Recently I was approached by three different restaurants to redesign their menus. The first was for Arbor at the Green Exchange in Logan Square. They wanted their morning menu refreshed and also some concepts for a poster for their “Beer & a Bite” event on Thursday nights. If you haven’t been to Arbor you must check it out. They were voted Time Out’s “Most loved restaurant in Chicago 2016”. Read ‘The Arbor Mission’ statement on the front of the menu below to see why. They open for breakfast and lunch on weekdays and dinner on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The don’t have a menu for the evening as the selections are ever changing depending on what is seasonal and available so you choose between a three, five or seven course tasting menu. The dishes come out paired with suitable wines. I’ve been there several times and the food is so fresh, healthy and creative.
I love the A shape built into their bar woodwork so based my design of that. Geometric and Linear design is very ‘on-trend’ in Design. The chef Leonard Hollander wanted a clean and modern fell so I aimed for this as well as organized and easy to navigate.
Leonard from Arbor consulted for ‘Pops for Champagne‘ on their new food menu and kindly referred me to design this and to redesign their 16 page Champagne and Drinks menu. They have been in business for over 30 years and have a fabulous building in the River North entertainment district. Their previous menu designs had very large text as was not that sophisticated so I endeavored to amp up the glamorous feel associated with Champagne in my design. I used some Art Deco elements and a beautiful script font to give a luxurious feel paired with a clear modern font to bring the menus up to date. There were some dodgy images in the Champagne menu like a dark cork picture which looked very 80’s so I created a line illustration of this to replace that and also redrew their map from scratch in illustrator as the one they had was very poor quality (low res and grainy.)
Well I guess “good things come in three’s” as shortly after I designed the ‘Pops for Champagne’ menus I was dining at ‘Autre Monde Cafe and Spirits’ in Berwyn and got talking to the Owner and Director of Marketing Communications Christine Tully Aranza about their menu design. She wanted a refresh as well as new business cards and some promotional pieces such as mailing list sign up cards and awareness postcards to be given out with the check. They had a number of different menus which all needed work, a Brunch, Dinner, Dessert and Rosé list as well as a 16 page drinks menu.
Christine was very good at letting me know what she wanted so the look came together pretty quickly, she even gave me a sample of the wallpaper used as an accent wall in the restaurant which I scanned in and turned into a pattern for the business cards and mailing list sign up card. They also have a excellent library of stunning photography so the postcard came together very nicely too. I worked on getting the menus easier to navigate, adding new fonts and new graphics. The serve amazing Mediterranean inspired dishes in a cozy, ambient atmosphere with beautiful lanterns and a fun and lively patio out the back (with a colorful and energetic mural shown on the postcard below.)
As I’m talking about menu design here I am adding in one I did a few years ago while freelancing for Tukaiz. One of their clients is Levy Restaurants and they catered the Grammy Awards in 2013. All of the designers worked on concepts for the menu. I went for a dark, glitzy, opulent feel and mine was the chosen concept which was pretty exciting as it was to be used for such a high profile event. A few pages from the menu are shown below.
I hope you enjoyed looking though my menu designs. Please contact me if you need a menu designed for your business!