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Food Menu Design
A food menu serves multiple purposes. Primarily, it is an informational booklet that lists everything a restaurant, café, bar or takeaway serves. A food menu is also a tool of enticement. Whether it is by the virtue of the cuisine or the diversity of the menu, the affordable prices or the signature dishes, the booklet must be able to intrigue the customers. A food menu is also a branding medium. It is used to present the business in a certain light. There’s a plethora of sophisticated food menu design, there are quirky designs, cool ones, abstract ones and the options are infinite.
There are many components that will dictate the terms for food menu design. The type of restaurant or café you own, the kind of cuisine you serve, the ambience and the food quality, the prices and the target audience, the location and the theme or specific principles that your business champions. All such factors should have a degree of influence in your food menu design. Then there are the proven techniques to make a food menu design truly captivating.
The Layout of Food Menu Design
Let us begin with a caveat. There are standard layouts for food menu design but they don’t have to be adhered to if you are trying something unique or different. Research has proven that customers scan a food menu just as they begin reading a book. Almost everyone starts with the upper left hand corner of the menu, unless someone is in a hurry and knows which page to look into for a specific dish. It is hence better to cater to the natural eye scanning pattern.
Compartmentalized but Seamless
A food menu design must be categorized neatly. People shouldn’t have to break a sweat to find what they want. However, there should be a seamless flow from one type of dishes to another. There should be some rational or relevant way of connecting the flow. For instance, all meats can be clubbed together and all vegetarian items can be clubbed together. Similarly, you can have similar dishes lined up in one section and highlight they are available with and without meat, fish or eggs.
Photos Vs Illustrations
Overloading a food menu design with photos may backfire. Not having any images may also be unwise. The right balance needs to be struck and it often helps to have illustrations or graphical designs instead of having real photos. Real photos don’t leave much to imagination and you need to fuel customers’ anticipations if you wish to entice them.
Typography & Colors
The font, its size, the style and the use of colors will have an omnipresent influence on the food menu design. A completely bland colored food menu may be too dull and an excessively colorful design with large fonts may be too loud. Finding the right combination of various features in a food menu design for a specific brand requires a unique personalized approach.