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Portillo’s is best known for Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, char-grilled burgers, cheese fries, fresh salads and famous chocolate cake. Have we whet your appetite? Dig into this delicious story on wide format printing and environmental graphics.
Rebecca MacDonald is a brand design manager with Portillio’s. Prior to joining the team, she worked at boutique design firms focused on restaurant and retail environments.
“I had worked with Cushing in a smaller capacity at previous companies,” she says. “As this project came together, their name came up and I researched the firm again and discovered how many capabilities they had related to environmental branding.”
On the menu? A colorful combination of dimensional signage, wall vinyl, creative canvas prints, and graphic installation. The Cushing team took on coordinating efforts with the facility and building management as well.
“I really appreciated that Christine got on the phone with me right away to talk through my ideas. She seemed genuinely excited to help us with our project. It meant a lot to me to have somebody who felt more like a partner and really took initiative to see everything through.”
How did Portillo’s pull the pieces together? Graphic mockups were presented to the senior leadership team. Visuals helped the team get on the same page. Line item estimates for each piece helped as well.
Entrance wall graphics are a montage of smiling employees, menu items, and company messaging. It’s an ode to the past, present and future.
“The graphics really speak to the Portillo’s culture,” says Rebecca. “It lets people know what we are about immediately after they exit the elevators.”
As with all projects, the aim is to partner on the process.
“The Cushing team was very responsive! They were always available, via text or email, or phone call. It never took longer than a day to hear back. I really felt like they were partners throughout the whole process.”
Step inside and it’s impossible not to notice the delectable canvas print which features a signature hot dog.
The tasteful (pun intended) print is imaged to canvas and looks good enough to eat! Mustard and ketchup not included.
Look closely at the wall graphic and you’ll notice a medley of food icons. Each icon represents meals you’ll find in the restaurant.
Yes, that is a happy canine poking it’s head out from behind the flat screen. The vinyl graphics complete the conference room environmental branding.
The Portillo’s team printed fan tweets on dimensional material with Velcro fixed to the back. Putting up a new tweet is as simple as printing and placing the graphic on the wall.
“Cushing came up with the idea of printing some of our fan’s tweets on a dimensional material that had Velcro on the back,” says Rebecca. “Now if we get a new tweet that we want to put up, we can easily replace just those sections.”
All three elevators have vinyl graphics with menu items icons which include Portillo’s classics: French fries, hamburgers, and hotdog’s. As the doors open, the delicacies split in the middle. The playful patterns remind you to pick up a meal, from your local Portillo’s of course!
One wall needed to get items reprinted, and everything came out looking fantastic.
“Cushing quickly fixed the problem,” says Rebecca. The one reprint was immediately accounted for through Cushing’s warranty. Rebecca mentioned the ownership of the project “really meant a lot to us, and we decided we wanted Cushing to perform all the work” which included some additional painting and patch work.
“There have been people on other floors of the office building who have stopped over just to tell us how much they like the graphics,” says Rebecca. “When new employees come to train at our offices, they always comment on how fun the graphics are now.”