Great Graphic Design - Menus


This page shows several examples of restaurant menu design and details how real graphic designers achieve great results. Their best practices are highlighted, including font sizes used, leading, color scheme, photo direction, layout grid, etc.

Menu Design

This example is used to show how the designers of Applebee's restaurant menu used consistent branding elements to achieve a strong final menu design.

I've also detailed the type sizes used and the legal lines that food inspectors look for during restaurant inspections.


U.S. Food and Drug Administration - Consumer Advisory

As a responsible restaurant owner and/or menu designer, you have to warn customers that they could get sick if they eat some types of undercooked or raw food and meat.

Here's the official U.S. FDA guidelines:

3-603.11 Consumption of Animal Foods that are Raw, Undercooked, or Not Otherwise Processed to Eliminate Pathogens.

(A) Except as specified in ¶ 3-401.11(C) and Subparagraph 3-401.11(D)(4) and under ¶ 3-801.11(C), if an animal food such as beef, eggs, fish, lamb, milk, pork, poultry, or shellfish is served or sold raw, undercooked, or without otherwise being processed to eliminate pathogens, either in ready-to-eat form or as an ingredient in another ready-to-eat food, the permit holder shall inform consumers of the significantly increased risk of consuming such foods by way of a disclosure and reminder, as specified in (B) and (C) of this section using brochures, deli case or menu advisories, label statements, table tents, placards, or other effective written means.

(B) Disclosure shall include:

  1. A description of the animal-derived foods, such as "oysters on the half shell (raw oysters)," "raw-egg Caesar salad," and "hamburgers (can be cooked to order)"; Pf or
  2. Identification of the animal-derived foods by asterisking them to a footnote that states that the items are served raw or undercooked, or contain (or may contain) raw or undercooked ingredients.

(C) Reminder shall include asterisking the animal-derived foods requiring disclosure to a footnote that states:

  1. Regarding the safety of these items, written information is available upon request;
  2. Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness; or
  3. Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness, especially if you have certain medical conditions.


Happy designing! Good luck