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- 336 Fall 2017
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I chose to focus on a Vietnamese restaurant’s menu in Waterloo, Australia. The restaurant is elegant and has a calm environment, pictures gave a pleasant presence. This menu does well embodying the theme of the whole restaurant. The menu’s front has a mild pink color that makes it more feminine and formal. The images they chose remind me of Asia as well. Then looking at the inside of the menu it is very uniform. The grid is clear and the menu items are perfectly aligned creating unity. Each item under a different section has the same scale and the section titles are a little bigger, which helps emphasize the name of the section. The bigger font of the section title will grab the audience’s attention. The different lists are also divided by a line and have a larger proximity between the sections distinguishing different categories. The menu items are in a san-serif, round font, which makes it easier for the audience to read since they are in a different language.
Paradise Creek’s menu design is a lot more chaotic than the menu design I talked about in the above paragraph. The Paradise Creek menu is successful in capturing the audience’s attention on some of the items listed such as the, pub pretzel, pasta primavera, and classic half-pounder. These menu items have a greater contrast compared to the other items. However, the numerous variety of fonts, weights, and alignment styles cause confusion to the audience. The audience doesn’t know where to look first and instead of thinking about the food they have to interpret the menu first.
7 November 2017
The menu I chose to write about is the Bare Witness one from Sydney, Australia. This menu has a lot of empty space. The Bare Witness menu uses Sans Serif. Usually the font of a heading is different than the rest of the text. However, headings like feast and refresh are the same font as the rest of the menu. The only difference is that the heading’s font size is slightly bigger. The hierarchy of the menu I believe is done very well with the most important information on a top. The fact that the heading was altered in any way to make it stand out from the rest of the text helps the menu’s hierarchy.
The Paradise Creek menu is fairly different from the Bare Witness one. There is less empty space on the Paradise Creek menu. One thing that really sticks out to me is the fact that the Paradise Creek menu actually changes from Sans Serif to Serif back and forth. It seems random because there is no pattern of which font goes into which place. It would be one thing if the titles on the menu were in Serif and the descriptions in Sans Serif, but that is not the case here. The Paradise Creek menu does not have good hierarchy. I will argue that it keeps things interesting with the changing font. However, my eye does not know which path to take when reading the menu.
A difference is that the font style on the Paradise Creek menu is constantly changing. I would go as far as to say it seems like no two fonts are the same on the Paradise Creek menu. The Bare Witness menu is entirely pink with a blue font color while the Paradise Creek menu is black and white.
The most important aspect and function of visual hierarchy is distinguishing different categories of text. In the context of a menu, this is used to help the customer navigate a restaurant’s options. A good example of effective visual hierarchy design is this menu from Joseph’s Pizza. The menu clearly distinguishes between types of information by varying color, font, size, and placement. The types of meals are grouped together by all being in a large font located at the top of the page, but varying in hue to convey that they represent something different from each other. The logo/title of the restaurant is also centerfold, but smaller than the meal types and slightly below. This shows that although the name of the restaurant is important, it is likely not the the highest prioritized information on this page. There are a lot of other visual hierarchies at work here, but overall like information maintains similar placement, and style, and navigation is made easier by prioritizing information according to size and boldness.
On the other hand, this old menu from Paradise Creek Brewery is an example of attempted visual hierarchy that is not as effective. Unlike the menu from Joseph’s pizza, the text in this menu does not stay consistent according to types of information. Different menu items are indented seemingly randomly, and vary in size and font without any clear system. The first piece of information necessary to navigate the menu is what type of food is being offered, in this case, appetizers. In this menu it is placed above all the other text, suggesting importance, but it is about the same size as the actual menu items, and thus does not have enough of a clear dominance over the other information being offered.
After looking through some of the menus on Art of the Menu I think I’ve found one that really caught my eye, Ruka. Their menu incorporates a nice hierarchy, with the categories separated by large squares with a unique font, and on top of that they feature a lot of incredible art throughout. When comparing this to the Paradise Creek menu it can make the old layout look a little bland, but this is also most likely a much nicer restaurant than any in Pullman.
The Paradise Creek menu has a great look to it, the fonts feel very classic and give it a great overall aesthetic. When it comes to actually navigating the menu however I think there could be a lot of improvement. Adding some uniformity to the fonts, as well as fixing the scaling to make categories more clear, could greatly improve the hierarchy of this piece in my opinion.
For my menu design, I chose to look at the Salionas design. It makes great use of typography and the spacing of the menu is minimal within each individual section, but any vertical breaks between columns is large and defined. The type used in the menu also resembles that of a classic newspaper. The hierarchy of the menu takes time to section off the menu based on the type of cocktail drink they want to try. They are also separated using a numbered system as well. You can also see that some of the sections are separated by images as well, all having to do with the section below them. Since the menu is entirely composed of different kinds of drinks, I believe the hierarchy is appropriate for this kind of menu. The separation is based more on taste rather than ranking them based on what order the meals come in or by house favorites. The text is written in a rather small font but the menu titles are large and defined.
This differs from the Paradise Creek Brewery menu we looked at, which is definitely separated based on the order of the meals. We see this with the Appetizers section appearing first. I do think that the hierarchy falls into a bit of a mess on the second page, with some of the menu options feeling more like sides than their own meal. Compared to the first menu design, I feel like it could have been a much stronger design if the sections didn’t have parts of it blocked off at the top or bottom for no reason. I do like that the sides menu is in between the other two, showing that it can be applied to either side of the menu. Overall, I think the men u is functional, but could be heavily improved on.
