Is This What a Legalized Marijuana Brand Would Look Like?

Designers from Pentagram have a smart solution for branding weed, should it become legal in California after next week's passage of Proposition 19.

As Proposition 19 nears possible passage next week, the marijuana industry in California has been examining the branding implications for their nearly-legal wares. Designers have been dreaming up imaginary weed brands for years—I like this one from Print, which features four concepts—but now designers may have to get serious about advertising and marketing marijuana for potential clients. Actually, that part's already happening: Just check out the sexy dispensary architecture of Sparc, in San Francisco.

This week, Pentagram designers Eddie Opara and Frank LaRocca accepted the challenge to brand legal weed for Newsweek, and what I like about what they did is that it doesn't have any of the old, stereotypical visual cues associated with stoners: you know, the green cross, the five-pointed leaf...the blacklight posters. They also created a range of potential products, like edibles, that address the various ways that people would want to use legalized marijuana.

Opara and LaRocca did something especially smart in that they chose a particular strain—Northern Lights—and envisioned the campaign being built around this "brand" of marijuana that already exists. Serious smokers already have an allegiance to strains like Purple Haze or White Widow, and if their certain is branded appropriately in the marketplace, they'll be more likely to buy it. For example, Northern Lights (reportedly) provides a "humorous and crazy" high, which the designers tried to capture in their work.

You can see more images from the campaign as well as some ideas from New York design firm Mother. What do you think? Is this effective branding for weed?
via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

The phrase "stay in your lane" is usually lobbed at celebrities who talk about politics on Twitter by people who disagree with them. People in the sports world will often get a "stick to sports" when they try to have an opinion that lies outside of the field of play.

Keep Reading

The Free the Nipple movement is trying to remove the stigma on women's breasts by making it culturally acceptable and legal for women to go topless in public. But it turns out, Free the Nipple might be fighting on the wrong front and should be focusing on freeing the nipple in a place you'd never expect. Your own home.

A woman in Utah is facing criminal charges for not wearing a shirt in her house, with prosecutors arguing that women's chests are culturally considered lewd.

Keep Reading

In August, the Recording Academy hired their first female CEO, Deborah Dugan. Ten days before the Grammys, Dugan was placed on administrative leave for misconduct allegations after a female employee said Dugan was "abusive" and created a "toxic and intolerable" work environment. However, Dugan says she was actually removed from her position for complaining to human resources about sexual harassment, pay disparities, and conflicts of interest in the award show's nomination process.

Just five days before the Grammys, Dugan filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and her claims are many. Dugan says she was paid less than former CEO Neil Portnow. In 2018, Portnow received criticism for saying women need to "step up" when only two female acts won Grammys. Portnow decided to not renew his contract shortly after. Dugan says she was also asked to hire Portnow as a consultant for $750,000 a year, which she refused to do.

Keep Reading