CBD company Lady A aims for luxury market with identity by NB Studio

The CBD company – which is “by women for women” – has branding that resists the more bohemian tropes of CBD and leans into luxury instead.

NB Studio and Michael Wolff have created the branding for CBD company Lady A, which seeks to distinguish itself as a luxury name in the sector with a focus on women.

The identity includes a wordmark, brand strategy, packaging and a range of visual assets such as marbling effect imagery.

Lady A was created by Alexandra Dunhill, the great-granddaughter of English tobacconist Alfred Dunhill. Dunhill first came across cannabidiol, or CBD, when visiting her son in America in 2017. He said the cannabis extract had helped him with his anxiety, and Dunhill saw a market opening: a brand that was aimed at women in the luxury health and beauty sector.

It is a good time to get involved in the CBD business; it is expected to be worth around £1bn by 2025. Lady A has a range of products including balms, tinctures, vapes and capsules which suit different moods, such as those seeking calm or revival for example.

Avoiding anything too “hippy”

To accompany that vision, NB Studio and Wolff were brought on board for the identity branding. NB Studio founder Alan Dye tells Design Week that the aim was to avoid anything that was reminiscent of “hippy” stereotypes.

The name, created by Wolff, is a reference to the brand’s luxury aspirations. The idea of a ‘Lady A’ also adds some mystery to the identity. The wordmark aims to enforce this. Using Bodoni as the font is an attempt to create an elegant look, and it’s brought to life with gold foil on packaging.

The studio and Wolff were also responsible for the brand positioning as well as the copy for the website. Ceri Tallett collaborated on the copy for the brand launch. The brand tagline emphasises the niche Lady A is trying to carve for itself: ‘CBD for women who know’.

Modernising the psychedelic look

While CBD will undoubtedly be linked to cannabis – and the range of visuals associated with it – NB Studio worked to update this imagery. This was achieved through marbled patterns, which have been applied throughout the visual identity. These range in colour from a natural green to a deep orange and a sunshine yellow tone.

These have echoes of the more psychedelic effects of cannabis while remaining modern and associated with the luxury sector. Different colours can be associated with the different moods of the products, from the “reviving blend” of matcha green tea, rosehip oil and CBD (a natural green tone) to the “calming and restorative” hemp seed oil mix (a marble grey colour).

Though growing in popularity, the CBD sector is still nascent and many will not be familiar with the product. The packaging design plays into this potential, showing that it could be a health product as well as a piece of design. Lady A’s packaging seeks to be aesthetically pleasing enough to have on display in a bathroom or on a bedside table, for example. The packaging is also small enough to be portable.

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  • Neil Littman July 14, 2020 at 9:52 am

    Smart design but I did find the comment about avoiding being ‘too hippy’ amusing. Back in 1971 when I was at school (long haired hippy as well) I was making my own marbled paper on the kitchen table with oil and ink.

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