Originally posted on justnoami.blogspot 8/12/2013 and wanted post for this Monday Makeover.

Monday Makeover: Restaurant Take Away Menu
Design Wish: Re-design or update menu
Client: Mt. Fuji Hibachi and Sushi Bar
Challenge: Create a brand Identity for the menu

A well-designed menu is a marketing and merchandising tool, and it will help you sell your product. While working in corporate, a client came needing to freshen up their menu. The client wanted to have a look all their own and we had to turn this around in 3 days.

MT Fuji Before menu

The original Mt. Fuji take out menu

As you can see, this menu was awkward in size, had no consistency and a whole lot of content. After several proofs, corrections and graphic changes, here’s what we came up with.

Mt. Fuji take out menu

New MT Fuju menu

Main image and background image was found on shutterstock.com

First, I found a beautiful image from Shutterstock which would be the focal point and color palette for the menu. The background image was one vector image used as a repeating pattern.

The second was using Cochin as the main font for the menu. The original menu had fonts that made the menu hard to read.

The client wanted to keep the contact information on the front. I cleaned up the map and added up to date logos for credit cards. (Yes – it’s important to updated credit card images if they have changed)

Fuji Menu Open 1

17″x11″ flat, front and back full color, no bleed

The client wanted to keep the size of the menu 17″x11″ flat which folded down to a 4 panel brochure style; that way the menus can be added to all take out orders, placed in hotels and business that have rack card holders. Both front and back of paper real estate was used with no bleed, which brought down the cost of production.

My Fuji Lunch Menu

Mt. Fuji lunch menu is now readable

Mt. Fuji had a small budget, to help keep the cost down, I added the lunch menu to two of the panels and enlarged the font and utilized the white space. White space is a good thing, it keeps the menu clean and readable. Because most people have a short amount of time for lunch, the copy was made larger than the rest of the menu for easy readability.

Mt. Fuji Coupons

A panel for on-going specials

Mt. Fuji wanted have the specials visible to their clients. I added the specials opposite the front cover of the menu, like business cards that get flipped, brochures get flipped to see what’s on the opposite side.

Before the coupon offers looked more like coupons in a newspaper, here we kept the coupons clean and reflective of the restaurants identity. All of the copy in your menu should be truthful, well-written and grammatically correct.

Mt. Fuji menu listing

Copy must be accurate – a lot of proof reading

The challenging part of this menu, was making their menu selection fit. With food allergies and food diets today, it is important to list the ingredients in what you serve. I kept the font style the same through the menu and made the description italic and smaller than the product name. Each area of food was sectioned off my a heading in Cochin italic bold in purple – still maintaining the color palette.

Mt. Fuji menu final look

Final Mt. Fuji take out menu

The final product was a beautiful 4 panel to go menu that gave Mt. Fuji it’s own identity. Later Mt. Fuji requested a pull out menu for their sushi bar. Good designs keeps the client coming back.

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