Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Advertisement Of The Day

Print magazine recently commissioned four design firms to imagine what form legalized cannabis would take were it to be marketed and sold to the public. The packages above were created by The Heads of State, a two-man operation run by Jason Kernevich and Dustin Summers in Philadelphia:

OUR DIRECTION is essentially about preserving the spirit of buying pot illegally. The rituals and customs of scoring a bag of weed are so ingrained in pop culture that to ignore them simply because marijuana is legal seems to do a disservice to decades-old pot culture. The brand is built around a sticker system. We used the Akzidenz family for the type and wanted it to have a slightly under-designed feel to it, something nicely done but not too slick or mass-market. Finding the perfect bag was tricky, but we ended up with a bag that’s 3" x 4.5."

: Our initial idea was to package the joints in a cigarette box or something like that. But it would take a person a long time to smoke 20 to 30 joints. Paring it down to 12 seemed the way to go.

NAME: There is always a slight mystery involved in buying pot, and you aren’t always sure how good the quality is going to be. We wanted to nod to that with the different product names, while interjecting a bit of humor. We had 14 or 15 names ready to go, and could have gone on and on.
I find their logic in mimicking the street culture appearance of the product to be sound (and the packaging is simple yet professional looking) but I'm not too crazy about the names they chose. I understand that products need catchy, clever nomenclature but I've long said that for cannabis to finally be taken seriously on the legalization front we have to move past the juvenile culture created by High Times magazine and old Cheech and Chong flicks. Names like "Possibly Oregano" and "Stems and Seeds" echo street slang well enough but there are literally dozens of different strains of cannabis with distinct genetic characteristics that have already been named and catalogued by the growers who cross-bred and created them and I believe that these appellations should be the basis for how this product will eventually be marketed.



Leslie Parsley said...

I "kind of agree" but then, I wonder, what's in a name? Or do we really care as long as it gets legalized?

JBW said...

I may be giving you too much credit here Leslie but if you intentionally put the word "kind" in quotation marks for the reason I'm thinking I take back a few of the meaner things I've written here about Boomers. If not, that's cool too.

And you're right to a point, of course. Once legalization has happened my qualms about the culture surrounding it won't be as judgemental but we will have to remember that we will still be judged.

Just as the thousands of gay couples who are now married will be judged on their behavior and how their unions affect the institution of marriage and the culture at large, so too will the first states that legalize cannabis outright be similarly judged.

While you and I and most other readers here realize that it's a legitimate medication and considerably less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco there are others in our society who will be looking for every excuse to continue to demonize a simple plant because it furthers their own agenda of social control.

To answer your first question I'll simply refer you to my newest commenter, Hitler Cockface...

one L bill said...

If marijuana gets legalized, it won't be sold under the names marijuana or cannabis. That's not distancing yourself enough and it's not taking into account the multiple companies that might produce it. It will be branded and people will be buying "Kleenex", not "tissue paper".

JBW said...

I won't argue with you there, one L. I fully expect name brands to emerge, I just object to basing them on the juvenile nomenclature of the past.