“I had a lot of moxie at 22!” replied Scout Driscoll, Founder and CEO of DesignScout and VINT Studio, when asked about her entrepreneurial inclinations at such a young age. The co-hosts (none of whom had dreamed of owning their own businesses at such a young age) were eager to interview Scout to learn about her success. In particular, we knew before speaking with Scout she had plenty of moxie since her firm was woman-owned and she touted it as an all-woman studio, with no ladders, no promotions, and no senior staff. In short, balls-y. Or, in Scout’s case: moxie! —a word often used to describe Barbara Stanwyck back in the day.

Scout Driscoll is the founder and CEO of VINT, Wine Branding & Design. VINT is a subsidiary of DesignScout (est. 2003), her design studio born of a strong desire NOT to sell products, services and programs that she didn’t really LOVE. Although she did some of the usual job-seeking rounds after college graduation at Chicago’s well-known advertising agencies, her heart just wasn’t in it. You’ll have to listen in to hear of her tales about applying for positions with some of the leading firms…

It seemed Scout was destined for a far more unique journey. (Aren’t all “scouts”?) Kanye West (another Chicagoan, and her first customer) tapped her to design his “Get Well Soon” album package. Soon she was producing branding and graphics for others in the entertainment industry.

On a parallel track, Scout’s many years working in the restaurant and hospitality industry led to more gigs providing the branding and design work for numerous restaurants and related businesses. And all of those led to: Wine!

VINT has designed more than 90 wine labels for Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, helping them build the nation’s largest wine club (with 400,000+ members) with a wine program that includes VINT designed collaborations with Jean Charles Boisset’s Raymond and DeLoach Vineyards, Dr. Loosen, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, and John Legend’s LVE Wines.

You can imagine our interest in speaking to Scout when we learned of her firm’s design work for Cooper’s Hawk. What’s it like designing for the world’s largest wine club membership? How do you keep it fresh? Where does the inspiration for each wine’s packaging come from? Co-host Misty Rodebush Cain wanted to know what Scout’s process was when looking at a rebranding project and what tips could she provide to listeners when beginning a design project. So we dug in on a few examples from VINT’s portfolio:

First up was discussion of the design for Cooper’s Hawk “Below the Belt” brand. Scout explained that the wine was a blend of grapes from below the Equator in South American. Design inspiration came from a painting as well as using a die cut to “draw” the equator line on the bottle. Simple typography coupled with a nifty flip of “BELOW” completed the branding visuals, married with various elements, such as gold foil to cement the brand message for consumers.

Next up was a new redesign project that will be hitting store shelves this fall: Soleil’s “Mimosa” packaging redesign. The current design looked too much like a blended orange juice cocktail through a transparent bottle. This is always a tricky visual delivery since the fresh fruit pulp can be seen in the bottle. Here the design team had a number of design and logistic challenges to address: Distributors had difficulty getting it placed on shelves next to sparkling wine. Retailers wanted to position it with pre-mixed cocktails on the shelf and other locations they didn’t want to be. VINT’s solution involved a full bottle wrap. Voila! Now they have a bottle design worthy of competing for eyeballs with the sparkling wines on the shelf.

Last up in discussing some VINT case studies was the evolution of Cooper’s Hawk “A4” wines from Eastern France. Co-host Marcia Macomber noted the intricate dieline design along the roof and skyline of the label, allowing the wine in the bottle to represent the sky. Scout noted that this design was one of the more literal representations of “wine place” in their portfolio. But this provided the opportunity to draw a vivid picture of Alsace, where the wine was sourced, and allowed the consumer to imagine themselves in the setting of the picturesque village.

All in all, it was a fascinating discussion with Scout. We learned so much about her adventures building an all-female firm and the benefits thereto. (They are BIG on work-life balance, ensuring they get the priorities straight of attending to both the personal and professional aspects of their lives.) We heard about Scout’s own personal strategy of learning from her clients when we asked about mentors in her career. All of this fit into co-host Lisa Adams Walter’s own observation of Scout following the FITFO acronym (which you’ll have to listen to the show to hear about for yourself!) In short, Scout’s more than ready to forge new paths forward for both her clients and VINT teammates.

To learn more about Scout Driscoll, listen to the podcast! Or visit VINT Studio, or listen for her new podcast VINTED The Podcast (coming soon), or connect with her on LinkedIn and follow on Instagram. As you can see (and hear) she’s always Scouting out new opportunities!