Key Steps in Illustration: A Menu Card, Pt. 1

This exercise asked to create a logo (square format) and a menu card for a seafood/fish restaurant (high quality, modern chain that can be found throughout Europe).

I looked at general menu design options (e.g. here, here, and here), and in particualar researched some other ideas for menus. Fish restaurants usually show some maritime motif, e.g. fish, a sailing boat, the sea, octopus, etc, with fish the most popular choice.

I then started with taking notes of different ideas in my sketchbook. The obvious choice would, of course, show fish on the menu. I also came up with a mermaid, which is also a sea creature. First I focused on finding an option for the square logo, which would then also be used on the menu and other marketing materials for the restaurant.

Rusalka menu 

After exploring ideas in my sketchbook I started working digitally, and create a digital version based on the sketches. I ended up with quite a nice image. It’s very smooth in generall, and somehow the logo can be created out of the fin. In some ways I think it is not a very interesting idea, but I am exploring it a bit more.

I then continued with some ideas for a one-page menu. I was not too happy with it somehow though. It seemed to boring to me. While I aimed at having a very simple colour scheme, one option also to use grey for a classic, yet modern and high-quality look, I was not convinced that it looked interesting enough for a menu card.

I think I will put this option aside for the moment and see if another idea I had in my sketchbook might be a better option for a logo and menu card.



  • “10 menu design hacks restaurants use to make you order more” by Janie Kliever. URL
  • “Menu Design Templates”. URL
  • 99designs. “Speisekarten zum Anbeißen”. URL

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