Wakenbake™ Cannabis Cafe: Case Study part 1

I didn’t start smoking weed until I was in my early 20’s but my love affair with cannabis culture didn’t start until I visited Amsterdam, the weed heads Mecca.

I first visited Holland on a trip with my good friends and fellow artist Rah Crawford as he was preparing for a show with Apart Media in the heart of Downtown Amsterdam. If you visited Holland you know that the trip that I had wasn’t the one I expected.

Amsterdam, Holland 2005
Amsterdam, Holland 2005

I expected wild parties, orgies, drugs, and every other sin I could squeeze into the 3 weeks that we had scheduled for our adventure. Now, I got all of that and then some but after I had my fill of ambrosia, which really you only need a week for. I had two weeks just to ingest the city, the art, the design, the people, and the countryside. I absolutely fell in love.

Amsterdam, Holland 2005

I found a place where the most valuable commodity wasn’t weed cafes and the Red Light District. It was a way of life. A way to be free in a society with limited judgment.

This is what inspired my latest project.

Wakenbake Cafe.

Packaging Concept

The idea

I’ve spent considerable time in the Bay Area before and after the legalization of recreational cannabis and I have a membership at most of the more popular dispensaries and delivery services so I have a good cross-sample of my competition.

I wanted to bring a modern design concept for a cannabis cafe. To almost make it seem accessible and family-friendly. The Starbucks of Cannabis Cafes.

Initial Branding Concepts

These were made in an afternoon when the idea first struck me. I chose the name ‘Wakenbake” as both a play on the term “Wake and Bake” (hinting at the cafe favored aspect of the Brand) and also a play on the spelling and pronunciation of a lot of Dutch words. The correct pronunciation is ‘VĀK – IN – BĀK’.

Optimally the cafe would serve a diverse menu of cannabis, gourmet coffee, and premium teas as well as snacks and baked goods. I wanted a system that would reflect that.

Label System
Initial Logo experiments

This is only a first step but I’ll be using this space to document as I develop the concept in more detail.

Coming Soon – Part 2 – Writing a Concept Pitch

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