We have a long existing relationship with 48North
, a company that is reimagining the cannabis landscape while challenging preconceptions through thoughtful leadership, products and experiences.
We participated in the strategic process to develop 48North
’s entire brand system from the beginning -- including the naming and concept of LAT Magazine
and the product division, F8
Relationships that are rooted in this way allow us to understand not only the value proposition of the company but also understand how project scopes need to shift as time goes by. LAT Magazine
was a natural extension of this holistic approach.
A new print and digital LAT Magazine
is the means by which we connect many viewpoints, perspectives, cultures, stigmas and non-stigmas in a conversation that emanates from cannabis and extends to our everyday life. LAT
provides space to converse about the issues that are relevant to us at this time: about art, personal journeys and exploration, amnesty, equality, sex, self-love and perseverance.
The audience in this particular case was not a specific target group but instead a mindset. While creating a space for women was an important consideration, we don't see gender as the only guiding force behind this publication, but rather the mindset of vast openness to the subject and the content. It invites and includes all those who share in that expansiveness. With a multitude of thought provoking entry points, LAT
offers many opportunities for any reader to connect.
Our task was to deliver a printed magazine, spanning collaborative editorial development to print production. Given the unexpected shift of the pandemic, we had to adapt to the circumstances and create a digital experience for LAT at the speed of light -- in a month and a half!
The key was being a part of the content development, living with it and shaping it. We were not only in charge of the design; we were active collaborators in the editorial development of the magazine with an amazing editorial chief, Antonia Whyatt from 48North, making it an incredibly fun and holistic experience.
Design Process and Research
There is no research in uncharted territories. Cannabis has been shaping and reshaping itself for the past three years with pre-legalization and has now become part of our everyday lives. Given our early involvement within this space, we as a studio have evolved and have been active participants in this paradigm shift. The opportunity we have been most grateful for is the ability to explore.
is about relevance in society, reshaping of narratives and occupying a place in our immediate present and imminent future.
This meant including narratives like the paradox of legalization. LAT
interviewed Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s School of Sociology
and director of research for Cannabis Amnesty
, who spoke to the inequality surrounding cannabis criminalization pre-legalization. “Black and Indigenous people in this country were disproportionately arrested for cannabis possession,” he says. While the Canadian government introduced a bill to grant pardons and record suspensions, the process is still quite onerous, thus keeping members of the marginalized communities behind bars.
This is a difficult but important conversation to have and LAT
is a space to raise questions that have yet to be resolved societally or brought to larger conversations, be it amnesty, health or personal exploration.
LAT also aims to discover cannabis through many voices and experiences -- sometimes at the core of a subject or as an insinuation -- through words and images.
Working on LAT Magazine
was one of the most effortless and collaborative experiences we have ever had. Collaborations like this are always based on mutual trust and respect. It allows space for debate and tension where each party is striving consistently for the best outcome.
When working on a project in the cannabis space, it is always a challenge to make sure that the subject is treated with both the necessary thoughtfulness and an openness to new ideas. It was also important to ensure the writers and photographers we brought onto the project felt comfortable in their creative expressions and the subject matter.
We were excited to collaborate with so many talented photographers. Each one brought a unique perspective and understanding of the world and it is this flux of creative dialogue that amplified the multiplicitous voices of the magazine and fed our spirits.
One of the biggest challenges was the uncertainty that arose mid-project with COVID-19 pandemic. Without a personally-connected team, both internally at the studio and externally with the client, this experience would have been unfathomable.
1. In new spaces, lead. Do not follow.
2. Don’t be afraid to contact people who seem beyond your reach, creatively or geographically. You are one step away from making it happen.
3. Try to get into projects at their conception so you can be part of their holistic development.