Canopy Growth is a household name in terms of pioneering the world of legal cannabis.
The importance placed on all of their communication was placed on their company-wide conference that hosted 3000+ employees. Branded to be both digestible (no pun intended…) and exhilarating.
This is the Future of Flower.
The ask was to develop an identity for a conference that was intended to excite, motivate, inform, and educate. The Future of Flower was Canopy’s 2019 sales conference for its entire company, with legalization 2.0 right around the corner, they had a lot of exciting information to bring to the table.
As a freelance graphic design contractor, I worked very closely (in spite of the remote nature of the contract) with the creative agency, who was working for the brand team, who was working directly under the top of the company to ensure that this conference was going to accomplish a very important goal; speak to the entire company effectively.
As the lead designer on this project, after the kickoff with Canopy’s team, I got to work researching, strategizing and preparing for the first of many approval checkpoints. I worked with art and creative directors (Kyle Skinner, Jamie Smith, Chelle Lorenzen, Taralyn Carver, and Jessica Hay), writers (Joanne Gallop, Adam Lalama, and Meagan Kelly), marketing (Nick Skotidas), and even some unrelated departments at the company when conducting focus groups (legal, finance, development, etc.).
Colours, typography, graphics, and a strong logo that could all be used to convey the tone of this event was my main focus; they all play very large parts to the world that I created. By using elements that were vibrant and exciting, while still being professional, I was able to develop a system that could subconsciously speak to an entire company, exciting, motivating, educating, and informing them.
I developed a unique grid to build this logo. Focusing on powerful angles and forward-thinking connotations, landed on something tech-forward and interesting. Something that, on its own, hit all of the requirements for the voice of this conference; inline with the initial ask of the brand team.
The difference between branding an event compared to a company is that the event’s lifespan is much shorter than that of a company, that is translated in the amount of freedom you have for conceptualizing materials. You are slightly restricted by the space and elements needed, but you have plenty of freedom to build fun things. The key factor to remember of course is that you must remember to do the company’s brand justice while achieving the voice that the client is looking to embody.
Branding the Future of Flower was just like branding any other project or company, with developing the way it was going to seamlessly communicate ideas visually being my top priority.
The challenge, built into the ask, was to design a visual system that did all of the above: excite, motivate, inform, and educate. The key factor here is that the entire space for the event was just as important, if not more, as any of the small pieces of collateral. I began developing a way to use that space effectively.
After plenty of research and conceptualization, I landed on a machine (or world, because of the way that it was going to consume the entire space) that was essentially going to ingest cannabis and produce the many futuristic products that were being presented. This world explains, visually, what the conference was speaking to, using the nuance that Canopy's branding is quite famous for.
The way to describe this machine is if you were to combine an abstract science lab with a Rube-Goldberg contraption and be left with a mechanism that is connected and yet still surprising at every glance. These sketches show my thinking in terms of construction, while there were also other parts to the inspiration.
This world was built to be dissected and then to be placed throughout the entire conference space. This unique mechanism added excitement and branded elements, in a fun and creative way.
Focusing the majority of my time on developing the brand, logo, and overall connectedness of this conference, I was fortunate enough to outsource the final illustration of this machine/world to Canopy’s extremely talented illustrator Chelle Lorenzen. Chelle brought my machine to life, executing the follow-through of the concepts and inspiration points, flawlessly.
By utilizing tools of design and methods of communication, I was able to take a concept from fruition to completion, almost entirely remotely. I developed a unique logo, a visual identity, and a way to transform an entire space into something that Canopy could use to present some very large ideas to a very large number of people.
Now, let's see what's in store for the future.