Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Project brief, part of Designing a Restaurant Menu.
Designing a restaurant menu. Before we begin our design, we need to determine the scope of the project, and establish expectations with our client. How much we are charging them for this? Exactly what are they expecting from us, and when are they expecting it? Here is our brief. We are going to be designing a menu for a cafe in Brighton and Hove, Sussex; that's on the south coast of England. It's called Slice Sussex. It's a new cafe. A friend of mine has just started this business.
Here is a quote from her. Slice Sussex offers a home from home rustic chic environment: comfy chairs, a wood burner, delicious rainforest alliance, double shot coffees, and a wide selection of fair trade teas, alongside simple and stunningly delicious home cooked grub. That's what they're about. This is their tagline: locally sourced happiness. The whole ethos of the cafe is to use locally sourced ingredients, and to provide a hub for local people to meet.
This is a Google street view of the cafe. This was taken before the cafe existed. I believe it's this place right here; the one that's currently painted red. It's no longer painted red, but that's the location. If you want to find out more about Brighton and Hove as a way of doing some background research, go to the Wikipedia page. So once we have got an idea about who our client is, we need to check out the competition, and see what they're doing, not so that we can copy them, but more so that we can avoid having our menu look like theirs, and also just to get an overview of how other people are approaching the same design problem.
For any design project, it's always a good idea to get a historical perspective. Menu design is a time honored field, and there is this beautiful book edited by Jim Heinmann, contributions by Steven Heller and John Mariani. It's published by Taschen. It's a big thick volume; a great source of inspiration. And my fourth and last bullet point; it's an obvious one, but we should visit the restaurant. What does the restaurant look like, what's the vibe of the restaurant, talk to the owner, maybe talk to some of the clientele, eat their food.
As I mentioned, the cafe has just opened. As of the time of recording, it's been open just over a month. This is what they are currently using for a menu. It's literally handwritten by the owner. It has this very hand-tooled, rustic kind of feel to it, and I think, from talking to her, she would like to retain some of that element. These are pictures I did not take; I just got from the Slice Sussex Facebook page. Currently their Web site is under construction, but they do have a Facebook page, and these are some pictures from it, just to give you an idea of the interior.
So there's our brief. Now we have an understanding of the project. Let's roll up our shirt sleeves and get designing.
- Adding text and design elements
- Adding texture with a Photoshop brush
- Creating a proof
- Adding stylized headers
- Designing menu inserts
- Placing and cleaning up text
- Creating a template
- Adding a textured background
- Preparing a menu for print