THE CANNABIS LEAF AS A MOTIF
I was doing research for a cannabis based product packaging and noticed some interesting things. First of all, the one thing that really stands out is that about 90% of all packaging will have a reference to the very recognizable cannabis leaf. Whether it’s green or not doesn’t matter as long as there’s the recognizable shape.
THERE ARE NO RULES… YET!
The other thing that was interesting is that since this is a fairly new product family on the market with the new laws and regulations, there are really no rules, so to speak. I’ve seen packaging for smokable marijuana that looked more like organic cookies, or chocolate bars infused with various cannabis strains that reminded me more of a prescription drug than anything else, so I think at this stage everything still goes.
COLOR IN CANNABIS PACKAGING
Color seems to be a huge differentiating factor when it comes to separating the strains and the flavors from one another within the brand, just like it would for any other “consumable” product. Just like you would use color to separate varieties for a product line with a multitude of flavors, you can use the same principal to differentiate the products in your cannabis packaging designs.
At the same time the more popular flavors and strains are getting associated with certain colors, so keep an eye out for these and the colors associated with them, so you don’t end up making your banana kush an eye-popping purple.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS OF PACKAGING DESIGN
As package designers we also have to think about the important things, such as compliance with regulations, however new they may be at this time for this particular industry. There always will be certain elements you must include on an edible, consumable, digestible or smokable product, such as nutrition information, allergens, warnings, dosage amount if applicable, is it medical or recreational, keep out of reach of children, barcode and such, just to mention a few. Like with food and beverage packaging the rules will be different for every type of product, and cannabis-based consumer goods still must follow regulations that apply to their category.
The overall findings of my research:
- it’s still a new, but growing arena for package designers
- creative rules are still open to interpretation
- following regulations is important
- get as creative as you want, the canvas is blank!
To sum it up: go crazy, do unusual designs, be disruptive, use the leaf or don’t use the leaf, all is up to us designers when it comes to developing a brand or packaging design for cannabis based products.
Anna Kernbaum is the founder/owner and chief creative of Pixellent Design. You can contact Anna directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (310) 896-5071