Medical Marijuana Dispensary Branding

It all began when the company I was with was approached by a medical marijuana dispensary company that was looking to expand to the Northeastern United States coastal city of Boston, MA. We were charged with designing a brand that broke the stereotypical “weed shop” look and feel. The client wanted the brand to have a more sophisticated, yet approachable, tone. Something that would appeal to mainstream culture.

Mind Mapping

We began by examining what the city was known for. The Boston Tea Party, the harbor, ships & shipping, commerce, historical significance, colonial architecture, and much more. We kept coming back to ships and naval vessels. Another term for the human body is a vessel. There was a connection worth exploring there. Not wanting to go down the knee-jerk reactions visuals of an old ship, ship’s anchor, and a ships wheel, we decided to go deeper and go for a more abstract contemporary visual. After researching modern boats, yachts, and sailing vessels, none seem very approachable. We wanted something everyone could relate to. A logo mark that would be instantly recognizable but stylized. After more research and development, I came up with a paper boat.

I researched different paper boats but came back to the iconic single paper, simple folds paper boat that most people are familiar with from their youth. The shape was simple and easily recognizable. I must have cut and folded nearly a dozen paper boats and had them all over my desk while I was working on this project. Using my camera phone, I snapped pictures of the paper boats I had made from every which angle. Some were profile, others three quarters and others yet gave the boat sharper angles. Ultimately, it was a slightly elevated 3/4 view that we picked as the most iconic and identifiable angle.

Logotype, color, and more.

With the shape in mind, I proceeded to create a vector illustration and stylized it into our Logo mark. The color was chosen for the color blue’s relation to the ocean and the sky, both images that people associate with health and well being as well as relaxation. darker hue was chosen to infuse a sense of trust and history over a navy or royal blue. We chose Futura in 2 different weights for the logo type, a clean contemporary sans-serif font that was available in many different weights. The range of weights allowed us to put the emphasis on the “Wellness” in the name of the brand.

Finally, with the main logo created, I set out to create a collection of marketing pieces that could be used to help someone understand the brand. I created the collateral mockup depicting mock-ups of business cards, flyers, books, stationery, envelopes, USB flash drives, pens or pencils, and a smartphone screen. Using images of Boston, MA to help drive home the local feel, the collateral mockup I created helped take what was a great logo and fleshed it out into a proper brand.

We made a $100,000 brand package.

The stars didn’t align with Boston Wellness and the company did not expand into the northeast…yet. Regardless, it is still one of my favorite pieces of corporate identity work that I have had the pleasure of being a part of. The best compliment I had received on it was hearing a person from an east coast branding agency call what we made a “$100,000 brand package.”