Cannabis is legal or becoming legal in several US states. It is legal in Uruguay and almost legal in the Netherlands. I expect that within 10 years the world will follow and Cannabis will become legal in a lot of countries. And when something becomes legal mainstream companies and marketeers will step in to launch a brand.My brother told me several (I think 20) years ago that Philip Morris already has claimed the name Marley as possible brand for a Cannabis cigarette (joint, spliff). I wondered how that brand would look like. So I made a logo and an advertisement that shows a possible future of Cannabis branding. The target market would be young affluent (black) male Americans.
I chose not use the vibrant red, green, yellow that is normally associated with reggae. I toned it down so it would look more natural, more ecology. The yellow background of the logo has more to do with the Smiley logo. I changed the typeface of the word Marley so it would become more of a smile. I did not use Bob Marley as the face of this brand. In my thought it should be a more generic Rastafarian guy because of copyright issues and maybe other issues that could pop up. I know it is a cliche to use reggae look for Cannabis. But the brand is called Marley so there should be some Rastafarian association. I tried to give the face/head a nostalgic feel with the black and white face. The Rastafarian guy I found a picture on Google and modified it. When the logo was finished I saw that I subconsciously borrowed from the Lucky Strike logo. The model in the advertisement is a rendered guy. I doubted that I could find a great picture of someone smoking a spliff so I uses Daz 3d software to make an artifical model. I also created the spliff and the packaging. I inserted a few pictures here to show my sources of inspiration.
I posted my designs on Reddit in ‘Design Critique’. There was one guy who gave some elaborate feedback.
‘I understand your reasoning for the name and the colours, however it is quite cliche. In Amsterdam a lot of these visuals exist already.
Personally, I don’t like the font. Also, keep in mind that a logo should be scaleable. You will lose a lot of detail when everything has to be much smaller.
Pay attention to the spacing of the text, especially on the package and poster.
About the ad.. I don’t think this is a visually attractive way to market your product. The guy has a ‘dead’ feeling to it. Maybe too much negative space, it draws a lot of attention, especially because it is black. The ad does not show ‘life is smooth’. I don’t like the font of ‘life is smooth’ as well, too childish, spacing is horrible,.. The disclaimer on the ad can be higher, it really ‘falls’ of the page.
I hope you can use this critique, don’t take it too hard but mainly focus on typography, pay attention what you want to convey and the purpose of your design.”
Yes critique can be hard. I agree with him on a few points. I struggled with the typography in the advertisement. I know it can be better but after two days of work I just had enough of it (lame excuse I know). I don’t think using a cliche in the logo is a bad thing. I tried to combine a cliche with a modern advertisement. The scalability of the logo is a point I considered. But scalability also means plain less detailed logo’s. The guy looks a bit creepy but I wanted him to look that he is on top things, a smart cunning guy. Am I satisfied with what I have done? Yes I am. Could it be better? Probably but I learn every day and I had fun making it.