples, I noticed a trend of whimsical illustrations, retro lettering, clean lines, and vibrant colors.
Competitor Visual Analysis: Most local competitors lacked distinct visual elements that set them apart, leaning on the same green palettes paired with the recognizable marijuana leaf—the absence of a tailored identity allowed Cannabake to establish its uniqueness.
As we know, collaboration is vital in ensuring a successful design. However, working with individuals new to design processes presented its own set of challenges. Overcoming this hurdle to close the gap required patience and clear explanations. One prominent hurdle was managing expectations by educating stakeholders about the iterative nature of design and the importance of flexibility!
Sometimes, this meant uncomfortably sharing work mid-process to create transparency and build trust. Doing this opened the door for me to continue the fight for visual cohesiveness with an emphasis on the need for a logo.
"this meant uncomfortably sharing work mid-process to create transparency & build trust."
To supplement the mood board I curated alongside the stakeholders, I developed somewhat of a mental-map to help me better visualize my thoughts. Both exercises helped me brainstorm a solution for the bag while also generating overall brand and logo ideas.
Normally, this is when I'd grab a pencil and my sketchbook and get to work. But considering my focus isn't on designing a logo...
...I conformed to their comfort level by diving straight into researching typefaces that matched their criteria for the store bags: bold & fun. I presented the four options below to the client to ensure I was on the right track.
TO THE BAG!
Once the client selected their typeface preference, I laid out the bag initial concepts. My notes from the compiled boards really came into play during this step.
The concept revolved around these ideas: discreet, clean, dazed, delivery, swirly weed smoke -- and, as requested, a cupcake.
ITERATION & REFINEMENT
Sharing the concepts above with the client led to their excitement. With their feedback, and confident that I'm still in the right direction, I took a gamble to continue perfecting the company's logo (*ehem* I mean, name!) for the store bag.
This transparency thing isn't so bad after all! 😅
Why did we choose pink? Specifically a light pink? Other than the fact its so darn cute!?
In the 80s, psychologists conducted a study in which they painted the walls, ceiling, and bars of a prison holding cell a shade similar to Pepto Bismol. Beforehand, a wave of violence was a significant problem, but over the next six months or so afterward, there wasn't a single problem!
Considering there is still a lot of stigma around weed, we wanted to create a similar effect of calm and safety.
Lastly, I started a design guide covering colors and layout tips. This ensures the Cannabake logo is always used correctly. It's a roadmap for creating a cohesive look, from the website to stationery, merchandise, and print materials!