When looking at my classmates menu designs, I had a hard time deciding which one I wanted to compare to my own. I noticed some menu designs had similarities to mine in color, overall theme, and hierarchy- so I decided to focus on a menu that had more visual differences from mine, than similarities. Sophie Stoltman’s menu focuses on a horizontal design which is read from left to right. The simplicity of the menu allows the reader to easily focus on the menu items, which are evenly spaced and contrast from other parts of the menu. Sophie used a variety of both serif and sans serif fonts to create a simple contrast from the menu item descriptions to the rest of the menu. This also contributes to making the menu items easier to read and shows that they differ from the rest of the menu. The menu is divided up in three sections on the first page, with each section separated with an opaque grey line. My favorite thing about Sophie’s menu was that she found a way to make the prices easy to read by adding a thin line, and a bold number following the menu item description. Sophie executed her menu smoothly, keeping a modern and simple theme which is what really caught my eye. I tend to favor cleanly designed menus that lack text decoration, and use minimal colors.
My Menu differs from Sophie’s in several ways. First, I established a different hierarchy of menu items. My menu focused on vertical alignment, with the reader looking at the menu from top to bottom, then moving on to the right page. I focused on appetizers, burgers and sandwiches, and sides on the first page- where as Sophie focused on appetizers, soups, salads, and sides. I almost like her hierarchy better because it makes more sense to have the main entrees and sandwiches and hamburgers on one page. Th only thing I would change is maybe adding the sides below the entrees because this is what follows on a typical menu. Sophie’s menu also had a near white background with black font, while mine had a textured cream background with both black and white text. I also used text decorations to establish different sections of the menu, and also unify the text decoration on the title page of the menu with the sections. The white text amongst the black text decoration deeply contrasts against different parts of the menu. Instead of adding a line or dots for the price, I simple made the number next to the menu item description bold. My menu uses the same serif font throughout the entire design theme, and I was able to create differences in the text by changing the size, and making text bold or italic, or even both.
As far as improvements go, even though I really enjoy the modern theme of Sophie’s menu, I feel like it does not align with the style of the restaurant. The restaurant maintains a rustic, homey, worn in aesthetic which is very different from a modern crisp and clean style. I think Sophie’s menu could benefit from adding a few more opaque illustrations, and possibly using a different text for the title of the restaurant. I like how her menu is only one page, and is large enough to be easily read. Her menu strengths are clear in the way that it is extremely easy to read and is not overwhelming like the old menu. It feels professional, and offers simplicity where there was once chaos in the sense of too many fonts and an unclear hierarchy. For my menu, I feel as though I could rearrange my menu items to create a better hierarchy, and find a way to make the prices easier to read. I think my menu may be more sucessful if it was a bit larger, and possibly arranged to be on one sheet read front to back. I like how the chalkboard texture of my menu aligns with the style of the restaurant, which uses chalkboards throughout their restaurant. I feel like I was successful in capturing the correct theme, but was not as strong in creating a menu that was simpler and easy to follow.