PaperSpecsGallery.com Presents: Zoma Cannabis Packaging
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.
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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.
Sabine Lenz is the founder of PaperSpecs.com, the first online paper database and community specifically designed for paper specifiers.
Growing up in Germany, Sabine started her design career in Frankfurt, before moving to Australia and then the United States. She has worked on design projects ranging from corporate identities to major road shows and product launches. From start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, her list of clients included Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Deutsche Bank, IBM and KPMG.
Seeing designers struggle worldwide to stay current with new papers and paper trends inspired Sabine to create PaperSpecs, an independent and comprehensive Web-based paper database and weekly e-newsletter. She is also a speaker on paper issues and the paper industry. Some refer to her lovingly as the "paper queen" who combines her passion for this wonderful substrate called paper with a hands-on approach to sharing her knowledge.