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Puff Herbals is a direct-to-consumer (DTC) herbal smokes brand founded by clinical herbalist, Lian Bruno. Started in 2019, Puff Herbals was founded on elevating one’s experience through the ritual of smoking, by using blends of special herbs and plants as an alternative to tobacco and nicotine products.
Originally started as Puff Herbal Smokes, the plan to rename to Puff Herbals was to allow for expansion into other products outside of smokes. With that in mind, the goal was to create a brand identity and premium packaging system that visually reflects the elevating experience for the consumer.
At the time, Puff Herbal Smokes was selling at a lower price point compared to other brands within their environment. Collaborating with The Well-Minded on initial Discovery and strategy sessions, we gathered insights on both consumers and the herbal smokes market for optimal brand positioning. We segmented the consumers into three buyer personas: Cannabis Enthusiasts, Plant Lovers, and Tobacco Quitters—each of them with their own unique needs and curiosities about the elevating power of plants.
Analyzing the competitive landscape from a brand perspective, we were able to identify Puff Herbal’s brand attributes as alluring, whimsical, and soothing, in order to position them more prominently in a market that tends to rely heavily on literal trippy and wellness cliches. They create and leverage highly educational content from a point of passion on the subject of herbal smokes and remedies, which in turn creates a connection to their customer-base that other brands don’t.
Through stylescape board exercises, we were able to set the creative tone for the brand identity to evolve from. Working with a primary orange based off the pre-existing brand, we created a visual language that reflected a more premium product. Typography inspired by the billowing wisps of smoke was paired with a cleaner, supporting typeface for optimal brand expression and legibility across devices. This ultimately inspired the customized logotype.
The concept of the logomark comes from the skullcap flower which, among its many health properties, is also used to relieve anxiety. Abstracting the flower in a symmetrical rorschach-blot composition created a mark that reflected all brand attributes, while also being beautiful at first glance.
Puff Herbals’ flagship product is their herbal smoke blends, which come in a sealed pouch for customers to roll their own cigarettes. The three blends include their Signature, Stimulating, and their Sleepy—each one with their own unique properties and use-cases. Alongside those, Puff Herbals developed their Hybrid Hemp & Herbal Blend Spliff Packs, which consist of 6 herbal cigarettes blended with hemp. The package for the Spliff Packs is a box with a push-button on the back, which releases the inner tray holding the cigarettes. Utilizing each blend’s uniquely branded color, we created a minimal yet captivating packaging system which would allow for flexibility as the product line expands over time. This packaging system included the development of illustrative iconography for each herb.
The market for herbal smokes tends to share similarities to the cannabis market, in that the art direction usually leans towards bright, trippy, high saturated colors to communicate that elevated “high” sensation. Because we knew this needed to be inherently different, we found inspiration in Surrealist art—opening a dimension to a new “world” of understanding. For this, we collaborated on the art direction and photography with ©SUBJECT/OBJECT MANIFEST, who created the sets and conducted the shoot from start to finish.
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