Established in 2016, Serra is a high-end cannabis dispensary offering recreational marijuana and accessories from three existing locations in Oregon — where marijuana is legal — two in Portland and one in Eugene. Their stores are crisp, minimal, and every display detail has been considered so that their “docents” — staff — can help customers select the best pot across six feelings — relaxed, focused, creative, happy, energetic, and free of pain — and maybe take home a $175 all-ceramic bong. The identity has been designed by Portland-based Official Mfg. Co..
We not only created the Identity, but we named, developed, and concepted the entire brand, including the interiors, materials, and website. Full credit goes to Human Shapes for the web development, and for helping us really bring the site to life.
The SERRA type was hand-rendered in house, and it was intentionally odd—we lovingly dubbed it Wonky Sans. There was an early version that had a kink in the middle of the S that did not make it to the final designs (at least it wasn’t intended to). We did intend for the mark itself to be almost devoid of too much personality, as we wanted it to be part of the container for our other aesthetic choices for the brand. The Acne Jeans mark was an inspiration (its so simple and good), but we wanted to go with something Sans in our case.
The bug shape was a variation on the custom pentagram floor tiles that we created for Serra. Inadvertently, this tile pattern has become an extension of their brand, as the pattern has made its way into collateral, like the rolling papers, and into collaborations, like the Soothsayer tamper necklace for Serra.
“Serra” translates from Italian to “greenhouse,” which was our inspiration for many of our aesthetic choices. Our client came to us wanting to create an elegant, high-end cannabis experience, so we used of the materials of a greenhouse as our foundation: glass, iron, brass, plants, and wood.
OMFGCO provided text
The logo comes in two flavors. One, as shown in the header image, where a deadpan sans serif is placed inside a funky holding shape and, the other, as shown above where the wordmark is flanked by the calligraphic sans serif, Lydian. If it feels hipster that’s because it is and both type choices (and the indigo blue) are straight out of the Trend List. Judging the logo by itself, yes, there is not much depth to it and it might make you scream at your computer (or digital device) but the designers have doubled down on this aesthetic to reach a more interesting plateau that supports the high-end offering of the store.
It would be easy to dismiss the trendy choices as just that but there is a method to the too-cool-ness of it that is more sophisticated than expected. White space (and blue space) is used to great effect and all the centered typography makes everything look like a black-tie event invitation.
Part of what makes this identity work so well, probably more so than the typography and layouts, is the consistent and playful presentation of its products. The cotton-emanating bongs are a delight and the rotating doobie I bet is making any of you that smoke salivate (I can’t imagine what the video below will do to you). I don’t smoke and even *I* want one.
The stores are pretty cool and I like how their exteriors adapt to whatever their real estate looks like. Inside, yes, things get a little pretentious and maybe too high-end for its own good but it does so consistently and convincingly, while the Lydian typography keeps everything cool and on brand — kind of amazing how much mileage they got out of it. The “Quality Drugs” tagline gets some special treatments and adds a welcome flair to the identity. Overall, the identity is spot on for the product, the location, and the philosophy behind the retail experience.