Featured Project: Tortoise Supper Club


Dine well. Dine together.

Tortoise Supper Club is an intimate family-owned restaurant in downtown Chicago. The neighborhood haven is home to classic fare, live music, and friendly service. But, from the start, the owners didn’t have a shared understanding of what was at the heart of the restaurant. Consequently, they lost a sense of direction over the years. One Design was tasked with creating a brand strategy, visual identity, site design, and set of brand tactics that would help Tortoise find its north star, unite their team and reach new audiences.

Brand Strategy

How could the restaurant grow its weekday business? What was the common thread uniting the staff, food, space, and the total dining experience? We tailored our brand strategy process to answer these key questions and then delved into two weeks of rigorous research. The team conducted interviews with staff members and customers, observational research at Tortoise and competitor establishments, as well as analyses of competitor brands and industry trends.

Through highly collaborative workshops, we positioned the restaurant as a metropolitan supper club. One Design then developed a messaging system, tagline and brand voice as well as tactics that brought the restaurant’s new brand to life.

Visual Identity System and Brand Assets

After completing the brand strategy, our team developed a new visual identity system for Tortoise. We led collaborative mood boarding sessions with the client team and honed in on the visual style their identity would embody. The final direction strikes a careful balance between welcoming and refined. The script typeface evokes the personal touch of the family-owned restaurant while the careful illustrations and handsome color palette reflect it’s timeless dishes and ambiance.

The Next Course

Tortoise launched their new brand in the summer of 2016. Since then, they’ve consistently met their goals for weekday diners. Not only is the business is thriving, but the restaurant has a sense of identity - a north star that will continue to guide them towards greater success.

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One Design Company is a research-driven design and development studio. For over a decade, we’ve explored the intersection of experience and technology—where powerful brands come to life. Want to learn more? Let’s chat.

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