How to design a CBD brand for the Canadian market: Glasfurd & Walker detail their work for Nowadays
Despite being one of the first CBD-forward brands in Canada, it was time for Pure Sunfarm’s collection of CBD products, Nowadays, to update its look. In the years following Canada’s legalisation of cannabis, the market has surged. However, most CBD products were launched by THC brands and told stories of extraction, growing techniques and sounded too street or medical. To stand out on a busy Canadian dispensary shelf, their brand idea and identity would need to deliver a new kind of product. On top of that, the market has a unique hurdle: the guidelines and limitations around cannabis marketing and packaging ask for extreme minimalism with only the logo allowed.
To find a solution, the Nowadays and Pure Sunfarms team partnered with Vancouver-based design and branding studio Glasfurd & Walker. They started with a feeling. Not calm, which is now a cliché for the CBD category, but the feeling of being at ease with yourself, being present in the moment and feeling good in your skin. The resulting identity captures the intention to be present in the now and to live fully lived days. The visual language is light and uncluttered, with a refreshing mint hue as the leading colour. “Mint is both calming and refreshing,” Co-founder & Creative Director Phoebe Glasfurd tells us, “a feeling that captures the essence of the brand and product perfectly.”
This energy continues throughout the rest of the brand elements, starting with the logo. Set in Klarheit Kurrent Book, the wordmark has a subtle customisation, with a wave in the stroke of the ‘N’ that conveys lightness, movement, and balance. Gerstner Programm – Light and Medium – from Forgotten Shapes features as the sans serif of the brand, whilst Cardone from 205TF appears as the display serif. “We chose these typefaces for their ability to convey the brand tone,” Glasfurd continues, “the pairing balances a stillness and simplicity with movement and energy – a metaphor for creating a state of ease on a busy day.”
When it came to the photographic direction of the brand, Glasfurd explains that Nowadays’ world takes “CBD out of cannabis and into the real world.” As such, it captures moments of pause and tranquillity; the cool breeze after a day indoors, a quiet city as the sun goes down. “The photography and motion content for the brand are centred around the key principle of creating 'a sense of ease,’” she adds. “Whether through mood and tonality, colour palette, or subject matter, the brand embodies a visual world that instils 'ease.’”