Once Oregon legalized recreational cannabis in 2014, the entire industry shifted into high gear. One CO2 extraction company in particular took a 'tortoise and the hare' approach.
While other extraction company's raced to be the first to market with subpar (and unsafe) products, Critical Source in Eugene, Oregon took their time to improve extraction formulations to produce the highest quality oil from the highest quality growers.
Their story is an homage to the native tribe that inhabited southern Oregon hundreds of years ago. The Calapooya tribe farmed their sustainably, including the use of fire which they used to burn off grasses to make it easier to access camas cakes.
We dug deep into their story and chose to go in a direction that reflected as many core values that connected the brand to the ancient tribe.
The patented child-resistant packaging is completely recycled stock with water based ink. There are 15 farms supplying high grade cannabis flower to Critical Source. We created a vintage matchbox package to play off the fire motif and took it a step further to design a vape pen and battery that looked like a match stick inside the matchbox.
Each farm has a unique collectible design on their matchbox, making these packages not only sustainable, but desirable.
In 1996, Denver Broncos came to NIKE and said, "I want a horse that looks like it's going to kick your ass".
A small group of core designers took on the daunting task of creating a swoosh that was a horse. Through careful consideration, we were able to understand the Denver Broncos' story as well as everyone in the organization.
The resulting identity reflected a native american legend of a 'ghost horse of the plains'. A horse so spirited, it couldn't be tamed by man. That's why the horse is white—it's a ghost.
And the eyes are the windows to its soul. The soul is full of fire bubbling beneath the surface like a volcano, one of nature's greatest uncontrollable forces. That's why orange is a key color to telling the Denver Broncos' story.
After wrapping up the Denver Broncos identity, NIKE chairman approached our design team and asked us to do the same thing for the University of Oregon Ducks.
Rick was able to step into the lead designer role on this project and work across multiple NIKE departments to create a forward-thinking head to toe design package that would grow into one of college football's most iconic brands.
The graphic language for the University of Oregon features the 'O' which combines the shape of the university's legendary track and the shape of Autzen Stadium's footprint.
As a University of Oregon architecture student, the project was personally gratifying for Bakas, who attended the school from 1988 to 1991.
The American Cannabinoid Clinics are global leaders in cannabis as medicine. The clinics were founded by the CannaMD's out of Oregon.
They wanted a timeless mark that represented the highest level of professionalism and innovation, while keeping a feeling of being a health brand. Their in-depth knowledge of integrative cannabinoid medicine is represented by the primary mark, which is a drop of oil doubling as a tree.
Critical Source is Oregon's highest quality cannabis extraction lab. Their relentless quest to perfect the extraction process has attracted the best growers in the state. By working with the best growers, and by using the best formulation, Critical Source has set a new benchmark for cannabis oil.
Their new identity represents the molecular extraction of oil.
While taking night classes to learn more about design and art history, Portland State's AD approached Rick Bakas about updating the university's identity.
Thor is the most iconic Viking. In battle, Thor would scrape his hammer across the sky creating lighting to come from the head of his weapon.
Bakas took that story and created a modern looking Viking helmet shooting forward leaving a trail of lightening.
As a premier college sports program, Florida State at one point had 32 different sports logo—one for each sport. The university approached our design team and asked for one single logo system to unify the entire school under one umbrella.
SWEET CO2 approached Bakas Media looking for a refresh of their packaging. Colorado dispensaries were having a hard time stocking the old packaging as it couldn't hang from a rack or sit upright very well.
SWEET CO2 loves Colorado, and wanted to proudly represent they are based in the first U.S. state to legalize recreational cannabis. The resulting package design features white aspen trees in the background, with clean easy-to-read information on the front. The packaging is child-resistant and offers a bit of surprise and delight. When the tray slides out and the vape pen is removed, there's a hidden message under the pan reminding you to have a 'SWEET' day. After all, isn't that what cannabis is about?