Lunch through the eyes of a designer

This isn’t really Amy – but that’s pretty close to her reaction!


On a recent vacation, I went out to lunch and after being seated, was handed a menu by the waitress. I groaned internally as I looked it over. It could have been designed by my niece… who is six-years-old. It’s then that all thought of “what should I eat?” went out the door and I started redesigning the menu in my head. Why are there five different fonts? Why is that word spelled wrong? The description for a seafood platter just said, “Try it!”

Um, no. I’m not that brave.

The text is everywhere with no clear direction leading the eye as to what to read next. Did you know that the average time spent reviewing a menu is 109 seconds? I spent three times that just trying to understand what I was looking at.


Through a designer’s eye, we run into this all the time. We always find ourselves critiquing the visual elements we come in contact with.

Does the owner know they can convey confidence, loyalty and trust in their product just by investing in professional-looking collateral? There are so many consumer touchpoints that customers interact with, and one of the largest, in this particular case, is the menu.

As a non-designer, you’re faced with similar decisions whether you realize it or not. You picked up that bottle of craft beer because the label had an intriguing design, then you read it to see if it sounded good. If another bottle of beer had a white label with black text that just read “craft beer,” you probably wouldn’t give it a second look.

Good design impacts everything and my job is to make it seem effortless on your part. Need a new logo? Brochure? Signage for an event? Stop asking the kid next door for a favor and look to a professional who can help you make the impact you want. Take a look at these 11 untold secrets of menu design and then give us a call.

I promise next time you go out to lunch you’ll feel better about ordering that seafood platter because the menu was thoughtfully designed and had appropriately detailed descriptions. If not, just stick with the burger!


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