The cannabis leaf has been a long-standing representation of marijuana and the legalization movement . This seven fingered plant is very distinct and recognizable to anyone. Even those who aren’t cannabis users can easily identify cannabis leaf logos.
Because this symbol is so iconic, its tempting for cannabis businesses to use it prominently in their logo. It’s only logical to want your customers to quickly understand what you do; the leaf is an instant way to communicate that.
This strategy works great… until 100 other brands like you pop up. Now your customers have 101 different options and you have about 5 – 10 seconds to grab their attention.
What will make them choose you?
So with an increasing number of cannabis businesses using a cannabis leaf logo, its effectiveness dies. It will be much harder to attract customers if your brand looks like all the others!
Cannabis Leaf Logos & Cannabis Leaves are not a Long Term Solution
According to a 2016 analysis of logo trends in the U.S., 44.1% of marijuana-related businesses use cannabis leaves in their logos.
This number is astonishingly high, and problematic for the cannabis industry.
Your logo is your identifier. It’s how customers will notice and remember you. It’s the first image they will think of when identifying your brand. Without that memorability factor, you will lose one of the key components of what makes an effective logo.
The marijuana leaf is a representation of a group or a category. It is an umbrella that your business falls under- but it is not your business.
Cannabis leaves may answer the question of what your are, but not who you are! Who you are is what will stand out to potential customers, and will keep them coming back for more.
As a brand identifier, the cannabis leaf is a short-term solution, painting the picture of your brand in broad strokes. Your marijuana brand should offer something new to the market, something exciting. This requires brand design that also offers something new.
See it in Action:
Several cannabis brands are leading the market without using leaves in their logos. These are just a few of them!
The Lunch Box Alchemy logo is modern unique and fun. Their color scheme is bright, and complimented by their eye catching packaging. The logo carries a heavy association with the company name, but stays away from using a cannabis symbol. Their logo, in turn, is effective because customers think “lunchbox” when seeing that symbol. https://lunchboxalchemy.com
A very modern looking brand that uses flat and simple design. With a simple, bold S logo, they have covered a lot of ground as a brand. They have shown that minimalism, bold colors, and avoidance of the cannabis leaf won’t hinder attracting a loyal following. http://selectstrains.com
DCN uses a icon/monogram as their logo. The design is eye catching, modern and simple, using the symbolism of the arrow through the “d” and the “c” to subtly hint at a the idea of going higher and further. The cannabis leaf was intentionally left out to future-proof the brand, allowing it to flourish without any obvious marijuana references. https://www.directcannabisnetwork.com
Still Interested in Cannabis Leaf Logos?
While you don’t need the reference in order to be successful, having a marijuana leaf in your logo design is not the end of the world. There are great examples of cannabis brands with excellent logos that contain the leaf as well, who are performing just as well in the market:
Undeniably a beautiful brand, Leafs by Snoop uses a gold cannabis leaf as the foundation of their logo. It’s effective at capturing interest due to it’s interesting and clean design, but is most supported by the entire brand design that surrounds it. http://www.leafsbysnoop.com/
Give Them Something to Remember!
But there is a distinct reason why: a unique style that makes their brand relatable.
A Hint of the Cannabis Leaf
If you want to incorporate the leaf in your logo, an appropriate direction to take is to make allusions to it in an uncommon way. Don’t just slap on a marijuana leaf and call it good!
7 Point Law
Other options to subtle incorporate the marijuana leaf could be a pattern on a package design, icons on a website, and/or cannabis photography on brand materials. All of these will communicate to the customer what it is you offer, without a cannabis leaf being the primary representation of the brand.
Thinking Outside the Box
The cannabis leaf is undoubtedly the most recognizable symbol of the marijuana industry. But it’s important to remember that this symbol better represents a group than a business.
For this reason, a marijuana leaf shouldn’t be used as the primary representation of your business, at least without a strong and unique brand identity to support it.
Cannabis leaf logos alone won’t give you any kind of edge over your competition, especially as the industry continues to grow. If you aren’t highlighting anything that makes your business standout above all the rest, you’ll just blend into the crowd.