Epic Weed Poster: Exploring the Underground Branding of Marijuana Culture
A corporate graphic designer creates possibly the greatest weed poster of all time on kickstarter
I was interested in the branding of marijuana as a black market product. As it becomes legal, the branding (including naming) of marijuana will fall into more and more corporate hands. I think itís more interesting to see how outlaws used branding instead of corporations. Thatís why the type is black; to represent the black market.
678 strains of marijuana. 166 sativas. 173 indicas. 339 hybrids. 1 poster. The Epic Weed Poster is a typographic journey into the wonderful world of marijuana branding. This ambitious poster was the creation of Amarpal Dhillon. A Toronto based graphic designer, Amarpal has spent years working in advertising for some of the biggest brands in the world. ďAs a graphic designer, Iím constantly immersed in the world of corporate brands. Itís only natural that I became intrigued by the underground branding of black market products.Ē
As a recreational marijuana user, Amarpal always found it interesting how strains of marijuana always had funny and unique names to differentiate themselves from each other. ďWhile Iíve never been a habitual pot smoker, I would certainly take a puff if someone passed me a joint at a party. However, I noticed that my more dedicated pot smoking friends were incredibly snobby about which strains they would smoke. The names of their favourite strains became very important as it was the only piece of branding that existed for marijuana strains.Ē
After doing some research he found several online directories that listed hundreds of strains by name. ďAfter researching all of the names, I thought it would be really cool to create a poster to document them.Ē The obvious choice was to create a typographic word cloud that would use slick and elegant typography to create a consistent look for the wildly random names.
While the number of weed strains has exploded since Colorado legalized marijuana, this poster was limited to using weed strains pre-legalization. ďI was interested in the branding of marijuana as a black market product. As it becomes legal, the branding (including naming) of marijuana will fall into more and more corporate hands. I think itís more interesting to see how outlaws used branding instead of corporations. Thatís why the type is black; to represent the black market.Ē
As you scan the poster you canít help but get lost in the sheer volume of type. Each strain has been lovingly typeset individually. There are graphics and easter eggs spread throughout so that you will be noticing new details for months. ďEvery pot head Iíve ever known has had either a Bob Marley Poster or a marijuana leaf poster. The really dedicated pot heads might have a Reefer Madness poster. I think itís time for an elegant poster for the modern, snobby pot heads out there.Ē
You can see the Epic Weed Poster on Kickstarter.
If youíd like more information about the project, or if youíd like to schedule an interview with Amarpal, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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- Amarpal Dhillon
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