• November 4, 2018

    Five Impact Reports to Inspire You

    If you run a business with purpose, an Impact Report is likely in your future. Once the sole realm of non-profits, mission-driven businesses are now turning to Impact Reports to tell the whole story of their positive environmental, societal and economic impacts.

    An effective Impact Report requires collecting the right data, organizing a logical narrative and presenting those stories and data points in an engaging style — check out these five examples of outstanding Impact Reports to get inspired.


    “At a time when our political system has failed to deliver for our planet, it’s up to businesses like ours to create positive change.”

    Patagonia, one of the leading brands of outdoor clothing for silent sports like hiking, climbing and skiing, has had a focus on sustainability and political activism since its formation in 1973.

    The firm’s annual Environmental + Social Initiatives report, called ‘The Cleanest Line’, delivers its message in a magazine-style format, with plenty of rich photography, infographics and in-depth articles. Topics include their B-corp score and their ‘Worn Wear’ program to resell, repair and recycle old clothing. The Cleanest Line is available as a digital mag and as a print piece in Patagonia stores.

    Also check out an example of their Annual Benefit Corp Report for more Impact Report inspiration.

    Get inspired — View the Patagonia Impact Report

    Planettera Foundation

    “We believe that tourism can be the greatest method of wealth distribution in the world, and we’re out to prove it.”

    The Planettera Foundation, based in Canada, helps develop sustainable, community-based tourism programs across the globe, with a focus on small businesses supporting women, youth, and Indigenous communities.

    The 2017 Planettera Impact Report takes a dive into the work of the foundation, with colorful photography that would be at home in an issue of National Geographic, as well as custom illustration and infographics.

    Get inspired — View the Planettera Impact Report

    New Belgium

    “Beer needs you, please join us”

    New Belgium have earned themselves a reputation as one of the most eco-friendly, socially responsible breweries in the US. They were the first B-corp brewery and are continually tweaking their operations to reduce their environmental impact.

    Being a sustainable brewery isn’t quite enough for New Belgium either, as their “beer needs you, please join us” motto implies, they freely share data and details on their triple-bottom-line focus to encourage other businesses to follow their lead.

    If eco-friendly, ethically produced beer that still makes a profit isn’t inspiring enough for you, take a peek at their simple, two-page Impact Report.

    Get inspired — View the New Belgium Impact Report


    “Ideo improves the lives of people in poor and vulnerable communities through design”

    Ideo.org is the foundation arm of design firm IDEO, and they’ve made it their mission to use the power of design to make a dent in global poverty.

    Their projects have included designing new sanitary systems in Ghana; designing apps to improve financial literacy for teens and designing low cost sensors to help Burmese farmers improve crop yields.

    As you might expect from a design firm, their annual Impact Report is packed full of outstanding design too. Social enterprise stories are paired with custom illustration and infographics and bite-size chunks of copy for easy reading.

    Get inspired — View the IDEO Impact Report


    “With our new company vision “One Planet. One Health”, we carry forward our mission to “bring health through food to as many people as possible” and our dual project for business success and social progress.”

    Danone North America recently became one of the largest ever B-corps —which considering Danone is the parent company for brands such as Evian, Activa, Silk and Volvic, and has over $6billion in annual revenue, is a pretty big deal.

    Danone’s environmental initiatives include an effort to reach 100% circular packaging and projects with farmers to reduce the environmental impact of their dairy operations.

    As a multi-billion dollar corporation Danone are also clearly able to sink a lot of resources into crafting an thorough Impact Report too. Take a wander around their annual report website for details of their social funds and environmental impacts, or download their magazine-style report.

    Get inspired — View the Danone Impact Report

    Looking to create an inspiring Impact Report for your purpose-driven business? Drop us an email at hello@prettylethaldesigns.com to discuss your project. www.prettylethaldesigns.com

  • October 26, 2018

    Six Stunning Examples of Top Shelf Cannabis Instagram Feeds

    While Twitter, Snapchat are shedding users and Facebook’s growth is stagnant, Instagram is one social platform that’s still steadily gaining. In June the platform hit one billion users and since cannabis legalization in Canada, there have even been murmurs that Facebook will drop its anti-cannabis policies that led to so many deleted profiles.

    So, as it’s now an ideal time to get serious about crafting a beautiful and engaging cannabis Instagram feed, here are a few of our favorite cannabis and edibles feeds to inspire you, and it just so happens, that they’re all curated by women!


    Sousweed, based in San Francisco, is curated by food and cannabis photographer Monica Lo; which means it’s packed with beautifully lit photos of cannabis-oil infused dishes, desserts and appetizers. We love this feed as it delivers a different view of the cannabis industry and because of the careful and deliberate styling of every post!



