Designer Spotlight – The Up Company

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With legalization just around the corner, Up Co. saw a unique opportunity to capture market share in a burgeoning industry. As the ever-growing demand for medical marijuana creates a proliferation of startups, news stories and products, how could they carve out a portion of the market that is uniquely theirs? Up Co. wanted to create a distinctive voice to cut through the clutter. 

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COED is an L.A. based boutique collective providing flexible, brand design and implementation solutions to a broad range of start-ups; founded in 2010 by Luc & Jenny Doucedame, they worked together with Up Co. to help position the brand as one of the first in it’s class of luxury cannabis brands. Their goal was to eliminate the stigma associated with cannabis use; taking it from the basement to the penthouse. They created everything from the naming convention, brand strategy, to packaging print and web communications. The result is a refreshing and tasteful take on an ancient medicine.

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Luc Doucedame told us, “It’s a very exciting time for marijuana. We’re seeing its transformation into a legitimate industry and a shift in the hearts and minds of people. The age old stereotypes of the ‘Spicoli’ stoner is rapidly being replaced by people of all walks of life, each with their own unique values and perspectives. It’s a very exciting time to be branding not only cannabis products, but the culture as a whole.”

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Luc cut his teeth working in the world of brand strategy and design, developing comprehensive identity systems for companies like Redbull, Paypal, P&G, SBE, Esquire and Disney. More recently he was art director at andcompany, creating brand systems for cities and hotels as well as advertising campaigns for television. He is a concept-oriented designer focused on bridging the gap between strategy and creative.

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Luc goes on to say, “With so many parallels to prohibition, it is without question, that cannabis luxury consumer goods will be marketed on a mass level in America very soon. Branding is playing an ever growing role in this industry, as start ups with first movers advantage, are losing to brands with better considered packaging and messaging.”

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“Not many branding and marketing companies are willing to navigate the stigmas, legalities, financials, and social challenges associated with the Cannabis industry. For COED design, it’s a passion for changing minds and this very positive and powerful plant that keeps them fighting the good fight. “

Images courtesy of COED Design / Art Direction: Luc Doucedame / Brand Strategy: Matt Clayman / Web Development: Brad Stemke

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