Menu Design: Tavia Hall


After reading through the Hierarchy and Grid chapters from Lupton/Phillips “Graphic Design: The New Basics”. Then looking at the different menu designs from the Art of The Menu Blog, I felt like Osteria Leana’s menu was a great example of how a successful hierarchy is employed. The menu overall has a clean professional look to it. The different typefaces are used to help distinguish each group in a way. I really love the fact that there’s only two colors being used and not just one or 5 million. Too many colors can distract the viewer and won’t be as straight forward. Unless you’ve been to a particular restaurant hundreds of times, then you would be able to familiarize yourself with the menu. When I look at this menu, I see it as getting straight to the point in regards to things like alignment, color, context and how everything works together collectively. You don’t have to scramble around to find the price of the product because it’s in red and located (always) on the right hand side of the product name. There’s also different sections that are being displayed throughout this menu. These sections “shows clear marks of separation to signal a change from one level to another” (Lupton/Phillips, 115). There’s an actual line that separates the company name, date, address and website from the rest of the menu. The middle section is made by the clear mark of the line located at the top and located at the bottom. The middle section has four main categories that uses space in order to separate the significance of each category. The category titles are in red font. Then under the category titles there’s the dish name and details of the dish that are in black font. Within one section, there’s 3 different typefaces (not including the font of the prices) being displayed. Even though these 3 typefaces are different, they still work together by emphasizing different aspects. If the dish name and the details of the dish were in the same typeface it would look like a spaced out paragraph. You wouldn’t be able distinguish and or realize there’s two categories unless you’re actually reading it. We automatically assume things go together if they match. The usage of various typefaces are acceptable when used correctly and helps guide the reader.

I forced myself to not look at the menu from Paradise Creek Brewery until I did the first portion of the prompt. Now that I’m looking at the menu, there’s so many things going on that I stop and question myself if this is an actual legit menu. First off, this is a bad example of using different typefaces. I can’t really match anything up so it’s really hard to distinguish between the different categories. To me it looks like pages filled with example fonts and not a menu. The sizes of the font aren’t even the same, nothing is consistent. Some numbers are bold, big, small, and or thin. This also relates to the period marks as well. There’s more periods in between the word and the number than others. Some periods are bold and some even have spaces in between. The menu overall looks cluttered, inconsistent, has no form of alignment and so on. There’s some words going horizontally and some words going vertically. It’s literally a scavenger hunt! The only part that I could say is almost close to being successful is the titles “Appetizers”, “Burgers and Sandwiches” and “Entrees” because it’s the only thing that’s really consistent in regards to font and size. It’s also the only guidance I would use to help navigate through the menu.

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