Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Week 1 - Menu Design

First week of Challenge 52 (see this post for an explanation of the challenge) and I thought I'd write about one of my recent graphic design jobs, I just got delivery of the printed up design so perfect timing!

The brief for this job was to design a drinks menu for a bar that could sit out on their tables. The bar already has quite a strong corporate identity (see their website) so I had to make sure the menu would fit with their other promotional material and signage.

The manager's initial idea was to just have a simple folded leaflet style menu as the budget wasn't there for the printing costs for a booklet. However when they told me the budget they did have I thought there might be some room to get a bit creative and hopefully get them something a bit more functional than a basic leaflet. I thought by basing the design around one A3 sheet I could maybe make them a booklet style menu while keeping the costs to a minimum.

The drinks could be split into five categories so with the front page making six I had the idea to make a booklet with coloured, staggered pages so customers could quickly find what they wanted. So much measuring and cutting up of paper later I worked out a design I thought would work quite well to clearly show all the information required. The staggered page design also meant I could make the best use of space i.e. larger categories could be near the back so they had more page space and the smaller ones at the front.

The fact the pages are colour coded and all different sizes means the A3 flat sheet looks a bit confused but when it's trimmed, folded and assembled it all fits together. The front and back of the sheet is shown below:

The good thing is too that the different colours mean it's clear where to fold the pages so assembly is quick. The mock up of the final booklet showing the page layouts is below:

Finally, some pictures of the actual menus, before and after assembly. I'm happy with the way they turned out and they worked out way cheaper than a normal 12 page booklet would have been, in fact they were only marginally more expensive than the original idea for an A4 folded version would have been. They were printed on 200gsm stock and matt laminated so they're pretty sturdy and durable.

If anyone would like to join in with Challenge 52 just comment below and I'll work out a way to create a blog link-up etc. Nanuk jewellery is taking part and you can see her Week 1 post here.


  1. That's such a clever idea - I bet the client was really happy to get something out of the ordinary. x

  2. Thanks oddsox - yeah, and happier still with the price! They'd resigned themselves to just getting something basic that would do the job so they're happy to have something a bit nicer. I like finding ways to get a bit creative within thwe confines of a budget...obviously I'd like it more that have a huge budget to play with but everyone's tightening the purse-strings. x

  3. Whoop - another challenge 52 convert, Pirate treasures (AKA Emporium of Curiosities) and first post is here:

  4. This one is really the great printing. And the colour senes is really looking great. The font size and menu card size is also interesting to see. I am really impressed by elgance printing.

    booklet printing

  5. The sample of menu design are very impressive. The printing is crystal clear and attractive. Nice Work!!

    booklet printing company

  6. Thank you for this post. I love the colors of this drink menu. I recently was looking for a   menu design to compliment my new restaurant.

  7. Great menu designs. Have you looked into different printing companies to get them published? Love the unique layout.


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