The Art of the Menu! All about Menu Design

Posted by Thomas Martin Bourke on

The Art of the Menu!
Here in this blog post we will go through some menu design tips for your restaurant, cafe, takeaway or gastropub. is efficient in producing eye catching designs. We can produce and print your menus in house. If you just need a design service we can provide this separately or if you just need your menus printed we can provide high quality print services at affordable prices.
Lets get started!
Size & Layout
First things first, what size do you want your menu to be and what layout style would you like. The answer to this question may be dictated by the amount of items you want on your menu.
For a dine in restaurant/cafe/gastropub you may choose a single A4/A3 page printed on both sides. The benefit here lies with having one menu for your business which is easier for staff and you can showcase your entire offering to all your customers with just one menu.
For menus with more items a multipage website may be the way to go with a wide choice of cover options available.
Takeaway businesses may wish to offer their menu on folded gloss paper. These menus can be printed in bulk for a reasonable price and left on the counter or distributed in the local area. 
Colours & Fonts
You want your menu to be eye catching and easy to read with each dish jumping off the page! Your colour scheme should reflect the them of your cooking style, interior and branding. Consistent designs will create an excellent reputation. 
The use of fonts should help to navigate the diner around your website. Using different fonts for headings, sides and drinks will make your menu stand out and easier to read.
Images & Clipart
It's not necessary to include images or clipart in your menu designs, however, if you are doing so please ensure that the images are high quality images. A low resolution image will not print well and will have a disastrous affect on your reputation and professional image. Any clipart used should be sourced from reputable stock and ideally in vector format. 
Paper Quality
When all is said and done you need high quality paper stock to print your menus. For 1 page menus a high quality heavy weight stock should be used. This will add to durability and your customers will appreciate the feel of the menus.
If you've a multipage menu design a lighter paper stock can be used and enclosed in a cover option. Many cover options are available that can be personalised to your menu style.
For folded menus a gloss paper stock will make your menu vibrant and stand out to your customers!
D.I.Y. - Design It Yourself!!
There are many easy to use softwares available that will allow you to design your menu by yourself. If you're going for this option there are some pitfalls to be aware of that will ensure your final menu turns out just as you imagined it!
  • Bleed Area: What is it? The bleed is the area that extends beyond the size of your menu. The background colour or pattern of your menu should be extended into this area to ensure that when your menus are printed no white edges appear! Your bleed area should be at least 3mm added to each side of your menu, but it's a good idea to check with your printer first.
  • Quiet Area: You should try to avoid adding any text or images that are required on your menu within 5mm of the borders. This will ensure that nothing gets left out when printing.
  • File Type & Resolution: Your final print file should be in .pdf format. Also ensure that the resolution is greater than 300dpi, anything less than this will result in a poor quality print.
  • CMYK: When you start designing, confirm that you are designing in CMYK. CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black) this is the colour model used for printers. Computer screens use the RGB (red, green and blue) colour model. If you design your print files in RGB they will print differently and you will notice different shades. 


We will go through more design tips in another blog post! In the meantime is available to answer any questions you may have!

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