Mushroom products are on the rise. Many people are recognizing that there are many health benefits from mushrooms whether that’s medicinal, psilocybin (also known as “magic” ‘shrooms), or food. And thanks to the health and wellness industry boom over the years, mushroom products are hitching on to that industry’s growth. As mushroom products and brands come out, the demand for mushroom branding and design will also rise.
According to our emerging industry trend report, mushroom product branding and design has risen 525% over the last few years. Just from 2019 to 2020 the demand went up 100%. Based on this, we have no doubt that this industry is one to watch this year, and maybe even a trend that will carry on longer.
With mushroom products that range from medicinal to psilocybin to health and wellness to food, how do you brand for all these different mushroom brands and products?
In this guide, we’ll show you the best approaches for designing a mushroom brand and product. We’ll explain what the industry looks like at the moment, challenges of creating a mushroom brand and three trends to take note of in the mushroom industry.
What are the challenges of mushroom branding?
Mushroom products have a lot of different uses. This makes branding more challenging, because it needs to communicate to the consumer what kind of mushroom product they’re dealing with and what they can expect from it.
For example, medicinal mushrooms refer to the 200+ species of fungus that produce psilocybin, which itself is a powerful psychedelic drug. When refined and processed—and taken in the appropriate dosage—psilocybin produces a mild and relaxing euphoria that might calm some people with anxiety and depressive disorders.
These long-term benefits are the main difference between medicinal mushrooms and magic mushrooms, the recreational drug related to LSD that produces hallucinations or even stimulated spiritual experiences. One of the challenges mushroom brands face is to communicate that difference and attract people who want medical treatment, not something to make the planeterium’s laser show more exciting.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because medical marijuana has been undergoing the same problem for years. CBD products in particular—which are more for pain relief than getting high—had to change their market’s perception of medicinal marijuana and distance themselves from its “bad reputation.” We wrote all about it in our guide to CBD branding, and in fact we can learn a thing or two for psilocybin designs.
The success of the medicinal marijuana industry is what paved the way for the new uprising of medical mushroom companies. Just a few years after legal restrictions on marijuana were lifted, the state of Oregon joined select cities in California and Colorado in decriminalizing psychedelic mushrooms. It’s also thought that the Covid pandemic exacerbated disorders like depression and PTSD, pushing for newer and more effective solutions.
Despite this challenge, we’re likely to see an upshoot in biopharmaceutical brands specializing in medicinal mushrooms, what U.S. News and World Report predicts to be a “booming” industry in 2021.
But medicinal and psilocybin mushrooms are actually a small component of the emerging mushroom industry. Many mushroom brands and products are gourmet food products or health and wellness products that will boost immune systems or be a good source of Vitamin D.
That’s why many buyers and entrepreneurs see the benefits of mushrooms from medicinal products to health and wellness. The greatest challenge is how to design your product for your individual brand. The mushroom design you decide on can communicate your brand and product for you… as long as you know the best mushroom product and brand design trends.
Mushroom design examples
To help you get a sense of which mushroom and psilocybin design trends work best, showing is better than telling. We draw a lot from food and wellness brands and gourmet food products because biopharmaceutical brands are still rolling out slowly, but the same principles apply, namely presenting mushrooms in a way that works for your brand and product. Here’s some examples of mushrooms in branding design:
Nanang_Saputro’s minimal, business-oriented logo is a great place to start. This superfood supplement company wants to draw the attention to the mushroom and nature imagery (a leaf) to encourage people seeing the natural and healthy connotations of their product.
For a company that specializes in microdosing psilocybin, designer gothlux uses a minimal and modern depiction of a mushroom to keep the focus on the brand name. Minimalism is a great choice for pharmaceutical brands in general, and for medicinal mushroom designs it works well in steering perceptions to calmer waters and professionalism.
If you want to focus on the science and technology aspect, you can include some science-related shapes like the abstract molecule design in the Micro Mycology example above. Still, the main focus of this logo is again the mushroom imagery, with its stylistic design and creative coloring.
Theai’s design for a psychedelic medicine wellness company shows how to use a simple, minimal logo well. This logo comes together to create a memorable and pleasant image that does wonders for customers’ brand association. Not only does it leave a lasting impression in the minds of those who see it, but also it suggests the company itself is as professional and scientific as its logo. The design also demonstrates a key technique when using minimalism: brighter colors.
We’ll explain more below, but when you use mushroom images in your logo and branding material, most designs are either simple and minimal or realistic and detailed. Trzy” shows how to use detailed mushrooms, with curvy stems and hypnotic caps.
This logo design emphasizes the company brand as medicinal benefits. That’s more in-tune with their brand identity as “psychedelic therapy,” but could be ill-advised for brands that want to take a more health and wellness or gourmet foods approach.
If you want to see more examples, check out our mushroom logo page, with examples from all sorts of industries.
Top mushroom design trends
What can we learn about the mushroom designs above? Here are three solid takeaways about what to include in your own logos and branding for mushroom brand and product designs.
Simple, minimal and modern shapes
Mushrooms have a… let’s say “funny” shape. They’re easy to recognize—which is why they work so well with the minimalist style—and their natural curves make them inherently friendly and inviting. That’s why if you’re designing a logo for a company that deals in mushrooms, your choice of main image should be clear.
Take the example from Pepper Pack Design above—the mushrooms are half circles joined by a small rectangle for a stem, but they’re still clearly mushrooms, and cute ones at that. And the colors give the product design a vibrant and youthful style.
Another approach is to go with simple lines and geometric shapes for a more modern look. The trick is to do something simple yet stylistic with your mushroom design. Something to make it stand out as your own. As we said, mushrooms have a very distinct shape, so you’re free to experiment and try artistic approaches and people will still recognize the shape as a mushroom.
Hand-drawn, realistic and detailed
When using mushroom imagery, it depends on your brand personality and target audience. Some brands go for the simple, minimal and modern style, and others go for a more hand-drawn, realistic and detailed approach. With this approach, the illustrations conjure more natural, healthy ideas of mushrooms.
Even if you want a traditional mushroom shape, you can still find ways to spice it up. Take a look at the Liebmann Schwammerlfarm and Holy Shiitake farm logo, notice how the logo leans on an illustration of the traditional shape of a mushroom. This artistic touch improves the overall look of the logo and makes it more playful, which adds to its memorability and benefits the brand as a whole.
You can use detailed and realistic depictions to lean on the natural properties of mushrooms. This approach works best for companies that want to emphasize the natural and food qualities associated with mushrooms because realistic depictions conjure up thoughts of taste. And because mushrooms come in all shapes and sizes, you can find a species with the right “look” for your brand.
Warm, uplifting tones
A lot of medicinal mushroom and psilocybin brands opt for warm, uplifting tones in their designs. Especially colors like gentle pinks and calming blues. As you can see in the San Diego Mycological Society logo, it’s brighter shade of blue gives an uplifting feel too. The uplighting tones in these designs give more interesting and dynamic element to the logos.
Another notable color is brown, after all many mushrooms’ natural colors are in fact brown. These soothing browns give a more natural and realistic look and feel to a brand’s logo and product.
What’s next for your mushroom brand?
Mushroom products and brands have definitely carved out a healthy niche for themselves. And as mushroom brands and products continue to rise, so will the need to know how to design for your brand and product. Take note of the trends and designs we’ve highlighted above to get your company ahead of the booming mushroom industry. When in doubt, there’s always the option to get a professional designer who knows what to do.