I decided to compare my menu with Rachel Bigler’s as we both used folding in our presentation in order to separate and distinguish hierarchy, but I feel like we approached it differently with resulting strengths and weaknesses. In both menus, columns are used as the primary way to separate information.
Since her pamphlet is more of a “book” style (two facing pages) and mine is a three-column style, she used only 2 columns to present the menu options on the inside pages, whereas I used 3 columns, the inside pages and the back flap which folds in.
Since I utilized more columns, I had less rows of information on one page and was able to give each section its own page (aside from salads and sides, which were both rather short sections.) Her design was able to compensate for the longer rows and multiple sections on a page by using longer pages, which works, but also feels a bit cumbersome to hold and can make the menu seem overwhelming. For the most part, each section resides on a single page, aside from the burgers and sandwiches section, where one item (Chicken Pesto Wrap) is bumped onto the next page before the Entrées section. This, in my opinion, disrupts the established hierarchy a little bit and loses some of the otherwise very uniform formatting of the menu.
However, in Rachel’s menu, everything is center aligned which maintains the uniformity and makes it easy to determine which dishes correspond with which information and price, so the hierarchy is not confusing or visually discordant. In my design, I justified everything to the left, but made indentations to separate the menu information and smaller font to make it clear it was descriptive text on the dish. I also separated price with a dotted tab line as a stylistic choice to balance out the space of the menu and refrain from seeming to heavy on the left. The dotted lines may be somewhat awkward at times to follow and difficult to distinguish, though. Also, because some of the descriptive text included information on additional costs, there had to be a way for me to distinguish these costs (such as with the “hand-cut potatoes on the side”) from the regular pricing, so I went ahead and made the lines shorter to fit in with the more condensed paragraph style of the descriptive text. I recognize that using dotted tabs, especially with multiple lengths, can be chaotic and a bit hard to follow at times, so I think this is a weakness of my menu.
Overall, I think the visual styling of Rachel’s menu fits in nicely with the restaurant’s aesthetic in a way that recognizes its individuality but keeps it sophisticated. While the headings are serif and looks more traditional, the body font is sans-serif and therefore easy to read against the pattern. The grey wooden texture on the front and back pages (and border of the inside pages) denotes the antique, homey style of the establishment, but lends a more modern and classy touch with the monotone color choice. The inside texture almost looks like stone, which I think is a nice touch because it harkens back to the marble flooring of the location, which used to be an old post office. While I think the textures are nice and give personality and stay true to the establishment, I do think the opacity or saturation could be turned down a bit, just for legibility, as the white grains on the inside pages are a little difficult to distinguish from the white text in some places.
For my menu, the font is mostly opposite from Rachel’s, with sans-serif as the section header font and serif as the body font. I feel like this puts more emphasis on the titles in a bold way, and is good for quickly scanning. The texture of my menu is mainly tactile from the thicker, sturdier kinds of paper I used. The inside yellow paper I printed on contrasts against the black border paper nicely without being too harsh as a white paper may be, and also feels more aged and refined. Patterns are seen in the black and white illustrations, as decorative borders, markers, or just general additions that bring a sense of vintage style and history that I think exemplifies the historic location well.
I do think that the biggest problem with my menu is sizing and formatting of the yellow paper against the black, as I encountered some spacing errors upon printing and was unfortunately short on time in order to correct that. I also think Rachel may have had a similar time restraint/printing issue, as her pages appeared to have been printed separately and glued together rather than printing front and back. I think both of our menus would benefit from more careful printing and preparation in order to appear more professional in the future.