David and Cynthia Enns left their careers in finance to invest everything into the wine industry, putting it all on the line to pursue their dreams. Launched in 2003, the Laughing Stock Vineyards (LFNG) quickly became recognized and valued in the British Columbia VQA community and beyond for the quality of its wines, inspiring origin story and clever packaging design.
Fast-forward to 2022; the award-winning brand was expanding its portfolio of exemplary wines to include a new sub-brand that would deliver a similarly high-quality product line at a more accessible price point. Arterra came to Jacknife to develop a name, visual identity, and unique packaging designed to reach a new audience group: younger wine consumers still finding their way through the complex selection of choices at retail.
Through a series of naming exercises, we generated a long list of “financial-wine-themed” options evocative of the ‘laughing stock cleverness’ and the LFNG master brand to capture consumers’ attention on the shelf. We landed on the name IMBZZL—a witty play on the stock symbol for “imbibe and embezzle” because wine this good, at this price, is a secret steal. We also developed names inspired by the IMBZZL story and tone for the three varietals in the lineup: Fast One (red), Double Cross (white), Ruse (rosé).
“The Secret Steal” became our mantra, setting the tone for the brand and inspiring a more-than-meets-the-eye approach to design. The result is a bold, sleek and stealthy, financial-market-inspired aesthetic that celebrates those who seek the thrill of rule-breaking and getting away with a great deal. Taking our mission seriously, we developed a custom crypto cipher code consisting of unique numbers and symbols for each varietal. Each code is disguised in a symbolic stock ticker around the label, linking to LFNG’s financial roots while intriguing customers to take a second look.
Through creative storytelling, attention to detail, and subtle symbolism, IMBZZL’s packaging ignites conversation and enables connection—providing an entry point for newcomers to confidently enter the wine world while staying true to LFNG’s credibility and reputation.