Into the Light with Kelli Brown Hemptres of Marijuana Info Graphics

With a long-time background as an elementary school teacher, Kelli Brown had her own special way of presenting potentially-puzzling information to her students:  “I loved making engaging visuals to help my students understand and remember complicated information.” Brown has transitioned that skill into a new career, as the founder and lead designer of

Brown has always supported the movement to end cannabis prohibition. When it became legal in Colorado in January 2014, she began posting cannabis-related graphics on social media. The public responded, and soon she was approached by cannabis businesses asking her to create custom graphics.  Before long, Brown had the opportunity to go down a new path, and she began enlightening the public about cannabis (and related products) through her graphics.

She provides businesses with a wide array of graphics for multiple channels: pitch decks, media kits, logos, social media graphics, website design, presentations, business reports, and infographics. She says, “I am passionate about our rights—as responsible adults and as medical patients in need of something better/safer. Secondly, if my cannabis graphic work is able to inform the uninformed or help a startup really connect with its customer, I am happy.”

Brown’s background in education sets her apart from other graphic designers in the cannabis industry:  “I am an educator and approach my design work from the angle of teaching: [She asks herself] ‘What does the customer need to know about this product?’ ‘What type of visual data representation would be most effective for this target audience?’ ” Additionally, Brown believes her “creative, left-brained, but also very Type A,” personality gives her an edge when it comes to balancing artistry with business. She adds, “I am a good combination of both types. A deadline is a deadline. No excuses.”

Brown finds that most people appreciate her teaching background, but as a resident of the South (where cannabis reform hasn’t progressed much) she hopes to open the eyes and minds of her neighbors through her graphics. She also takes a quality over quantity approach to business, saying, “You don’t have to attend every cannabis expo out there. That will get expensive and time consuming. Choose just a few really great ones and make them worth the expense.” She also urges new business owners to avoid becoming overwhelmed by finding supportive, trustworthy people whom they can delegate work and responsibilities to.

Believing that people may have to go beyond boundaries to see results, Brown says, “Every so often one of our graphics will catch a little grief for being too edgy and/or provocative. But the way I see it is this – if one of our graphics made you uncomfortable, good. Get uncomfortable. Great things never come from your comfort zone.”

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