Cannabis and CBD Branding That Cuts Through the Smoke

Cannabis and CBD companies are on the rise. Which means there’s also a rise in great cannabis and CBD branding!

Interest in the industry has been high since Colorado and Washington legalised recreational usage way back in 2012.

On top of that, Canada went green in October 2018.

There’s now more places in North America that have some form of legal cannabis use than don’t.

With this post, I have no interest in bringing forward a political or drug legalisation discussion.

But, here’s the thing:

The explosion of such an interesting (and in some places, taboo) market sector has led to cannabis and CBD brands getting creative with their identities, packaging, and marketing.

Let’s dive in.


Credit to Bigcommerce Design

Borlealis

The first brand on the list, isn’t actually a brand at all. It’s an in-house marketing effort from the design team over at ecommerce retailer Bigcommerce.

In a ploy to lure CBD businesses away from Shopify or Woocommerce, the Bigcommerce design team were tasked with creating a fantastic looking cannabis brand.

The idea is to help potential customers envisage their brand on the Bigcommerce platform.

And they’ve absolutely knocked it out of the park with Borlealis.

They’ve designed a great looking logo design, some adventurous packaging and of course, the usual branded tat that goes along with any good branding project.

This “CBD Oil” would stand out a mile on any good ecommerce website, or shop shelving, it’s just a shame it doesn’t really exist!


Credit to Verma Farms

Verma Farms

The Verma Farms brand is “inspired by the island of Hawaii” – something immediately obvious when coupling their brand message with their logo.

The naming of their product also helps in conjuring up images of sunny beaches and the Hawaiian lifestyle.

For example:

  • Peachy Pau Hana Gummy Bears
  • Maui Melon CBD Gummies
  • Blueberry Wave CBD Gummies

Verma Farms do a great job of connecting their brand to the island that inspired them.

Alongside their messaging, naming, and identity, Verma Farms do a great job of creating packaging and iconography design that reflect their products.

Their chill, boost, and focus oils feature icons of people reflecting each of the desired states.

Overall, Verma Farms aren’t just executing with great cannabis branding, they’ve connected their entire brand identity to their company strategy.


Credit to Pure Kana

Pure Kana

Pure Kana go down a much more medicinal looking route than others in the list.

But:

I simply have to admire the simple yet effective execution, and the P inside the oil droplet works beautifully.

Again, their gummy packaging is great. Using a gradient reflective of their gummy products, they’ve created a simple yet stylish looking container.

With their range of CBD oils, they’ve fell into the trap of using different colours to reflect different flavours, which is a slippery slope!

(This is something we recommend our clients stay away from, as you quickly run out of colours.)

Pure Kana’s branding could easily fit in with the “nutrition and supplements” space. But it’s simple enough to be visually striking and stand on it’s own two feet.


Credit to Herbivore Botanicals

Herbivore

Herbivore are in the beauty and skincare space, so no gummy CBD here.

Instead, they’re dealing in bright, funky looking liquids, accompanied by simple yet effective looking branding.

They have two sides to their branding, the regular side, and their “emerald” range – which is essentially their CBD range.

The uppercase Herbivore logo, black on white, sits well on every product they sell.

With the Emerald range, they’ve added some suitable foliage to the typography (at least on their website), and that works well too.

This simple, typographic approach is echoed throughout their entire product range, and some would argue “it’s not even designed.”

However, I’d argue it’s designed beautifully.

Well considered typography, sat in a good amount of white space, on products capped with white lids, gives the product itself room to shine.


Credit to Cannuka

Cannuka

Cannuka are also in the skincare range. Their two key ingredients are honey and of course, CBD.

Much like Herbivore, Cannuka take a “simplicity is key” approach to their branded packaging and products.

However, they’ve also included a logo mark, which is a well-designed bee. This helps Cannuka further communicate one of their key ingredients.

The lime green they’ve chosen for their product lids and product range is a nice choice and makes the products look very fresh, which is always going to be a good choice for a skincare product.

Cannuka are definitely pushing the lifestyle element of their brand, harder than the science.

For me, they’re doing the perfect amount of educating and brand building with their website content.

I’d expect to see more CBD and cannabis brands to take this direction in the not-so-distant future.


