When weed was an entirely illicit substance, professional designers stayed far away from it–both to avoid tarnishing their classy reputations, and because there simply wasn’t much of a way to make money off weed outside the black market. But now that legalization is gaining traction across the country, big-time designers are stepping up to brand the plant as something much more wholesome than the evil green monster from Reefer Madness.
The latest example: Green: A Field Guide to Marijuana, a new book by Dan Michaels, founder of cannabis research group Sinsemedia, and designed by Pentagram partner Eddie Opara. It’s a comprehensive A-to-Z guide to marijuana strains. With weed porn photos by Erik Christiansen, founder of the blog Nugshots.com, the book avoids the hippie-stoner visual cliches long associated with weed in the popular imagination. There’s no psychedelia or cartoon pot leaves here–instead, Opara opted for sophisticated, minimal typography and plenty of white space in the page layout.
The book is designed as a clinical pot manual for the age of increasing legalization, with a focus on the medicinal instead of recreational elements of the drug. Organized alphabetically by strain name, the book provides detailed information on each individual strain: lineage, smell/taste, common physical and psychoactive effects, top medicinal uses, and awards (yes, there are weed awards). A color coding system indicates percentage of indica (green) versus sativa (purple). Each one also has a doting little profile, which describe the various strains like different species of magical creatures (“the glistening bud of Alpha Blue is like a ball of energy;” “With its wispy fiery hairs and bright green color, Chocolate Thunder may not look as powerful as it sounds but one puff and you’ll be certain why it’s been appropriately named.”)
The book is a good post-4/20 gift for longtime marijuana aficionados and budding (sorry) stoners alike.
Green is on sale May 18 from Chronicle Books.