Ounces: How High Road crafted the gold standard of cannabis brands

February 24, 2020

A strong brand story is worth its weight in gold.

When it comes to developing a new retail brand identity, building the concept around an honest and meaningful story can be critical to a successful and authentic brand. High Road took this belief to heart when recently crafting the cannabis brand identity for our client’s upcoming dispensary in Detroit, Michigan.

When we were first approached by John & Connie, a dynamic husband-and-wife duo with no lack of enthusiasm, we immediately connected with their passionate energy and vision. This midwest couple with well-established careers in law and real estate wanted to take a grassroots approach to developing a classic, high-end cannabis retail concept. They wanted to create a dispensary experience unlike any other– one that is tailored to each guest, carefully measured to fit each person's individual needs. They wanted a name and brand that reflected a refined sensibility and helped set a new standard for the industry– but one that still felt approachable, and let their customers know that when you walk through their doors, you're treated like family. 

This idea of family became an important piece of the concept. Not only were John and Connie husband and wife, but both had family that suffered from medical conditions that for which medical cannabis could have been greatly beneficial. They saw an opportunity to create an exciting destination that could help educate their customers and provide resources and support to the rebounding Detroit community.

Through in-depth conversations with the client, learning about their story and gleaning insight from their experiences, the brand identity began to take shape. Call it kismet or coincidence, but a name emerged that not only represented their elegant vision but was directly inspired by the powerhouse team’s own last name, Gold. “Ounces” was chosen for the brand name, not only evocative of the benchmark by which others are measured, but the name of common weights of both gold and cannabis. Pairing the name with the tagline “The gold standard of cannabis” helps establish the brand’s vision of not only being a benchmark of excellence, but a personal standard of care and commitment worthy of the family name.

The visual identity for Ounces had to reflect a mature and distinguished aesthetic, while still feeling welcome and inviting. The primary logo is anchored by a clean and simple wordmark for the Ounces name, but is truly brought to life by the custom “oz” script. As the common shorthand for the unit of weight, it became the perfect set of initials to pair with the name. This hand-drawn monogram adds a personal touch to the brand, acting as the name’s own signature. The loop of the lowercase z dips into the Ounces wordmark, quietly surrounding the c to help to connect the two elements while also evoking a sense of connection and comfort.

Selecting gold color and gradients for the brand palette seemed fairly obvious, but the softer and natural golden hues were chosen for their warmth and approachability– steering clear of the flashier, more opulent range of the spectrum. This imbued the brand identity with an heir of class and luxury derived from hard work and dedication, a notion synonymous with the city’s rugged history.

Detroit has such a rich, vibrant past– but has unfortunately seen many hardships in the last decade. The decline of the once great auto industry that built the city, along with several other side-effects of the times we live in, turned Detroit into block after block of abandonment and post-apocalyptic-like scenery. It is hard to describe and even seeing it first hand is hard to fathom. But Detroit is resilient, and its people have chosen a new industry to breathe new life into their economic prosperity, health and wellbeing. 

Last November, Michigan voted to legalize cannabis. And because of the opportunities brought by this industry, because of the visions and investments by entrepreneurs like John and Connie, opportunity and prosperity will soon have a pathway back into these communities. 

High Road is honored to cater to Clients like these, and we specialize in bringing their unique stories to life. Contact us today for a complimentary discovery call to discuss your dispensary design and branding needs. We look forward to taking the High Road with you.