Key Steps in Illustration: A Menu Card, Pt. 2

As I didn’t like the mermaid idea too much, I looked at other themes again, and decided to try with the whale idea. I wanted to create a simple whale that can be regonized easily and that could also work as the restaurant name.

I looked into creating the purple whale, and explored some design options in my sketchbook both for the logo as well as for potential layout options for the menu card.

Purple whale ideas

Purple whale menu layout options

Purple whale digital attempts

I created the logo digitally as a vector design, so it can be easily enlarged or made smaller depending on the needs:

I created several options for a one-page menu, as well as a multi-page menu:


Multiple-page-menu – work in progress



I also created a restaurant van mock-up and included the logo and some contact details:

Van visualised


Inspired by the theme of the under water world I created an illustration, which I initially planned to include in the menue as well – either as cover or as the last page. Potentially also as wallpaper for one of the restaurant walls. I enjoyed creating it – as it seemed to be a bit further away from the brief and the graphic design work. I used to think that I liked to be a graphic designer, but I soon realised that it’s not fully for me. I enyoy doing some basic layouts, etc. but I much prefer the “freedom” of illustrating scenes.

Under water world – illustration with aquarells and guoache

Under water world - Illustration - Aquarells and Guoache
Under water world – Illustration – Aquarells and Guoache

To sum up, here is the final result for this exercise, including the logo, menu card and van visualisation. I kept the menu card quite minimalistic and chose the Courier New type because I felt it had a classic yet modern look to it, and it can be found quite often in menu cards of contemporary restaurants.

Final logo, menu and van visualisation







Restaurant Van

Van visualised


Key Learnings:

  • Graphic design is quite different to merely illustrating
  • I enjoy illustration more, even though I do appreciate good graphic design and layouts
  • I found it quite tricky to keep it simple and include all the information for the different meals, etc.
  • It helped me a lot to leave this exercise for a while and go back to it and start fresh again. I realize that this might not be realistic in real life when working for clients because you usually have tighter deadlines than the ones that I can schedule myself for this course. However, I think it might have been a clearer brief in terms of the topic and the idea for the menu

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