AToMiC 2021: Design to the rescue

How one brand chartered unfamiliar territory with a familiar brand identity.

Veryvell - Image 5

You are reading a deep dive into the insight and ideas that propelled the winners of the 2021 AToMiC Awards to success. For the full list of winners, visit the AToMiC website, and be sure to check back for more deep dives into this year’s award-winning work.

This story originally appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of strategy.

The Wins: Truss Beverages – VeryVell by Rethink
Gold Design; Gold Cannabis Branding

How do you convey a cannabis brand’s USP while tangled in regulatory red tape? Beyond having to somehow design packaging amid restrictive government rules, how do you explain a product’s purpose in a category that many are still confused by? Truss Beverages and Rethink found the answer in navigational design.

The pot category is full of competitors focused on one thing: getting people high. Few have zeroed in on the wellness aspect of cannabis, a surprising fact considering 80% of people consume weed as part of their self-care routine. So while many other cannabis companies were zigging toward THC, Truss decided to zag toward CBD.

The company launched a wellness brand with a moniker that solved consumer confusion, VeryVell, and a line of cannabis drops for beverages. Each of the drops were named for different need states: Yawn, Tingle and Exhale. To reduce user friction, Rethink developed a design system to help consumers navigate the brand’s various products.

It created the brand’s iconography – an aura – which was used on packaging to create a ripple and communicate inhales and exhales. The system also educated consumers on product benefits, occasions and dosage, while packaging used colours like teal, sage and copper to pull people into the brand’s calm and cool aesthetic.