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An iconic Chicago brand updates their corporate office with delicious results.

Account Manager: Christine Fetting
Project Manager: Valerie Ward
Color Project Manager: Jake Hellman
Writer and Photography: Jon Davis

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Environmental Branding Graphics Project at Portillo's

The Portillo's team invests in environmental branding for the corporate office.

Portillo's Logo for Client Case Study
Historic Hot Dog

If you’re from Chicagoland, chances are you know the Portillo’s brand!

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.

Meet Rebecca, Brand Manager at Portillo's

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.”

Rebecca MacDonald, Brand Manager at Portillo's
Powerful Project

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.”
Project Goals

Project Goals of Portillo's Environmental Branding Installation

Reception Area Wall Graphics at Portillos
Go Team!

Environmental branding projects usually require consensus.

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.

Front and Center

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.”

Welcome Area

After signing in at reception, the next graphic highlights company history.

Branded wall graphics display Portillo’s status as a Chicago favorite over fifty years.

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Portillo's Project Team!

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.”

Rebecca MacDonald

Creative Conference Room

This meeting area was another opportunity for branded graphics.

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.

Delicious Dimension

Notice how the Portillo’s logo pops?

The fabricated aluminum dimensional letters were color-matched to their brand colors and feature company values.

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.

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Dimensional Letters at Portillos
Add Bark to Branding

Next to the flat screen television is a clever nod to their signature offering. See it?

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.

Terrific Tweets

Receive engaging social media comments from followers? Don’t let them live in a digital vacuum!

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.”


More Messaging Around The Office

Vinyl wall graphics showcase quality control messages.

Canvas Prints and Wall Graphics at Portillo's Corporate Office

Another canvas print displays a delicious menu.

Graphics brighten the meeting area and space.

Edible Elevators

As your visit winds down, there’s even more graphics that are impossible to ignore.

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!

Challenges Cushing Addressed?

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.

Rebecca MacDonald, Brand Manager at Portillo's
Results So Far?

Company morale is on the rise since the team added color to the plain, white walls!

“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.”

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