For the purpose of this blog post, I will be comparing and contrasting Sophie Stoltman’s menu design and mine.
Below are images of my menu redesign.
Below are images of Sophie Stoltman’s menu redesign.
I think both menus do a great job of displaying the hierarchy of the copy. Sophie specifically uses the front of her menu to show the non main course items like appetizers, soups, salads, and sides, and strategically placed the main course items on the back so that you don’t have to flip back and forth to decide what you wanted for dinner.
The menu I created shows hierarchy by displaying categories on different pages in the order you would consume them throughout a course: appetizer, salad, entree, etc. I think this increases readability for the customer, but can lead to that customer not looking at all of the items offered because they have to flip through too many pages.
On the front side of Sophie’s menu, my eye goes directly to the Paradise Creek logo she added, and then follows to look at the appetizers. I think this flow is smooth, and could potentially encourage customers to order an appetizers more than my menu would. When looking at the menu I designed, your eye goes to the front page with the logo, and then doesn’t have a specific place for the customer to look. By having separate pages for each category, I am allowing the customer to choose what they want to look at rather than forcing them to read the appetizers next. This has its perks because organization is simple, but could also have a lot of downfalls in not showcases items on the menu that the restaurant could be trying to drive sales in (i.e appetizers).
Both menus use a similar font for the main content. It is a thin sans serif font with rounded corners that keeps the menu looking clean and modern. This font is similar to the modern menu I analyzed for the Art of the Menu critique.
Sophie chose the stylistic approach of not using the Paradise creek logo, and using the same font she used for the main content to display the Paradise Creek name. This choice makes her design consistent, but lacks visual diversity. I think her design looks great, but I prefer the main logo to be showcased on a menu. The font I chose is slightly thicker than Sophie’s, but I think it is the only way I could get away with using a completely different font style than what was used in the logo.
Sophie’s menu is modern, sophisticated, and clean. The use of white space makes the menu easy to read, and feels fresh. I love the design, but I have doubts that it represents the style of Paradise Creek well. The textural and visual element of the beer hop in the background is a nice touch, but makes the restaurant seem like an upscale new age brewery, not a home town brewery.
My menu also utilizes a lot of white space, and I think if printed on white paper, it would have a similar problem to Sophie’s of seeming too new. A simple touch of adding the brown paper for the front and back cover I think adds a texture and dimension that the menu would have lacked if printed on white card stock. I think that even my design could have done more to capture the essence of Paradise Creek, but i believe the menu I designed will remain “stylish” for years to come. The addition of a background texture to the main pages could have cluttered the space and and been counter productive to the clean look i was going for. My effort to make the menu feel more rustic and homey comes in the form of the hand drawn icons used at the top of every page. I thought this additional style would brig the menu back to a handmade feel rather than a mass produced modern menu.
These two menus are completely opposite in size. Mine is right on the border of being too small to read, and Sophie’s is quite large and on the border of being too big to hold. The font used in my menu is 10pt which looking back probably could have been bumped up to 12pt. Sophie’s is quite large, probably closer to 20pt or 30pt, and has the potential to come off as too in your face. The shinny white paper that Sophie used was great quality and looked beautiful, but could have represented the feel of Paradise Creek better if it was printed on a matte paper as opposed to a glossy white paper.
My menu is printed on a matte card stock, which is nice, but caused some problems with the printers. The front page because of the texture and weight of the paper didn’t print well, and you can see the faded ink on the logo. In a way, this adds to the “aged” look of the menu, but can also come off as sloppy.
Overall, I love the white space and simplicity of Sophie’s menu, but think there is room for improvement in the size of the font, paper size, and paper material. When it comes to the menu I designed, I appreciate the uniqueness, but think it is bordering on too small, and the printing could have been higher quality.