    Washington’s Good Ship Co describe themselves as ‘makers of damn fine edibles’. The company was founded by Jody Hall, recently named one of the ’50 Most Influential Women in Seattle’ and previously an owner of several cupcake bakeries and cafés. Good Ships’ Instagram feed features a food-first aesthetic with plenty of color, patterns and top-notch product photography.


    Explore Latitude

    Latitude’s feed is still in its early days but we love what they’re doing already. Their female-focused feed shares stories of women in the cannabis industry, from cultivators to activists, as an accompaniment to their digital and print publications.


    Fragrant Possibilities

    Snapping shots of flower may be the ‘latte art’ equivalent of cannabis feeds, but photographer, LadyBud, takes it to the next level. Her feed features stunning hi-def, macro shots that bring out the true beauty of this plant.


    Van Der Pop

    Ven Der Pop, founded by April Pride, is an Canadian woman-centric cannabis accessories company, but rather than focusing on products in their instagram feed, they lean to cannabis education, advocacy and community. The feed blends custom illustrations with canna quotes and posts that highlight women in the industry.


    Pretty Lethal Designs

    Yep, we’re including our own Instagram feed in this list! The Pretty Lethal Designs feed is curated by founder and creative director Samantha Everett, and features original illustrations, cannabis branding tips and product images from our portfolio.


    Need help with your Instagram brand Strategy? Get in touch.

  • October 10, 2018

    #deets – Virgin Hotels

    The details make the difference. Get inspired by our favorite little brand details in our regular #deets series – this week featuring Virgin Hotels.

    When Virgin Hotels launched their first US hotel in Chicago, they made an effort to pack in unique features and amenities that no other hotel offered (like a pull-out dog bed and an app with room controls), but they didn’t just stop at the features, as they went all-out with the small brand details to surprise and delight customers. Before a stay guests can take an online survey to select their preference of goodies to stock the on-brand, letterbox red mini-fridge; humorous notes highlight the services of the cleaning staff (dust-bunny collectors) and room rugs are adorned with London Underground graphics.

    While these details won’t be the reason someone chooses to stay at the hotel, they help transform one-time guests, into loyal fans – the #deets make a difference!


  • October 5, 2018

    Four Tips to Unleash the Creative Potential of Your Team

    Everyone has the potential to be creative. We all get sparks of imagination from time to time, but they’re usually sporadic, and sometimes wildly off-topic; so if you want your team to generate useful, problem-solving, creative ideas on-demand, try these four tips:

    1. Give everyone an ‘Idea Book’

    Your staff may already have great ideas — but if you don’t give them a process to share those ideas, they may stay hidden forever. An Idea Book is simply a book, to write ideas in (we recommend going the extra mile and branding it), however, it it just the first step, as it must be paired with a process for staff to submit ideas, a system to evaluate those ideas and a plan to implement and reward them when a great ideas is uncovered.

    2. Get Outside

    The best ideas don’t happen at a desk. There are too many distractions. To get ideas flowing you’re mind needs to wander a little — we recommend taking a walk in the park; cycling a trail — even hanging out at the dog park. Let your brain unplug, but keep something handy to write down ideas when inspiration strikes.

    3. Go Shopping

    Who doesn’t love stalking their competition? It’s natural to want to keep an eye on what they’re doing; but when your seeking original ideas, we recommend looking outside your industry for inspiration. Visiting an analogous business — one that has a comparable business model or size but is in a different industry, and viewing their operation from a customers’ perspective, can provide great insights into your own business. Be observant, search for details, and record your observations — what did you enjoy, what frustrated you, what made you smile.

    4. Introduce Flight Time

    Social media notifications, inbox pings and phone calls are all productivity destroyers and at worst, can crush creative ideas when their first sprouting. To combat the distractions, introduce a period of ‘flight time’ into the work day — a set period (one to two hours) with no phones, no emails and no social media, to allow distraction free work and thinking.

    Sign up to our ‘Brand Shorties’ emails for more creativity and branding tips: http://eepurl.com/cKV9Gv

  • September 27, 2018

    Four spaces your brand delivers impact

    Are you a glass half-full or half-empty kind of person? If you’re an optimist then every interaction you have with a customer is a chance to turn them into a brand fan; if you’re a pessimist, you’re simply trying to avoid fucking things up at each interaction and losing a customer!
    Either way, if you want to retain customers and earn fans, it’s important that every greet, meet and tweet impresses the pants off your customers –  start by focusing in on these four key spaces:

    Physical Spaces

    These are your retail spaces, real brick and mortar spaces that you control. Brand interactions can include storefront signage, product displays, the quality of customer service from staff, and the speed and experience of purchasing at the checkout. Every interaction will impact your customers’ perception of your brand.

    Virtual Spaces

    These are your online spaces that you manage, typically websites, emails and apps. Brand interactions here include speed of the site, quality of photography, tone of your copywriting, frequency of emails or ease of navigation. Again, every interaction will impact your customers’ perception of your brand.

