Inspired by… Pentagram

When I was at a dinner party last week and my friend asked me if I had seen the cannabis packaging Pentagram did for Snoop Dogg I thought she was messing with me. But, luckily for me, and the world, she most certainly was not! I made her show me everything, right there at the dinner party. Design parties.

What was striking to both of us, was how Pentagram and Snoop steered away from the stereotypical marijuana aesthetic (always so cheesy and repulsive to me), and went in a completely different direction- elevating the concept of cannabis in this beautiful, lush, fashion-inspired story. The patterns, multiple color stories, and typography direction feels both elegant and casual at the same time. I love how Pentagram described the process on their blog:

As a forefather of West Coast rap, Snoop is closely associated with California, and this comes into play in the packaging. Clean and simple on the outside, opening the flower boxes reveals a fresh blast of colorful California cool. Sliding off the box cover exposes images of green palms, sunny beaches and blue pools in angled slices that echo the LBS logo. Users encounter other surprises as they handle the packaging: The surface of the outer box is covered with a custom cannabis paisley pattern, printed in a clear, tactile spot varnish. “We chose Paisley because it is one of Snoop’s favorite patterns, borrowed from bandannas,” says Oberman. Opening the box also reveals a colorful collectible sticker featuring a phrase like “Ooouuuweeee” or “Puff puff pass” handwritten by Snoop; the reverse of the sticker features humorous instructions for use the weed.


“It’s like working at the end of Prohibition,” says Oberman. “Everything is changing, all the time. Laws change from week to week, and affect what you can do. It’s incredibly exciting, but it’s also difficult, so we had to keep it simple.”


On Brand: The Identity Design of Le Turtle

Lately I’ve been discovering restaurants I want to try through the J.Crew blog... Random, I know. My most recent curiosity, Le Turtle in the Lower East Side, led me down a design rabbit hole the minute I clicked on their site.. A video below for reference.

I was sitting at my desk at work, watching a woman repeatedly stick her hands through her pants. I swear I was just looking for a place to go for dinner! (sorry, HR).

As I learned, the identity design was done by a husband and wife time, well… correction, they became husband and wife after the branding was complete. A design fairytale, if you will. AIGA did a great piece on them, here.

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The branding struck me as more cinematic than anything–specifically Italian Surrealism circa the 1960s.


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The identity design was done by Leta Sobierajski and Wade Jeffree. Kudos!

Inspired by… Riley Cran

Today I bring you the work of Riley Cran, a graphic designer with a strong focus on identity design, packaging, and illustration. I particularly liked the work she did for No-Li Brewhous, featured below. Described in her own words,

Founded in Spokane Washington in 1993 by Mark Irvin, No-Li Brewhouse is a craft brewery which expanded to bottling in early 2012. Originally named Northern Lights, I was contacted in Winter 2012 by former Fat Tire strategist Greg Owsley and former Deschutes Brewery (and craft beer guru) John Bryant, about re-naming the brewery ‘No-Li’, rebranding the company completely, and creating its first bottled brews. I’ve worked with No-Li on their various branding and packaging projects ever since, which now includes 22oz and 12oz bottles.

The main company mark references the Spokane Gondola, a series of Tram cars installed for the 1974 World’s Fair, an event of lasting esteem in the city, and something we took much inspiration from.


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Inspired by… Cast Iron Design

Cast iron Design is a studio with a sense of humor. Just read about them here and I promise you will smile. Or, see below, which will also make you smile. Either way, smiles abound. There is a lengthy description of the below identity- which I’ll just let you read here, instead of recapping, (and also, I’m feeling lazy). Enjoy!

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Inspired by… Spencer Charles

Spencer Charles is a typographic designer and letterer who honed his skills as a chalkboard /signage artist at Whole Foods, and then went on to work for the illustrious Louise Fili. Now working independently, Spencer’s work has a focus on typeface design, logo, food packaging, and book design. Below are a few of my favorite works from his site. I also really liked this Instagram project he did- check it out here.

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Inspired by… Acre

Crafting beautiful identities has been on my mind recently- so I’ve been doing some research and I am across this lovely branding by Acre.  Co-founded in 2011 by T Y Zheng and Jason Song, ACRE operates from the industrial heartlands of Singapore. As they describe,

We are an art collective of idea crafters. We believe the collaborative experience between clients and ourselves ensure good design, clear communication and holistic brand projection. Whether they are digital or print, we are all good soil. We believe that untapped potential and limitless possibilities lie within the seed of every good idea.

Below is the beautiful identity for PACT- an open space where partnerships between like-minded businesses are housed.

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