Cannabis Design Tips and Tricks for Better Product Branding

With the cannabis industry growing at an unprecedented rate, many are deciding to throw their hat in the ring and enter the business.

You’ve got the product and it’s something that you really believe in. Something that could sell like gangbusters. Take the industry by storm, even.

But no one will reach for that product on the shelf if it doesn’t catch their eye in the first place. Without attractive packaging and design, it could be relegated to the bottom shelf.

Cannabis design and packaging is a tricky thing to navigate for the average entrepreneur who doesn’t have a background in graphic design.

Even when working with a professional graphic designer, things can get lost in translation if you don’t speak their language.

But not to fear. We’ve created a cannabis design guide jam-packed full of useful graphic design tips and tricks. Whether you’re doing it yourself or working with a professional graphic designer, you’ll want to bookmark this page for future reference. Read on for more!

1. Brand Identity

Establishing your brand identity is the first and most important thing you should focus on. Consider your target customers and the products you offer.

Are you targeting the working professional, who may not feel comfortable buying something cartoonish and juvenile?

Do you want to project an image of playfulness and fun to market to the festival crowd? Or maybe you want to be perceived as a more holistic and medicinally-oriented brand.

None of these examples are bad, but no company can be all of the above at the same time. Evaluate the products you sell, and decide who your target market is going to be.

When brainstorming for your brand identity, an effective method is to write down keywords (such as “professional”, “luxury,” “vintage”), and select two or three that really speak to you and fit your products and target market.

This will give you an excellent springboard for the rest of the tips in this article. Build upon these keywords at every step while developing your cannabis branding, and you will find that the brand identity practically creates itself.

2. Overall Cannabis Design Style

Obviously, as a cannabis-oriented business, you want to portray the product in an obvious and unmistakable way.

But plastering all of your products with green hemp leaves and calling it quits is overdone, and quite frankly, too obvious.

Take a look back at those key words up above: “Professional,” “Luxury,” and “Vintage.” These are the ideas that will drive your overall design style for your product packaging and branding across all media.

Those key words bring to mind minimalistic, elegant design, with maybe a nod to some retro color palettes or fonts.

Once you’ve come up with your overall design style, it’s time to start putting the pen to paper.

3. Layouts and Packaging

These two go hand in hand. You wouldn’t want to use the same design layout on a dropper bottle as you would a large resealable bag.

One of the biggest considerations in graphic design is the use of negative space and the concept of visual hierarchy. 

Amateur graphic designers often make the mistake of cramming every free centimeter of space with text or designs. This can make the design hard to read.

Instead, give the items in your layout space to breathe between each other and the edges. Avoid crowding or “stuffing” your packaging design with too many pictures and text blurbs.

And the smaller the item, the less space you have to work with in the first place. Generally speaking, smaller packaging means less “design.” Perhaps just the brand logo and the item name, with the use of color blocks to make everything readable.

When creating a cannabis design layout for any product packaging, make sure that the eyes are drawn to the most important information first. You don’t want your logo to take up 90% of the space and the actual product information to be hidden.

By following the traditional graphic design methods for visual hierarchy and negative space, your cannabis branding will stand heads above others on the shelf.

4. Typography

Typography is the aspect of graphic design that is probably taken most for granted. Most people (who aren’t graphic designers) don’t think about how the fonts used on the products they buy impact their decision.

But typography is extremely important, not only for readability but also for continuing that all-important brand identity.

You don’t want your professional, luxury product with vintage vibes to use Comic Sans, do you? Probably not.

You might instead go study advertisements from the 1950s and 1960s for inspiration on suitable fonts. Mad Men, anyone?

When choosing fonts for your cannabis design, prioritize readability over stylization. Over-stylized font won’t do you any good if customers can’t read it.

Another consideration when working with stylized fonts is to keep them to the main items in your hierarchy, such as the logo or brand name itself. In some cases, a unique knockout font for your brand name can BE your logo.

And when you’re choosing fonts for your cannabis graphic design, avoid using more than two at the same time, three at the absolute maximum. This keeps your design cohesive.

5. Color

Color is highly dependent on the rest of your design and brand identity. Let’s go back to those keywords: professional, vintage, and luxury.

Those words don’t really bring to mind screaming neon colors, do they? Or earth tones like green and brown.

But perhaps a nice beige-colored background with dark, saturated colors for fonts and logos would do the trick.

When choosing colors, work towards developing a palette. A color palette is a collection of colors that complement and contrast each other nicely. There are several useful online tools to help choose a color palette.

Top-Notch Cannabis Design and Packaging

When everything comes together for your cannabis branding, you’ll find that having a cohesive and unique brand identity will help you stand out from the competition and increase sales.

Whether you need the full suite of graphic design and packaging or are ready to go with your product and just need the goods, we’ve got the service you need. Call us at (813) 928-9166 or email us at

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