The Tiller menu design that I chose exemplifies good hierarchy because there are clear priorities in the design starting with the the T logo on bold large text at the top and large text with the date following the logo. The menu as it continues gets a centered alignment and narrow position on the page. This continuous as you continue down the menu to the bottom with the most important information at the top and the least important and less likely to be ordered items like beverages and beers. These have less priority because they bring less profit and are not as popular.
The Paradise Creek menu design is very different and has a lot more text. This menus hierarchy is much more difficult to distinguish because the size of the text is not at its largest point at the top and smaller as you move down the menu page. The text size and spacing is a little random and if I were to read the menu based on traditional hierarchy methods, I would ready the menu in a choppy manor. The menu took up the space on the page well and had good alignment for the viewer to digest and grasp the information. The different font types helped divide the information so that each section seemed like it was specifically its own based on the different items. The two menus are very different, the Tiller menu prioritizes traditional hierarchy characteristics with the large bold text at the top and smaller text that is less important at the bottom, but the Paradise Creek menu disregards tradition and chooses to place different text sizes and fonts throughout while also determining which is important based on what the customer wants.
This Bar is inspired by a world war two fighter aircraft and is very apparent throughout the design of the menu. The font is similar to a typewriter of that time period. The menu is on a simple grid that resembles a diagram book or a parts manual used by the military. It includes diagrams on how the drinks are made, the price, and ingredients of each. The hierarchy is separated by each category of drinks and uses a large fancier bold font that labels each at the top of the page. A successful design the menu is pretty simple and easy to read while still resembling a 1940s world war two design.
I Like the use of different fonts for this menu but at the same time, it doesn’t seem to follow a typical hierarchy design. The first thing I notice is “PUB PRETZEL” in bold black font followed by “Fried mozzarella” and just seems random. I’m drawn to look all over the menu because of the drastic different use of font types. also, I could easily miss a menu item that has a smaller more subtle font. This could be more successful in my opinion if the bold fonts were used at the top and gradually changed as they go down the menu.
The menu that I chose to write about is for The Alembic in San Francisco, CA designed by nothing : something. I chose this menu because I like how it features various different fonts that draw attention to different parts of the menu. The bold, flourishing font that differs from the rest while it simotaniously draws the viewers eye to it as a header. Variations in size of this bolder text, suggests the hierarchal importance. The menu itself, is sealed within a heavy steel housing. Each page of the menu features different types of hierarchy and grids. The menus on the far left follow a continuous flow of text, with centered paragraphs and bold titles suggesting the order the menu should be read in. These two pages have one column, while others have two or more. The dessert page feels as though it should be a separate menu on its own, with a large title in the center and graphics below it almost looks like a cover. The menu is visually interesting because it is so random, and varies in font, font size, and color. The color palette is warm, lacking any cool or contrasting colors. The only similarities between the different pages is the padding at the top of the menu and the title of the restaurant.
The Paradise creek menu has quite a few similarities as far as design and how it can be distracting from the items the restaurant is selling. Both menus feature many different fonts, which does not offer unity and can feel chaotic. The paradise creek menu feels hard to look at because almost every item on the menu is designed with a different font, and the columns are all out of whack. It feels like a grid was not used properly, and even though the menu below seems a bit chaotic as well, it is clear that a grid was used. The Paradise creek menu is successful in the way that it is eccentric and seems to fit with the theme of the restaurant. It can be improved by changing the order of the items on the menu, and using one to three fonts to keep the menu unified in appearance.
The menu I picked from the blog “Art of the Menu” is from a restaurant named Pint Brothers Alehouse in Denver Colorado, the Menu was designed by Melissa Wehrman. I think that this menu has a very well thought out and successful visual hierarchy. One thing that it successfully does is have the tittle of the different sections like Soup and Salad, Sandwiches, and Main Meals in a larger bolder different font that draws the eyes to make it easy to find the section wanted. Then off of that you can read the options that are in the sections below the title in a smaller more basic typeface which shows great visual hierarchy. Something else this menu does well is use a combination of vertical and horizontal lines to make a grid for each section of the menu. This makes it very easy to see what food items are in which categories and keeps all the text in the section cut off from other text so it is much easier to read. I also personally like the contrast of the wood and steel menus, I think they are the perfect color and style to go together.
The Paradise Creek menu is a very different style menu than the Pint Brothers’, Paradise Creek’s menu has much less order it seems, and the hierarchy isn’t really there. For example on the Appetizers page the boldest biggest text is the “pub pretzel” which is the third item down the list, this doesn’t make much sense to me because one I feel that the appetizers heading should be the most eye drawing text on the page and second I feel that if you want to single out the pub pretzel with a larger bolder text then it should also be the first thing listed. The second page has much of the same hierarchy issues that the first page does, but this page does make one thing really easy to see which is the sides that a meal comes with, they are in the box in the middle which makes it very easy to find and I think that works well with the rest of the menu. However overall I think this menu has a lot of disorder and lack of a visual hierarchy because of all the change in text size and boldness, to be a successful menu I think this needs a fair amount of redesigning.
All Photos Provided by: http://www.underconsideration.com/artofthemenu/archives/pint_brothers.php