Client: Oakland Grown
Key Role: Instagram strategy, Apparel design, Branding, Logos, Photography, Mockups, Presentation Design
ReeferRadness is my freelance mission to de-stigmatize cannabis. I use my branding expertise to help grow-ops incorporate. I help prohibition-paranoid farmers understand the value of design and express their brand principles. I create design across the spectrum of media. Whether it be websites, instagram posts or bomber jackets; each piece participates in a comprehensive vision.
Logo design has become commoditized. We have all seen you can get a logo from Fiverr for $5. In such a day and age where brands are cheap, real brands distinguish themselves through going the extra mile. ReeferRadness takes an intimate approach to understanding the principles that underly a company. In the case of Oakland Grown, they wanted to emerge from the underground grow market and claim their authority as a longstanding brand. I'll take you through the process I underwent to create their visual feel.
A branding exercise
Look at the following images and answer the following questions:
Which painting would you place inside your office building? (a public space)
Which painting would you place inside your living room? (a partial space)
Which painting would you place inside your bedroom? (a private space)
These questions reveal our cultural and personal bias. In answering question 1, we show what we believe society likes. In answering question 3, we show what we personally like. When we administered this exercise to OG, the answers were as follows
This reveals that OG had a preference towards more literal, exaggerated, and symbolic images; like the The Great Wave off Kanagawa(painting B.) It also revealed their outlook on public images. Specifically, that the public is used to interpretive, moody, and emotional images. Shown by their choice for Starry Night(painting C) as a public image.
I was able to translate these preferences into their visual identity. Read ahead to see how it translated.
Taking inspiration from OG's preferences towards literal, exaggerated, and symbolic images. And OG's principles around integrity, freedom, and authority, I created a brand centered around the vision of an eagle. The mascot of the free world, and a symbol of agency.
Collateral is what we use to recognize brands. They are the vehicle for communicating the popularity and relevance of an idea. This brings me to bomber jackets. Currently in 2017, they are very in style. If a brand design is successful, you can sell the merchandise that represents the brand, instead of a product itself. We developed a vision of streetwear that could communicate the idea. We never produced the line but we took it as far as we could.
Photography is essential to how culture describes cannabis. We read about 'golden tricombs' or 'sticky hairs'. I did not have resources to capture microscopic level pictures but I used my 50mm to capture essential photos that could be reused for instagram, online marketplaces, or promotions. They came in handy when I was contracted to make the website :).
A logo is just the beginning of a brand. To create a website is to truly elaborate the vision and function of a company. To capture the essence of their 'free world' spirit, the founder produced a brand statement for the front page. To keep users tuned in, we used background video in the banner. Background video isn't a differentiator in the tech world but for a brand that was 'getting out the door' this was a huge accomplishment.