Award-Winning Environmental Design: VICELAND’s Weed Week Storefront

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Editor’s Note: This project won Best of Region for New York City in PRINT’s 2018 Regional Design Awards. See all of the winners here, and don’t forget to enter the 2019 Regional Design Awards.

Imagine this: You’re taking your dog for a walk and the unmistakable smell of weed greets you as you turn the corner. You look left and there it is—a storefront filled to the brim with what looks like a lot of weed. In front of the building is an ATM, only the numbers on it read “4-2-0” and it spits out receipts with pictures of weed. This sight (and smell) was a reality for pedestrians on the Lower East Side of New York City.

VICELAND’s Weed Week is a celebration of weed, ranging from cooking with it medicinal purposes. “It’s like Shark Week. But with Weed,” say VICELAND Creative Director, Nate Coonrod, and Julie Ruiz, Design Director. “Creating things for Weed Week is great because there’s (almost) nothing that’s too bizarre or ‘out there’ to execute.” This included greenlighting the idea to add enhancements to the broken ATM out front.

Did You See…

The Weed Week storefront certainly lived up to its goal to spark conversation. Not only were pedestrians stopping to take photos (who doesn’t want a selfie in front of giant wall of green, after all?) to post on social media, but passerby in cars would literally do a double take.

Hand-Crafted Weed

In case you are wondering (we were), although the weed in the window looked convincing, the storefront window broke no laws. “Sadly, the weed was not real. We really tried, but we learned that the NYPD probably wouldn’t like it all that much. We just couldn’t make it happen in NYC. We also learned that getting great looking fake weed in huge amounts was much more difficult than we anticipated,” Nate and Julie say. So yes, this left no other choice than to commission hand-crafted weed, and lots of it. This also meant including quite the disclaimer on the storefront window, in case, you know, someone was tempted: “If you break this window to steal our weed please don’t smoke it because it’s treated with adhesive and you might die.”

WEED WEEK Storefront—Best of Region, New York City— 2018 Regional Design Awards

VICELAND; Meghan Kirsch, Nate Coonrod, Julie Ruiz, Nacho Gil (creative directors), Annie Rosen, Gerard Weber (art directors), Samantha Aldeborgh (designer), Spencer Madsen (writer), Amy Schriefer (producer); VICELAND (client)