    Social Spaces

    These are spaces were interactions with your brand are in a group or public setting, think social media, presentations, exhibitions. Brand interactions include social media posts, the design of your expo booth, the style of your slideshows. And yep, you guessed it, every interaction will impact your customers’ perception of your brand.

    Shared Spaces

    These are spaces controlled by partners and allies, where you still have a brand presence. This can include retail shelves in a dispensary, media coverage on a local TV channel, a listing in a business directory or an ad in a publication. In this space, the perception of your brand can be impacted by the those partners and third parties too.
    The first step to ensuring every interaction with brand is as awesomely amazing as possible is to map the interactions customers have with your brand in each space. (more on this in future articles!)
  • September 23, 2018

    Is your Cannabis Brand Blazing, or is it Following the Herd?

    In most industries branding, packaging and marketing needs to speak to only one group – your potential customers. In the cannabis industry, however, to give your brand the best chance of success, you’ll need to engage with several non-customer groups too – all of which can have a significant impact on the industry and your success locally.


    Yep, it’s expensive to enter this industry. This isn’t an industry where shoestring budgets are going do well. So getting investors on board with high quality pitch-decks, mock-ups and business plans can be crucial.

    Elected Officials 

    Councilors, state reps, mayors and county executives may all be allies or roadblocks in advancing the cannabis industry in your local area – so it can be a great advantage to learning how bills are introduced, how to lobby for your interests and put yourself in a position to be invited to advisory or steering groups.

    Local Government Employees 

    These are the guys who issue permits, manage inspections, check your processes and approve your licenses. In our experience they’re always overworked and under-appreciated – most government workers can’t accept gifts worth over $20, so small, useful, branded items can go a long way.

    Local Media

    Twitter is where you’ll find most local journalists thee days, and sending them a DM can be more effective than a press release. Providing hi-res images, B-roll footage, well-written bios and exclusive behind-the-scenes opportunities will increase your chances of being the company they call when they need a cannabis sound bite.


    Of course, you can’t forget to engage your local community. Even if they never buy your products, their perception of your brand could help determine their decisions when cannabis votes come up.

    Your cannabis brand, therefore, serves a far greater purpose than simply selling product – it can have a positive impact on non-users too. Our top tips: avoid industry jargon, shift away from stoner cliches, educate and advocate for the benefits of cannabis and seek to get involved with impactful projects in your community.

  • September 20, 2018

    Ghost-proof your business

    We’ve all done it – we’ve all ghosted a business. It’s those times you’ve walked in a store or cafe, been ignored by staff and then just quietly walked out. Or you’ve been underwhelmed by a product or their customer service, but instead of complaining, you just think to yourself ‘i’m never going to shop there again’. 
    Of course, this also means that potential customers are ghosting you too. Maybe you took too long to respond to a query, maybe your packaging looked too amateur, maybe your hours were inconvenient – since these ghosts never became customers, it can be tricky getting definitive details on why they chose not to become a customer, so it’s useful to view your business from an outside perspective to discover the pain points that may be losing you business.
    To get started, think about how people interact with your business in four key spaces – physical spaces (like a store front); virtual spaces (website and email); social spaces (social media, traditional media); and shared spaces (partners’ retail spaces, conferences). In each of these spaces customers may be discovering your business for the first time, deciding whether to purchase or not, or using your product or service. 
    View your businesses from a customer’s perspective and plot the likely interactions your customers have with your business in each space. What are they looking to do? What’s getting in the way? What are the reasons they give up and ghost you?
    Sign up to our email list for more tips on ghost-proofing your business
  • September 6, 2018

    How to Leave a Great Last Impression with Circular Design

    It’s true, first impressions matter; but have you ever thought about what’s the final impression you leave a customer?Is it trash? And we mean that literally. If your customer’s final interaction with your brand is to toss your empty packaging in the garbage can it may be time to add some Circular Design to your food or edibles business.
    Rather than a linear make-use-dispose route, Circular Design explores how even packaging can be created with a a higher purpose and use materials designed to be reused, repurposed or easily recycled. 
    Our goal with these custom illustrated boxes for Malabar Origins and Mistobox was to design a shipping box that people will want to keep and re-use, rather than throw out.
    So, what’s the final impression you want to leave with your customers?
    subscription box design for Malabar Origins designed by Pretty Lethal Designs
    Malabar origins ornate brand logo designed by Pretty Lethal Designs
  • September 3, 2018

    The Story Behind Our Cannabis Safety Icons

    Simple + direct doesn’t have to = boring + lifeless. Show your products some love by making browsing easy and interesting. Brochure and iconography designed for CannaSafeSolutions

    The custom icons represent personal protective equipment, you know, all the essentials that keep a grow house safe and clean, like gloves, hairnets, hand soap and even full-body hazmat suits and respirators!