Credit to Lord Jones

Lord Jones

Lord Jones have one of those brand identities that just stands out a mile, no matter what you put it next to.

Compared to the other clean, fresh, brand identity design and packaging we’ve listed out here, Lord Jones’ take things in a completely different direction.

Their identity plays squarely into their name, with a very regal looking moniker, emblazoned with a golden shield.

The heraldic identity positions them as Royalty, or a Royal Family – which is possibly a nice connotation that they then roll out into their marketing messaging.

Cleverly, they’ve combined their rich, artistic, yet historic looking identity, with fresh and modern looking colours such as purples, greens, and oranges, to create a unique looking brand.

As well as a huge range of CBD products, they’ve even branched out into producing their own merchandise, which is testament to the strength and power of their brand identity.


Credit to Mazz Hanna

Mazz Hanna

According to their website, Mazz Hanna specialise in “high vibration luxury skincare.”

Mazz Hanna is not just the name of the brand, but also their founder, a former New York City based Creative Director.

That’ll explain the great branding and packaging then!

The Mazz Hanna logo plays with the A shapes in both Mazz, and Hanna, connecting as two arrows pointing both North and South.

Not every product they sell features CBD.

But:

Each of their products does build on their well considered logo, with a unique and interesting pattern. This brand pattern features across their entire skincare product range.

They also offer up a section of their website to help “demystify CBD” – something we’ve seen quite a lot of while researching the cannabis and CBD product space.

There’s a simple elegance to the design, and the linear structure of the pattern echoes the logo design perfectly.


Credit to Hora

Hora

Hora (pronounced “or-ah”) are another CBD skincare producer.

Their logo and identity isn’t dissimilar to Mazz Hanna’s identity. Infact, they use very similar shapes in their logo mark.

However, where they differ is in their product packaging.

Hora use a range of very dark bottles, and use a cut white triangular label to echo their logo, and also create a unique look for their product range.

There’s not a whole range of differentiation in their product line, which is something they may need to keep an eye on.

But at this stage, they look like they’ve got their branding in check!


Credit to Leef Organics

Leef Organics

Leef Organics believe “in Whole Plant CBD because the whole flower is greater than the sum of its parts.”

They offer a wide product range from bath bombs and essential oils, through to pet wellness products.

Their logo features a beautiful blackletter type stencil combined with two simple leaf shapes. Simple, but bold.

It looks easy to emboss, and judging by some of their branded product packaging, that’s exactly the direction they’ve taken.

Across their product range, they’ve opted for a monochrome design which works beautifully because each of their products has such a different look.

For example:

Their “Nooks + Crannies” CBD infused soap is a very different looking product to their Revive product.

The Leef Organics logo and product packaging has a unique look, earning it’s place on this list.


Credit to Populum

Populum

Populum have created a great looking brand identity and product range.

Gone are the plain, safe, sans-serif type options. In comes a beautifully designed, serif mark, that gives Populum a look that stands out on the market.

The main brand palette of navy and orange is vastly different to a lot of other CBD brands.

It almost looks corporate, but manages to shift away from that entirely, thanks to it’s well designed supporting elements.

Populum offer up a wide range of products, including:

  • Supplements
  • Skincare products
  • Petcare products

What they haven’t done, is link a colour scheme to each of their product ranges, which is a good thing. However, the patterns and palette used seems to be through random choice.

Luckily for them, their distinct looking logo, brand palette, and pattern is strong enough to pull it off.

The logo works in a range of colours, and no matter the colour of the supporting pattern, it continues to work well in each application.

Conclusion: Cannabis and CBD Branding That Cuts Through the Smoke

With most of North America onboard with some form of legalisation, and Europe likely to follow, the cannabis and CBD sector is on a real high.

Hopefully, the stigma and taboo of the industry fades, meaning cannabis and CBD brands can focus solely on attracting customers rather than eschewing negative perceptions of their product.

Once this happens, we’d expect to see more and more creative branding solutions come to light.

As long as the industry can stay away from branding and packaging design that’s either:

  • Too medical
  • Too “stoner”

Then a world of options opens up and brands can really start to ratchet up the fun and creativity.

Have we covered the best CBD brands on the market? Let us know in the comments below.

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