Responses by Michael Hester, principal and creative director, Pavement.
Background: The purpose of this project was to create a cannabis brand that stood apart from the competition within the state of Michigan. The competitive set was littered with brands that presented the product as a commodity or leaned too heavily into the “stoner” side of the business. Glorious Cannabis Company was more interested in creating a sophisticated brand that appealed to urban millennials with higher disposable income. To do this, we knew we wanted to create a lifestyle brand that captured the ethos of Detroit.
Design thinking: Based in the Detroit metropolitan area, Glorious Cannabis Company seized the opportunity to create a distinctive cannabis brand that embraces the city’s renaissance spirit. Detroit has long been an epicenter of grit, determination and craftsmanship—qualities that exemplified Detroit’s past and sparked the city’s rise from the ashes in recent years. Amid this revival, Glorious dedicated itself to creating the most superior cannabis products within the state of Michigan, created by the best cultivators in the industry. Seeking to attract Detroit’s modern millennials who identify with the hard work, ingenuity and artistry of the city’s roots, we created an uncomplicated yet bold identity.
Challenges: Creating a lifestyle brand for an industry that has gone through many recent growing pains and revelations. Regulatory issues compounded by an increasingly fickle and elusive legal cannabis consumer meant we needed to dig deeper into the strategic insight to identify a viable consumer to attract.
Favorite details: We are most proud of the distinctively different envelope packaging structure and the quality with which the letterpress and foil printing was executed. Studio on Fire, the printer for the packaging, did a fantastic job bringing this project to life—it allowed the brand to stand apart on the shelf immediately.
Visual influences: During the strategic phase that began this project, we researched Detroit—specifically, the aesthetic around the urban revival that has been taking place in the city over the past decade. We were particularly inspired by images of once-industrial spaces transformed into vibrant restaurants and nightlife spots. We loved the gritty, utilitarian bones of some of these historic buildings that had been given a modern facelift. It created an interesting aesthetic of “utilitarian grit meets modern flamboyance” that served as the visual north star for the brand.
Specific project demands: Specific printing demands, as it pertains to the labeling, are always a challenge with cannabis. With a plethora of batch-specific data that needs to be included on each cannabis package, we had to create a label solution that was nimble enough to let the client print variable information on a laser printer but didn’t detract from the aesthetic value.