The 2018 legalization of recreational marijuana use in California brought with it marketing challenges unprecedented in American history. Simply put, how purveyors of cannabis – with its long history as an illicit substance – packaged these new products would go a long way toward shaping the public’s view of cannabis products as a whole. The smart, attractive packaging that San Francisco studio Pavement Design came up with for luxury cannabis brand Zoma employs a unique blend of embossing, foil, luscious papers and letterpress printing to emphasize the sensual, mystical elements of the pre-roll cigarettes, vapor cartridges and cannabis flowers inside.
I say “smart” because Pavement developed a distinctive box devoid of writing – save for the “Zoma” name rendered in gold foil [Download free Foil Cheat Sheet!] between two filigree flourishes – that can be used for all of the company’s products. Crafted by Studio On Fire from Neenah’s sumptuous Classic Crest Epic Black paper, [Get Swatchbook] the boxes were blind embossed with an almost meditative, botanical illustration that culminates in a face – neatly tying the natural ingredients inside to Mother Earth herself. “As a certified-organic cannabis line, the identity sought to illuminate the connection of the cannabis plant to the earth and healing through symbols of alchemy and sacred geometries,” the design studio explains.
Pavement’s foresight extended to the labeling of the boxes as well. Letterpress printed Black and Red on Neenah Classic Crest Natural White, the labels, bordered by eye-catching perforations reminiscent of postage stamps, are affixed to the boxes as needed. It’s a system that makes it extremely easy to create packaging for new products, or to update the cannabis strain name and other relevant details (such as the THC and CBD levels) for existing ones – they simply letterpress print new labels as needed, rather than having to print all new boxes. “The labels gave us necessary flexibility while adding an interesting design element,” points out Pavement Design Principal/Creative Director Michael Hester.
The labels also subtly suggest a handmade quality to the organic products they promote – a personal touch that differentiates Zoma in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
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