What Is a Menu?
A menu is a list that comprises of the food and beverages offered to customers in a restaurant, cafe, or bar. It generally shows the name of the food, the ingredients used to make it, and the price. They may be printed on sheets of special papers, displayed on large posters or even digital screens.
How to Create a Menu in Adobe Illustrator?
A menu is used to show your customers the variety of food that you serve, be it a restaurant, food stall, cafe, or bar. Most, if not all, menus have photos to give them an idea of what their order looks like. To create a menu, you would need a computer program that can help you. In this digital era, we have more than enough options to select our program of choice. One of the most common programs is Adobe Illustrator. Many graphic designers use Illustrator because it's user-friendly and easy-to-learn. It also holds an advantage over another widely-used Adobe program, Photoshop, for its use of vectors compared to Photoshop's pixels. When you have your work printed out, you won't have to worry about any distortion as the vectors keep your image exactly as it is. Just follow the steps below.
1. Type of Menu
The first thing you need to do before you create your menu is deciding what type you want to make. There are five types that you need to take note of: a la carte, beverage static, du jour, and dessert. Most of them are available in nearly all menus. The a la carte usually separates the food in a combination meal. You can separate the meal from the drinks. The beverages show what drinks you have available. Many fast-food chains use static menus, which lists food that is usually offered all year long. Fancy restaurants offer du jour menus which refer to the special dishes of the day. The dessert menu is more specific to certain kinds of restaurants and mostly offers desserts.
2. Keep an Inventory
It's important to stay prepared. So before you start making your menu, you'll need to keep an inventory of what food and ingredients you have available. This at least gives you an understanding of what you're serving your customers.
3. List the Food Choices and Organize Them Accordingly
Using your inventory, make a list of the food your restaurant is offering. As you list them, remember to keep similar food grouped together. This will help you organize your menu better.
4. Make a Rough Draft
When you have your content prepared, you can create some rough drafts. It's best to make at least three to five drafts to help you plan and pick out which of the drafts is to your liking. Remember that the purpose of the rough draft is to help you pick a proper layout. You have the option to use a pencil and paper and have it scanned and imported. Otherwise, you can just have it made directly on Adobe Illustrator.
5. Design Your Menu
When you make your menu, use the rough draft you created earlier as a point of reference. Add the necessary details like the color of the menu and select a font that is appropriate for your restaurant. If you're not satisfied with the fonts that Illustrator already has in its preset then you can always download more fonts online. Lastly, the image you're attaching has to look exactly like the food you're serving. It's not advisable to use stock images as your customers might be disappointed and you could be called out for false advertisement. A safer option for you is to use vector illustrations. It gives them an idea of what the food is but it's not showing the exact food, giving them more room for imagination.