Amazing Retail Designs
Retailers across North America are upping their game, enlisting A-list design firms from inside and outside the cannabis industry to stand out and to keep customers coming back for years to come.
While some of the following stores reside in well-established markets and set the bar high for competitors, others operate in newer markets and act as ambassadors for the entire industry.
Marijuana Venture spoke with the leading designers behind many of these retail stores to get insight on the design decisions and why they work in their respective markets.
In addition to the normal tasks involved in creating a cannabis brand and retail space, the designers at IS Design Labs and Black Boom Studio were tasked with a few unusual requests in bringing the Toronto cannabis shop Qunubu to life.
One nebulous challenge was translating the store’s name, an ancient Assyrian word meaning “way to produce smoke,” into a tangible, marketable logo. Another task was picking out 15 unique Rorschach ink blots to decorate the interior.
“The client was open-minded and encouraged us to think creatively from the beginning,” says Tracy Ho, the principal interior designer at Black Boom Studio. “This magical plant affects everyone in different ways, just as the Rorschach blots are uniquely perceived with different pairs of eyes.”
“We did a few workshops with the client to outline the brand positioning. From then on, we came up with an effective brand personality and archetype to guide us,” adds IS Design Labs principal Iliana Sergeev. “After, we did the naming brainstorm and came up with two creative directions, mood boards, on all the visuals — branding, art and interior to discuss with the client.”
The store’s natural colors, rounded lines and soft lighting work to relax visitors as they enter the store. Since product has to remain under lock and key, the center of the open salesfloor houses two island fixtures that act as educational hubs, and the wall displays and signage convey the brands’ deeper meanings.