An Analysis of 8 Cannabis Logos

And what they reveal about the state of a maturing industry

Kaejon Misuraca
Nov 6, 2018 · 7 min read

With the legalization of recreational marijuana across Canada and parts of the U.S., it’s no surprise that cannabis has become one of the most talked-about industries of 2018.

As cannabis products become more mainstream and cater to a broader audience outside of those who use medical marijuana, brands in this space have to stand out while also clearly conveying what their product is, along with the age limits and safety warning associated with usage.

I looked at eight cannabis logos — some from established companies, and some in the “concept” stage on Behance — to see what great branding looks like in this space. But first…

A Word on Cliche Cannabis Logo Design

The “cliche” cannabis logo we’ve all witnessed includes a green marijuana leaf symbol — you know the one. A 5–7 pointed leaf that leaves no room for doubt.

You could argue that this is an identifiable symbol, but this also makes your brand look like hundreds of other cannabis companies. It’s associated with past perceptions of the industry when cannabis wasn’t legal (and consequently, more subversive).

In other words, it’s hard to look like a higher-end cannabis brand if you use a literal-looking marijuana leaf in a predictable shade of green. Logos that rely on trends often fail to be memorable because they’re not unique.

A new breed of cannabis companies are still (sometimes) using leaf symbols, but they’re doing it differently, as you’ll see with the below examples of good cannabis logos.

1. Bloom Farms

Image source: Behance

The packaging: The company’s slim, elegant boxes feature luxurious elements, including the logo in a metallic finish. This packaging is clearly differentiated from other medical cannabis brands — it looks high end and expensive while also being “raw” and down to earth. Using different colors for different flavors (e.g. yellow for pineapple, orange for mango) makes the variety immediately apparent (and appealing) to customers, while the label has all of the relevant information without feeling cluttered.

2. Cannadis

Image source: Behance

The packaging: The packaging follows the same style as the logo: clean and simple with great visual hierarchy, so you know what the brand is right away, and the other information is secondary. The slim canisters are minimalist and small enough to carry with you — they’re a common package style used in other consumer goods, so people know how to use them. The bold red is easy to spot and stands out both online and offline.

3. Kiva

Image source: Kiva

The packaging: The organic, vintage style of Kiva’s packaging perfectly captures the company’s sophisticated “connoisseur” positioning in the market. The layout of information is on point: right away, the package tells you how much THC is in the product, something most consumers want to know. The warning at the bottom also stands out without taking away from the other messaging. The “natural” looking packaging makes the product appear healthy and trustworthy.

4. Hashed

Image source: Kaejon Misuraca

The packaging: A well-designed label is essential in the cannabis industry, as it needs to communicate the product offering, as well as details like size, strain, and characteristics. The Hashed label uses a clean, sans-serif font to match the look and feel of the logo so that all the information is legible while giving clear visual hierarchy to elements that are more important (product size and type). All the products have a similar design, but each type of strain is a different colour. This helps consumers easily pick out cannabis types and potencies!

5. Marley Natural

Image source: Marley Natural

The packaging: As a brand that sells cannabis-infused body products — body lotion, lip balm, soap and more — Marley Natural falls more into a lifestyle category, and its packaging follows suit, looking both natural and high-end. The logo stacks well on different package sizes and the three colored dots make for a memorable brand identity that stands out against other products.

6. The Canna Farmacy

Image source: Behance

The packaging: The all-white packaging is clean and consistent, and allows the colored bars — which indicate the medicinal properties of each strain of cannabis — to stand out. While each label contains a large amount of text, the name of each product is easy to spot. Each strain has a different colored dot and uses clever iconography to communicate the different flavors in each product. Take this as a lesson in organizing information well in a small space!

7. Tokyo Smoke

Image source: Tokyo Smoke

The packaging: Tokyo Smoke’s packaging is something that you wouldn’t usually see in cannabis products, making it stand out. The black matte packaging looks luxurious (and intriguing) while still being approachable. Red and black text on the white labels stands out, making the brand easy to identify and remember.

8. Kola

Image source: Behance

The packaging: The holographic foil of the logo design set against black packaging is both modern and clever, subtly referencing the “trippiness” of cannabis. Depending on the way the light hits the foil, you’ll see it as a different color, making it memorable without having traditional “brand” colors. The packaging is both modern and exciting, making it look more like a premium brand.

As you can see, creating a great cannabis logo is about more than picking a 7-pointed green hemp leaf, and slapping it over some text.

In fact, many of the best designs are devoid of any cannabis-related imagery, helping them appear more professional, unique, and memorable — this is especially important in a consumer space that’s only going to get more crowded!

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Kaejon Misuraca

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Brand Identity Designer

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