Allay – Medicinal Marijuana (Concept)

Derrick Lin


Design Agency: Pearlfisher
Founder and CCO: Jonathan Ford
Founder and CEO: Mike Branson
Head of Futures: Sophie Maxwel
Creative Director: Hamish Campbell
Design Director: Dan Gladden
Project Type: Concept
Packaging Content: Medicinal marijuana
Location: USA

Pearlfisher has created a conceptual medicinal marijuana brand in conjunction with Surface Magazine.

When Surface Magazine approached Pearlfisher with an open-ended brief to develop a theoretical brand that imagines the future of marijuana, an interesting debate was ignited internally among the Pearlfisher partners. “As a company founded on strongly upheld ethics to create a better future for our world, any association with marijuana was initially a no-go for us,” says Pearlfisher Founding Partner and CEO, Mike Branson. “However, when our Futures Studio uncovered that consumers are already accepting marijuana for its holistic medicinal benefits, the team felt it presented an opportunity to use the power of design to positively shape perceptions of an imminent cultural shift.”.

Approaching the project from a purely medicinal point of view, Pearlfisher developed a conceptual challenger brand – Allay – that is designed to provide relief from chronic stress, anxiety and pain by harnessing the alleviating power of the marijuana root. Allay takes the form of three bold and unexpected products. A smart wristband is meant to read the symptoms of the wearer and releases doses of marijuana at predetermined intervals. An edible oil, easily transportable in a handheld dropper, can be added to foods at a patient’s discretion, while dissolvable oral tabs, offer as-needed relief. Designed to intuitively incorporate the holistic benefits of marijuana in a consumer’s lifestyle, the products migrate the experience of a marijuana brand from recreational ritual to medical regime.

Dan Gladden, Pearlfisher Design Director, said of the brand, “The aesthetic is minimalistic, calming, natural and pure, purposefully challenging the traditional and overcomplicated language of the pharmaceutical category. Anchored in the idea of subtracting and reducing pain, implicit in the ‘minus symbol’ of the ‘A’ logo, the design cues the alleviating effects of the product family.”

Jonathan Ford, Pearlfisher Founding Partner & CCO comments, “For me, the true test of Allay’s marketable feasibility was whether my partners, who were originally against the idea of creating a marijuana brand, would use the Allay range if it were medically recommended to them. It was their agreement to this in the final creative review that put the eventual stamp of approval on our concept that was born out of an internal desire to challenge one another, test our challenger brand thinking and showcase our strategic branding capabilities.”

To monitor reactions and interest of Allay as a viable concept, Pearlfisher has set up a temporary website for the brand and a temporary Instagram account. While the May issue of Surface is on stands, both will be updated and monitored to gauge interest in the concept