May 13, 2021

Meet the Artist Behind Our Psychedelic-Inspired Veritas Cannabis T-Shirts and Apparel

Strain-inspired all-seeing eyes? Triangle OG pyramids with a ’90s vibe? It’s all in a day’s work for Veritas Art Director Sarah Egener.

The tradition of cannabis-inspired art goes back almost as far as the plant itself and is a notable counterculture hallmark.

Before there were any legal adult-use markets in America, a unique graphic on a dime bag was one of the only ways to establish a “brand” and cultivate a customer base. In San Francisco, for example, Meridy Volz gained notoriety for her Sticky Fingers business selling weed brownies thanks in part to the hand-designed lunch bags that protected each order.

Simultaneously, a number of music acts with an open affinity for cannabis all came to prominence in the 1960s and ’70s. The result was a generation of band logos—the Grateful Dead being the most obvious—coming to informally serve as visual synonyms for marijuana and those who enjoy it.

Sarah Egener, Art Director at Veritas, credits this legacy of bold, often-psychedelic aesthetics as a major inspiration for her own work.

Available in the Veritas shop, Egener’s designs include a shirt featuring psychedelic eyes inspired by the five effects-based Veritas strain categories and a Triangle OG-inspired sweatshirt decked out in pop-art pyramids and Day-Glo colors.

“When we tie in art,” Egener says, “it makes us bigger than just selling weed. We’re also piquing the interest of all of these other individuals who are perhaps not really smokers but love, say, Icelantic Skiing.”

In celebration of our psychedelic-inspired apparel, including Veritas Cannabis T-shirts, Egener joined us for a chill Q&A sesh to share her ideas, her career journey and how her designs come together.

How long have you been making art?

I’ve always been into art, since I was a little kid. Art class was always my favorite. My parents took me to a lot of museums and there was always a passion there, so I gained an appreciation. Today, I’m inspired by a lot of different things. The consumption of cannabis while I work definitely helps!

When did you know you wanted to work in the cannabis field?

Right out of college I tried environmental consulting, which was cool but not creative enough for me. From there I got involved with an agency and worked with lots of different clients and brands across the board, including a few cannabis brand projects. That was how I first dipped my toe in. Veritas is my first full-time cannabis job, but I've been a consumer since I moved to Colorado in 2012.

How do you approach the art you’ve made for Veritas?

First and foremost, one of our priorities is to be about more than cannabis. I don’t like too much of a stoner stigma, at least in an obvious way. I want it to be more psychedelic, so if you’re high or smoking, you can enjoy seeing the colors pop without the imagery directly having to be about being a stoner.

The Veritas name has also really grown as far as becoming a regular part of people’s households and conversations. There are a ton of brands in Colorado that just slap a bunch of pot leaves on their packaging, but they’re putting themselves in a box. By contrast, Veritas is a cannabis brand for anybody, be it connoisseurs who love their premium bud or smokers who’ve never thought of themselves as a smoker before. We like to say we're for everyone.

Did you draw on any specific inspiration for these psychedelic-inspired designs?

There’s not any sense of “do this” or “do that,” so I went with a ’90s Saved by the Bell vibe for the Triangle OG Crewneck. I directed it toward that because we didn’t have a retro thing in our merch catalog, so I wanted to run with it. All of my designs look different. No two things look the same.

What about the Psychedelic Eyes Veritas Cannabis T-shirt?

The Psychedelic Eyes T-shirt is one that I really, really like. It’s different yet not too crazy, and still stylish, simple and modern-looking. It’s a look we like to put out there and it is one of my favorites.

And then we have the Veritas mountain leather patch, which is a totally different aesthetic!

That one was a play on a “Support Your Local Grower” design, so I did what I could with a leather patch and gave it a very Patagonia vibe.

What’s your favorite part of the job?

Our 1/8th labels are a classic and such an accomplishment. The Triangle OG design is another favorite. Merchandise and packaging are my favorite things to work on.

What’s your favorite Veritas strain and why?The new Apple Fritter we just dropped might be my favorite. Scooby Snax is probably my classic pick but Apple Fritter gave me a really nice, relaxed high that didn’t leave me couchlocked. It was a great way to decompress after work without falling asleep. Also, the smell is insane! I really like the nose on the Apple Fritter.

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