Introducing LAT Magazine: A space to talk, raise questions and connect perspectives around cannabis
Since cannabis was legalised in Canada on 17 October 2018, Toronto-based studio Blok has been reshaping its image as attitudes continue to change.
- Jyni Ong
- 15 June 2020
It’s been two-and-a-half years since cannabis was first legalised in Canada, and in those three years, the country’s cultural sector has had the unique opportunity to brand a newly legalised substance for the masses. The Toronto-based studio Blok Design has been a key player in this visualisation. The studio has been a long-term collaborator with 48North Cannabis Corp – a female-centred health and wellness organisation built around cannabis-based products – and back in 2018, we covered Blok’s brand identity for the company, tackling the changing stigmas around marijuana with a softer and highly considered rebrand.
Since then, the Canadian studio has been working and developing alongside the cannabis space as its image changes with society’s collective attitude. “This opened an incredible opportunity to reimagine its role in our lives and how we interact with it every day,” says Blok Design, and with it, LAT Magazine has also arisen to capture the discussion. A physical and digital publication, LAT connects perspectives, cultures, stigmas and non-stigmas emanating from the conversation around cannabis.
An initiative of 48North, the newly created platform provides a space for the ongoing dialogue surrounding cannabis and how it extends into our everyday lives. Featuring topics of art, equality, sex, amnesty and self-love (just to name a few) with this diverse content in mind, Blok Design approached LAT with “an open mind, intense curiosity, and a consistent pursuit to push things further.” The studio continues: “Given that not many publications exist within this space, our intention was less about what had been done, but rather what possibilities are wide open for exploration.”
A natural extension of 48North’s holistic approach, from the beginning, Blok Design worked closely with the initiative’s chief marketing officer Kirsten Gauthier and LAT’s editorial chief Antonia Whyatt to craft an accessible layout. “Our work encompassed everything,” adds the studio, from collaborating on editorials to the photography direction, print production, not to mention the design. As the creative process unfurled, the ongoing pandemic threw a spanner in the works. In turn, Blok Design and millions of others adapted to the situation, creating a digital experience for LAT at the speed of light; an impressive month and a half of digitising the publication.
Asking readers to accompany the magazine on its investigative quests, LAT is a place for discovering the ins and outs of cannabis, both as a subject and an insinuation. “LAT is about relevancy in society, reshaping of narratives, breaking down previous conceptions and occupying a place in our immediate present and imminent future,” Blok Design goes on to say. In one feature, for example, LAT interviews Akwasi Owusu-Bempah – assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s School of Sociology and director of research for Cannabis Amnesty – who speaks of the inequality surrounding cannabis criminalisation and pre-legalisation, affecting the most marginalised communities.
In the poignant feature, the professor states: “Black and Indigenous people in this country were disproportionately arrested for cannabis possession offences.” Shining a light on significant issues such as these, fundamentally, LAT is a space “to talk and raise questions that are yet to be resolved societally or brought to larger conversations.”
GalleryBlok Design: LAT Magazine
About the Author
Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor. Feel free to drop Jyni a note if you have an exciting story for the site.