Friday Favorites: Menu Design
For today's Friday Favorite, we're gushing over menu designs, done by some of our favorite designers! From Portland, Maine to Singapore, these menus all reflect the values and personal aesthetic of each restaurant. We love menus because they encompass every aspect of a brand. Whether it be signage, postcards, or a drink menu – all of the design elements can truly create an unforgettable dining experience.
Central Provisions | Portland, Maine
Top on our list is the Central Provisions menu by the one and only “Might & Main.” This menu may be the reason we were even inspired to create this blog post! As you know, Lucy is from Portland, Maine, so Central Provisions is a family favorite. As for the menu, we absolutely love the bold typography, and the classic elements of their overall branding. As Might & Main perfectly describes, “the aesthetic pays tribute to classic Portland in the heyday of the industrial 1800s, with a contemporary shine that ties everything together in the here and now. Our aim with initial concepts and design was to bridge the rustic, worn brick and deeply grooved wooden beams with bold, clean typography.”
Some clients may not know, but so much market research, creative planning, and time goes into creating a design. Central Provisions is a direct result of the beauty of a well-thought out brand. Inspired by apothecary labels and vintage railroad signs and tickets, this menu transports you to a different time. Plus, the food is mighty delicious!
The Mermaid Inn + Oyster Bar | New York, New York
If you’ve never heard of Louise Fili, stop everything you’re doing and look her up. She’s one of our favorite designers, so it’s no surprise The Mermaid Inn menu landed on this list. From the check coming out in a darling sardines tin to the matchsticks that are given to the patrons, there’s so much to love about the branding of this restaurant. The Mermaid Inn is described as “a charming restaurant in the style of a seafood shack that one might stumble onto while walking along the beach—except that it happens to be located in the East Village.”
At Coast to Coast Studio, we especially love the delicate, hand-written typography on the menu and the simplicity of the single-sided design. We can’t wait to visit their oyster bar to try it for ourselves! We want to say sorry in advance for stealing a menu to hang in our studio.
Storys Parlor | Toronto, Canada
This menu is a match made in heaven for its 170-year old building counterpart. Storys Parlor is a perfect example of keeping a timeless, historical aesthetic, but also keeping up with the modern times. We’ve had so many clients who are afraid to let go of their early logo, because they want to keep the classic look. Take one look at this menu, and you’ll see the endless possibilities of updating a brand, while maintaining the wonderful history.
Biography Design did a fantastic job pairing modern typography with vintage imagery. While there are unlimited elements to love about this branding, the reason it’s on this list is because of the drink menu. As you can see, each drink has it’s own rendition of the primary font. This gives the typography so much personality and spunk, it’s a graphic designer’s dream. Watch out Toronto, we’re comin’ for ya!
The Pelican | Singapore
Next on our list of our five favorite menu designs, is The Pelican Bar + Grill, done by Singapore-based designers, Foreign Policy. You just have to glance at this menu design to understand why we love it so much, but we’ll explain anyways.
Foreign Policy describes the restaurant as, “a seafood dining institute inspired by the comfort and celebratory spirit of seafarers returning to land after a long voyage. Inspired by the pelican, a bird often seen on coastal regions, the restaurant brings to mind the anticipation visiting a brief haven where the comforts of good food and great company reside.” You definitely get in the festive spirit, while looking over the menu because of the funky, vintage illustrations, paired with a happy, sans-serif font, and the wonderful pops of red. The Pelican also becomes a groovy bar when the sun goes down, and the menu is so transitional between day and night. From the business cards to the signage, this restaurant has an overall captivating brand.
Last, but certainly not least, on our list is The Palomar Restaurant, located in London’s Soho district. This restaurant’s branding was done by Here Design and there overall goal was to create a romantic and nostalgic aesthetic – and boy did they achieve it. Rumor has it the menu design was actually an extension of the coveted interior. Another example of how different designers can work together to create something truly unforgettable!
Let’s start with the color palette. Who would’ve thought that these colors would work so perfectly together? Because this design is very 1920’s-inspired, the go-to palette is usually a classic black and gold/silver, paired with a subtle cream. We love what Here did to modernize The Palomar Restaurant, while maintaining the class glamour influences. We also can’t get enough of the perfect contrast between the hand-drawn script with the boxy san-serif. From the coasters to the frameable postcards, we’d say this restaurant is the ultimate example of elevating a restaurant, by incorporating a complete branding package that reflects the origins.
Are we missing any?
Here at Coast to Coast Studio, we are always looking for new menus to inspire us!