Last November, Washington state became the first in the US to legalise marijuana use. In order to identify marijuana products from the state, a special logo was devised for packaging. That logo is now to be dropped amid fears that it could too closely identify the state with drug use
Most US states like to be recognised as the home of something or other. Ohio, for example, is The Buckeye State, Missouri the Show-Me State. Washington, it turns out, wasn’t too keen on being known as the Dope State.
The original logo (above) set a marijuana leaf within the outline of the state on a map. According to Liquor Control Board spokesman Brian Smith, the intention was to make any product containing cannabis easily identifiable.
However, a group of drug-use prevention campaigners, in a letter to the board last month, argued that the logo could “reasonably be viewed as branding Washington ‘The Marijuana State,’ or as Washington proudly promoting marijuana use to the rest of the world.”
“A logo like this will undoubtedly end up on bumper stickers and T-shirts,” it continued. Fair point. But, the state’s entrepeneurs are well on the way to embedding that association without the help of an official logo as a Google image search quickly illustrates
The board now says that the original logo will be dropped in favour of a new device which may feature the cannabis leaf but not in a way that connects it to the state itself. That’s going to be an interesting brief for some lucky designer to tackle – to create a logo that is in no way going to be picked up and used as a symbol for celebrating state-sanctioned drug use. Tough one.
And how about that motto? Currently the official motto is “The Evergreen State”. Perhaps the authorities should be pro-active and get a new one before others do it for them. The “Ever So Suddenly Really Peckish State”? “The State of Extreme Mellowness”?
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The July issue of Creative Review is a type special, with features on the Hamilton Wood Type Museum, the new Whitney identity and the resurgence of type-only design. Plus the Logo Lounge Trend Report, how Ideas Foundation is encouraging diversity in advertising and more