Experience the Lettuce…Huh…?
Devils Lettuce Arts Fest is the cannabis arts festival of your dreams. For my senior thesis assignment, I wanted to combine my love for art and cannabis! With the rise of the cannabis industry, there seems to be a lack of exciting cannabis-centered festivals. I tackled this issue by creating my very own arts festival where the intersection between loving art and cannabis comes to life!
What are the Goals of DLAF?
The festival serves as a source of community building, cannabis education, a fundraiser for the Last Prisoner Project, and a unique experience for cannabis users. Cannabis users new or well seasoned are all welcome to Experience the Lettuce. Educating about the benefits of the herb is a valuable aspect of the festival; farmers and other artisan vendors can share their stories and experiences to give customers a better understanding of the drug. As the cannabis industry grows rapidly, it is important not to forget the 40,000 cannabis prisoners in jail in the US alone, convicted for an activity that is no longer a crime. With that in mind, half of the DLAF proceeds will go to the Last Prisoner Project, who’s goal is to free those convicted for cannabis crimes. Overall, DLAF is a unique festival experience that cultivates community through art, music and cannabis.
How Did You Research this Topic?
To know what elements to include in my festival, I researched preexisting cannabis expos and interviewed people who have attended and vended at these events. Robert Knoneborg, Creative Director at Gold Leaf Print & Packaging, had great insight into the cannabis industry and expos because his company has sent him to many cannabis expos. Rob told me that at these events, people want to be stimulated through music, fun events like competitions and comedy shows, games, food trucks, coloring walls, etc.
I then spoke to Linda Shanahan while at Mercantile, an art market in Doylestown, PA, about her experience as a hemp farmer and vendor. Linda informed me that the most important aspect of in-person events for her is being able to answer customer questions and educate about her farming. Interviewing Rob and Linda gave me insight in to the needs of art vendors and customers at cannabis expos.
Who are the DLAF Featured Vendors?
As an element of DLAF, I created five brand sprints to serve as the featured vendors. High Glass: a high-end handblown glass company, Weed on Wheels: Gourmet Edible Cannabis Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, Cannacare: CBD Skincare Products, Mary Jane’s Greenhouse: Portland Local Cannabis Farm, HOTBOX: Hand-carved wooden cannabis stash boxes. My goal with the visual design of these five brands was to showcase my diverse brand identity skills. Each brand has a different color palette, illustration style and typographic style to show the design opportunities for brands within the cannabis industry.
How Will You Reach Your Audience?
Social media and the cannabis industry are not necessarily friends. Cannabis related companies can find themselves shadow banned or deactivated for violating community guidelines, an issue commonly faced on Instagram and Facebook. To combat this issue, the DLAF social media page will be utilized mainly as a space for event information and promotional material, as well as a community engagement resource. A blog article by Hybrid Marketing Co. states that cannabis social media should viewed as a “customer service channel instead of a revenue driver.” With that in mind, I created a text update line for DLAF customers to easily ask questions, get updates live during the event, and have an easy space for communication with DLAF customer service.
The DLAF Instagram focuses on highlighting featured vendors, education, event information, promotional material and FAQ. The visual brand for the Instagram maintains the fiery red color palette and red-washed photography to create consistency.
Where Can I Find Event Information?
Information for DLAF will live on the website, where customers can find a list of vendors, musicians, events, an interactive festival map, FAQ and more! The website design is clean and simple, providing an easy way to see exactly what you’re getting yourself in to. Something I heavily focused on was the illustrated map, ensuring that the design looks exciting while also containing all the information a festival-goer would need. Many expos (whether that be cannabis/art related or not) seem to lack any sort of comprehensible map that accurately displays the vendor booth locations. My map has it all, plus some fun landmarks like the coloring wall, beach with games, the bridge behind the festival, and the event stages.
What Collateral does DLAF Have?
Taking note from popular music festivals, I created a wristband ticket for DLAF that scans as entry to the festival and can be connected to a credit card for easy quick payment. While at the festival, a map will be provided to guide visitors through the park. Advertisements will be placed around the city of Portland to promote the event leading up to April 20th.