Base Design Rebrands Marijuana for Fast Co.Design

Like its tie dye t-shirt and rasta hat brethren, the iconic marijuana leaf logo has come to symbolize the hippie and slacker fringes of society. Yet, with pot’s massive shift toward legalization in many states, it has become downright mainstream. A drug for the masses.

Fast Co.Design therefore felt it was high time to evoke this change in attitude towards marijuana by asking us and a handful of other branding firms to create new visual identities of how we today perceive weed today. We decided to engage in a friendly, studio-wide competition, with each participating designer bringing forth his or her proposed rebrand.

It was our Design Director, Arno Baudin who came out top with his Mary Jane creation. “The cannabis leaf is an iconic and sticky logo,” Baudin said. “It has everything. It is aesthetically beautiful and embodies many strong and established connotations. So more than adapting it or branding marijuana in a corporate way, we wanted to fundamentally alter the associations we have with the drug itself.” In other words, he wanted to add a little sex appeal.

In the time since the article has run, comments have run from a call for an immediate and official rebrand to calling us names not fit for print, demonstrating that messing with the marijuana leaf logo is as controversial as the drug itself.