How to Create a Menu in InDesign?

In the food or restaurant industry, the menu is one of the most important promotional tools. It gives a gist to the customers or diners about the dining experience they are about to have. Although one can just simply list the dishes offered on a piece of plain paper, it would not make an effective marketing material. Restauranteurs should pay attention to their menu design to captivate the hearts and stomachs of the diners. A well-formatted menu design will create a favorable first impression on the customer, and ultimately, generate sales.

If you are having a hard time creating a beautifully designed menu, worry not! In this short guide, we will walk you through six simple steps to craft a menu in Adobe Indesign.

1. Launch Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign is an editing software that features multiple tools that will help the users layout a menu for a restaurant, afternoon tea, wedding, fancy dinner, etc. After launching the program, click File > New > Document. Then, set the width to 8.5 inches and the height to 11 inches. Keep the Intent set to Print, and enter the total number of pages your menu will have.

2. Choose a Theme

Designing a visually pleasing menu entails selecting the right theme which will perfectly match the ambiance of the restaurant or the event. Channel your menu's aesthetic and visual appearance to the kind of food you are serving, whether it is Chinese, Mexican, Italian, French, and others. You may also incorporate your menu’s background or design with the ongoing holidays or season of the year.

However, it is not really necessary to stick to just one theme. Statistics show that 24% of restaurateurs update their menu items seasonally, while 31% do it on a monthly basis. The change of menu items comes with the change of menu design.

3. Select the Right Typeface

Now that you have chosen the theme, the next step is to select the most suitable typeface you will use in your design. The right typeface or font will effectively communicate a restaurant’s brand and will help the diners read the menu items easily. For the headings, you can make use of decorative fonts but make sure it is legible. For the menu items and their description, stick with sans serif fonts. These types of fonts are easier to read in printed materials.

4. Enter Desired Details

The key components of a menu are the menu items, descriptions, and prices. It would also greatly help if you list these details before you start laying out your menu design so that you won't miss a single menu item. In writing the descriptions, construct it in a way that it appeals to the appetite of the diners. For restaurants, leaving currency symbols off the menu will most likely generate sales since it makes the customers somehow oblivious of how much they are spending.

5. Categorize

For the customers or diners to easily navigate the list of dishes, categorize your menu into logical groups. You can divide your menu in accordance with the meal courses available such as entree, salad main course, dessert, coffee, and drinks. Moreover, you should separate the dishes you serve during breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

6. Use Images Sparingly

Attaching numerous photos on the menu may do more harm than good—it might make the menu card look cluttered. Keep in mind that menu descriptions are enough to stimulate the diners’ appetite. For this reason, you don’t have to include several photos of your menu items in your design. If you want to add photos of food items, make sure that it is well photographed to make it look delectable.

Read More