If you’re in Canada or the United States (and I’m sure numerous other places) you know that the medical marijuana industry is booming. There is massive growth (pun intended), and new companies sprouting up every day (sorry, can’t help myself). Through Post+Beam, I’ve been working with a couple of clients that are starting up medical marijuana businesses, TheraCann being one of the ones gaining great traction.
In the beginning of our visual identity and branding exercises we were also helping TheraCann explore their name, tagline, voice and tone as well. When they were first starting out the parent company was going to be called Benchmark, with a child company called TheraCann. You can see in the process that follows how we took a brief pause on things and eventually the TheraCann International became the parent company with Benchmark being the prefix for many of their different lines of business.
Initial Exploration – Searching for a Visual Language
In the initial exploration although we were exploring the TheraCann mark before Benchmark you can see in some of the mock-ups that I was already thinking about that mark as well and how it might fit into the overall identity. One of the things that always helps me in visual identity exercises is to do supporting materials like sub-brands and some of the collateral like business cards at the same time. By doing this I can start to visualize if that visual identity will be flexible enough to survive in the wild and not too difficult for a a design team or other agency to work with when creating ads, websites, and other collateral.
In some of the initial exploration you can make out a few symbols that are vaguely derived from the plant itself, however we quickly decided between the client’s team and our own that we wanted to stay away from any of that type of imagery. The basis of the company wasn’t that it was a medical marijuana company, it was that it helped people and wanted to be positioned among regular pharmaceutical brands.
A 3D style mark that evoked the same feeling as many large pharma brands seemed to really sit well with the TheraCann team. The below ended up being one of the main marks we landed on before what happened next.
All the while I was working on the visual identity I was also trying it out in different applications. I would test some of the marks on various forms of collateral to see how well they would perform. Some of these explorations definitely influenced the official collateral that came later.
Pause and Restart
That was just a small snapshot of variations and iterations on colour, shapes, typography, font-pairing, wordmark and more. At this point the company went into a partial pause as they continued a lot of business development efforts. The next time we picked up the project, a couple months later when they had regrouped, the company and its vision had changed quite a bit. The entire company would be structured differently, with even the name becoming open to change again.
The company would now be structured with five distinct lines of business under the Benchmark prefix, with TheraCann (or whatever it ended up being called) being the parent company. Entering back into this exploration we had a few things to keep in mind now:
- The client really liked the Ubuntu font we had been using in many previous explorations and would prefer we kept it
- The different lines of business would all support and lead into each other, if that could be presented somehow in the logo that would be preferred
- Really friendly colour application was requested
- A different colour for each line of business was also something they’d like us to look into
We very quickly arrived at a colour selection that would remain quite similar throughout the remaining exploration. Eventually the colours would be shifted slightly to match some technical restraints on the company’s product side.
The name eventually became TheraCann Capital Corp and then finally TheraCann International as different areas of the business and marketing strategies were sorted out. You can also see the Benchmark Prefix being put to use with the different lines of business and their attributed colours.
Notice that there is a movement in all of the variations after a certain point that make each fin shape (which represent the different lines of business) feel as though they are leading into each other. The direction they flowed and how much they were allowed to lead into the next was experimented with to maximize how friendly the mark would feel.
Final Logo and Style Guide
Below is the final logo the client’s team and ours arrived at, as well as a few pages from the style guide.