Woodward Fine Cannabis Animal Face jar with cannabis buds spilling out of the top and laying next to the jar on a white surface.

WOODWARD FINE CANNABIS

Where there’s smoke it’s fire

The team at Woodward Fine Cannabis recognized that to capture their share of the new, highly competitive Ohio medical cannabis market, their product would need to be instantly identified as the premium choice over their competitors. Pulling from their 20 years of experience and extensive knowledge of the industry, the owners drew inspiration from an early advocate, Dr. William Creighton Woodward, for their name. With little more than that, they turned to OKTHX to build a distinctive and durable brand that would communicate their passion for delivering the highest quality medical cannabis available in Ohio.

services provided:

identity
packaging
photography
video
illustration
digital
website

Woodward Fine Cannabis logo
The Sprint

The catch was, “We need a whole new brand and packaging to go with it by the end of the month.” That was, to say the least, a tight timeframe. So we doubled down on the Dr. Woodward inspiration. Little more than a historical footnote today, Dr. Woodward was a physician as well as legislative counsel for the American Medical Association from 1922 to 1939. In the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act hearings before Congress, Dr. Woodward defended the AMA’s position that cannabis should be regulated but not prohibited.

We imagined the desk of a fictional Dr. Woodward and took cues for the style of the logo and packaging from early twentieth century apothecary ephemera. Marbled paper used for endpapers in old medical books were reborn as colorful patterns that served to distinguish the different cannabis strains.

Secondary Woodward logo marks.

Secondary logo marks.

Woodward Fine Cannabis color palette

Color palette.

Woodward Fine Cannabis typography

Typography.

Woodward Fine Cannabis brand photos

“From the desk of Dr. Woodward” photography for initial brand launch.

WFC marbled paper patterns

Marbled paper patterns.

The Container

The fifth-ounce plastic jars (as opposed to glass, the debate as to which is better is an ongoing point of contention amongst connoisseurs) have childproof lids, as well as holographic tamper-evident stickers that bridge the lid and container. Each strain was assigned its own color along with coordinating marbled paper pattern. As limited edition strains were introduced, this label design was used to designate the core strains, intended to always be available to patients. When a new limited edition strain proved to be popular and practical enough to regularly cultivate, it would graduate to the “classic” stable.

Blueberry Cheesecake cannabis jar

Jar with strain-specific pattern and color.

Woodward Fine Cannabis Sunset Sherbert and Animal Mints jars with marbled paper backgrounds.
Woodward Fine Cannabis tamper-evident sticker on jar.

Holographic tamper-evident seal.

Woodward Fine Cannabis classic strain jars

A selection of “classic” labels.

The limited edition labels were designed to allow more emphasis on artwork and strain names. The Woodward Fine Cannabis logo was dropped in favor of a more subtle line of lettering at the top of the label. This more “recreational” approach was not without controversy in the medical program.

Woodward Fine Cannabis Limited Edition Diamonds jar against graphic background.
Woodward Fine Cannabis Limited Edition RS11 jar against graphic background.
Woodward Fine Cannabis Limited Edition Fire Mints jar against graphic background.
Woodward Fine Cannabis Limited Edition Beach Wedding jar against graphic background.

A few of the many limited edition releases.

Flower Photography

In the early years of the Ohio medical cannabis program, photography of packaging was allowed, but not the actual product that went into it. Over time this regulation was relaxed. As growers of top-shelf cannabis flower, the team at Woodward wanted to showcase their premium buds with dramatic macro photography. This turned out to be more difficult than expected. First off, the flower had to be shot on-site, at the grow facility. Local photographers were impossible to find. Quotes were obtained from photographers specializing in cannabis photography, but with travel expenses figured in, this proved to be out of budget. So we asked if we could give it a shot. How hard could it be? Turns out, pretty hard! But after a few weeks of research, experimentation, the right lenses, professional lighting, focus stacking software, etc., we started to get results. No big deal.

Macro photography of cannabis flower buds.
Macro photography of cannabis flower buds.
Macro photography of cannabis flower buds.

Frosty nugs, as they say.

Extracts Packaging

Once flower sales had been firmly established, the team wanted to start focusing on extracts products. First up was concentrates such as badder, live sauce, and sugar, which are typically sold in a small glass jar, often packaged within a larger carton. We tried this route, but after testing multiple prototype cartons and sampling a range of concentrates jars, we ended up with an unusual solution: a jar within a jar. The outer jar would match up visually with the flower jars for brand recognition, and the same label format could be used to help streamline production. Branding was simplified and the name for extracts products was shortened to simply “Woodward.”

Woodward Sunset Sherbert raw sugar concentrate jar.
Five jars of Woodward Sunset Sherbert badder floating against a trippy concentric background pattern.

Woodward concentrates jar showing simplified branding to distinguish from the “Fine Cannabis” flower products.

Woodward The Juiceman raw sugar and RS11 badder jars.

Shatter, pressed raw sugar, and fondant were next in line. These were packaged in mylar bags. Last was a 510-thread cartridge filled with cured resin distillate derived from Woodward’s own premium flower, specific to each strain, “True to Strain” or “TTS” for short. The cartridges would require a custom carton. We partnered with the same vendor that produced the Pacific Gold packaging and came up with a similar solution that was cost-effective and met the state’s legal requirements. The box was printed in a solid matte-finish charcoal with debossing and foil stamping, the logo in a subtle gloss UV varnish. As with the other extracts products, the branding was more refined and stark to distinguish it from flower. However, the strain color-coding from the flower jars was retained for consistency.

Woodward R'ntz shatter package.

Mylar packaging and label for shatter, pressed raw sugar, and fondant products.

Woodward shatter and pressed raw sugar mylar bag packaging.
Woodward TTS cartridge box with Blueberry Cheesecake label.

Woodward “True to Strain” 510-thread cartridge packaging.

Woodward TTS box label details.
Woodward TTS box printing detail closeups.

Closeup of back label and debossing, foil stamping, and varnish details.

Woodward TTS cartridge boxes, Banana Face on the left, Strawberry Guava on the right.
Instagram and Video

For social media we focused on Instagram because of its visual nature and existing follower base in the cannabis community. Posts were generally coordinated with drops of product to the dispensaries around the state. Teaser videos were mixed up with image posts to promote special releases and to announce drops. Videos consisted mainly of animated photographic elements in a collage style, similar to static image posts. Before long the videos were criticized by a minority of patients and officials in the program because of their upbeat, humorous nature and nods to popular culture. The team grudgingly decided to reduce their frequency of use. Medicine doesn’t have to be boring, though, right?

Woodward Fine Cannabis True OG and OUT NOW Instagram posts.
Woodward Fine Cannabis Instagram post examples.

Instagram posts.

Caption explaining video projects.

Woodward Fine Cannabis t-shirts.

T-shirts.

Woodward Fine Cannabis metal lighter and sticker pack.
Woodward Fine Cannabis Stay Lit! stickers and abstract monogram art print.
Woodward notebook and pen.

Branded promotional items, including a sticker design that definitely pushed the regulatory boundaries.

It’s certainly satisfying to help a business bootstrap their launch and work with them to refine their brand over time. We viewed our collaboration with Woodward as setting the foundation and raising the walls of an upmarket property. It will eventually have additions built on, and will inevitably be renovated, but underneath it all it has “good bones,” and we’re proud of that. Would Dr. Woodward approve? It’s hard to say. I hope he had a sense of humor.