Tokyo Smoke

Visual identity and brand design for Toronto-based cannabis retailer.


Somewhere between intuition and foresight, Tokyo Smoke was born of a belief that cannabis is an intentional tool worthy of design. But how could we illuminate the possibility of cannabis within a prohibition landscape? Starting small, Tokyo Smoke opened their first coffee shop in an alleyway in downtown Toronto. What they lacked in square footage was more than made up for with their bold yet approachable retail experience.


Leading by example, we showed how cannabis can be seamlessly integrated into a mindful life. By establishing the Intent System, we showed how cannabis consumption can be broken down into a spectrum of five categories; from energizing to mellow with varying degrees of mind and body effects in between. With that, Tokyo Smoke could curate a selection of products to suit any need state.

As the brand gained momentum post-legalization, the precedence for establishing a strong brand identity and guidelines became paramount. Upon defining the brand as the curators of cannabis, we engrained a devotion to illuminating the possibilities of this magical plant. Strict design guidelines were defined to ensure consistency in a market despite ever-changing regulations and contradictions between provinces.

Brand design is rooted in simplicity without compromising on atmosphere. Cannabis is in itself a multi-sensorial experience and there’s a tendency for that to be overly-sanitized in an era of commercial weed conglomerates. Colours draw from palettes suited to design-forward interiors and typography was chosen for its approachability and design.


Campaigns allowed for a reinterpretation of the core brand elements such as the logo’s iconic red lantern, the spectrum of the Intent System, and typography. In celebration of recreational cannabis being legalized in Canada, we developed a unique campaign identity, microsite, rolling papers, and advertising used to tease a multi-city launch party.

Creative Direction Berkeley Poole
Design Direction Brett Ramsay
Design Andrew Cooper, Brett Ramsay, Egor Sokolov
Photography Common Good, Nathan Legiehn, David Pike, Aaron Wynia
CGI Colors And The Kids, Six N. Five
Additional CGI, Motion Andrew Cooper