How could a graphic design subscription plan help you?
If you’re looking for the expertise of an experienced graphic designer, but don’t necessarily want to hire in-house or use freelancers, Design Cloud is the perfect choice. We make plans to solve common design workflow issues within any business. From our standard plan through to the PRO plan, you’ll gain access to a simple user dashboard where you can submit as many design requests as you like. Our design scope covers graphic design tasks like menu design, point of sale graphics, social media design and much more. Submit as many design requests as you want through the handy app (or via email!) and you’ll have your queue worked on every business day by a professional graphic designer.
We really believe that clear communication leads to the best design work so our designers are always speedy to respond and, with the PRO plan, you can even work alongside the designer via a slack channel for even smoother collaboration.
Perhaps you run a restaurant or cafe or are about to hold an event where dining will be a major feature. Whatever your reasons for educating yourself about our menu design expertise, you are likely to prize attention to detail. In looking after your business or preparing your event, you are probably thinking about the “little things” – from the venue’s decor to what people will actually be able to eat and drink. You should thus be similarly discerning with how your menus look.
Our menu design services are highly bespoke, giving you the final say on everything from the menu’s colours and styling to its format; we design menus in various sizes and folds. If you would also like your menu to display plentiful imagery of what’s on offer, we can arrange that, too.
What is the menu design service?
Say goodbye to that menu maker or menu template! You need a thoughtfully-designed menu, specific to your business and your brand’s visual identity. Our expert team know exactly how to keep your audience engaged with effective graphics, and our menu design service is no exception. Every hospitality business deserves a menu that beautifully boasts their brand, and that’s exactly what our designers can create for you.
We aren’t a branding agency, so you’ll need an idea of how you want your brand to look visually before we get started with your menu. We’ll need this information when you put in your design request, along with the menu items that need to be featured in the visual content we create for you. Keeping your visual identity consistent with our careful selection of colours, fonts and your layout, you’ll have an impressive menu from scratch in no time at all. We’ll choose a style that’s right for you and your type of business, whether you’re looking to inform customers about products, services, items, or food in your restaurant. If you’d like a nosey at our previous designs or you need some inspiration, feel free to check out our portfolio.
How does it work?
Whenever you’re ready to get started, the first step is to log in and submit a request through our portal or by email, if you’d prefer. Submitting a request requires minimal effort – it couldn’t be easier! Our team will look at your request, and they may ask some further questions about your requirements if necessary. You then leave it with us and we get to work – this is where the magic happens! Once we’re done, we’ll send it back to you for approval. If you’d like us to make any changes, just submit another request and we’ll make the amendments. You have full control, so we’re always happy to make edits where necessary.
The way we operate here at Design Cloud is unique, but simple and scalable. This approach makes us an ideal resource for a range of businesses, from SMEs to marketing agencies and different teams in between. We aren’t a traditional design agency, and we certainly aren’t a freelancer marketplace. We’re all about delivering high-quality graphics efficiently, and providing all the perks of hiring an in-house team. That said, we’re still a lot cheaper than hiring an in-house team, with our packages starting from £549 a month. These prices are a flat, fixed fee. There are no hidden charges or additional costs, just unlimited graphics at a set price every month.
What our menu design work can do for your eatery
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to what kind of design an eatery’s menu should have. This is because the dos and don’ts of menu design differ depending on the business for which the menu is destined. This is something our design agency has known for a while.
We know, for example, that a sparse, back-to-basics paper price list can enhance the down-to-earth charm of a small outlet, while a larger-sized menu would better suit a high-end restaurant with lots of gourmet appetisers it wants to list on a menu without it looking, erm, stuffed.
Of course, it’s only your customers that should feel stuffed – and, if your restaurant focuses on fine dining, we can give your menu the space it needs to tell your guests what to expect – in terms of taste, ingredients and nutritional value – from anything they choose on your menu.
Why should you invest in a well-designed menu?
Whether you want to create a menu for a culinary business or an event, you should naturally first prioritise preparing great food and drink. However, you can’t expect many people to know what food and drink are available if you don’t inform them in an engrossing way.
That’s the job your menu can take up – and, when we design it to look good and be easy to read, you can more easily attract people into looking at it. This applies whether the menu in question will be displayed in print or on your website.
All in all, a sumptuously designed menu can convey a strong air of professionalism that casts your eatery or event in the best possible light. We can also ensure that all of the available food and drink is detailed succinctly and clearly on that menu, helping diners to choose their selections more quickly.
How do you find relevant images for my menu?
We have licenses that give us access to a range of stock images that are used in our design projects. If there are any specific images you’d like us to use though, just send these across to your assigned designer. As a graphics service, please remember that we do not offer illustrations – only images, such as your business logo, will be included in menu designs.
When will I receive my menu design?
Most designs can be completed within 24 hours of receiving your brief. However, for more complex designs, please allow extra time for these to be completed. Your assigned graphic designer will always be transparent regarding the stage they’re at and how long the work will take. As we don’t outsource our work, there’s no need to worry about a lack of communication to slow the process down – you can directly contact your designer at any time to see where they’re up to, using our online portal.
In what format will my menu be sent to me?
You can choose from a selection of formats that are convenient for you, including image formats or as a PDF. You can talk to your assigned designer either when you submit your request, or further on in the process.
Can you also print my menus?
We can only provide the design as we don’t offer a printing service – you will need to arrange this separately. We can send over your menu design in a range of sizes and formats so they are ready to be printed.
Will I be able to talk to my designer about the look I want?
At Design Cloud, we rely on clear communication to deliver our services to the highest standard. That means our designers are on hand to chat and answer any questions you may have. All you need to do is sign in to our online portal to contact them.
How do I know where my designer is based?
Every one of our team members is based in the UK, with our HQ situated in Manchester. So, if language barriers or timezones have caused issues for you in the past, you don’t have to worry about that when working with Design Cloud. We hire our team directly, ensuring they all have at least three years of commercial experience, and we never outsource our work. After all, for the best graphic design, you need the best graphic designers.
How do I make a good menu?
Have you ever thought about the way that food is presented to you on a menu? Every decision that is made can determine where you will eat and what you will choose. Therefore, our menu designers have put together a few tips on how to make a good menu.
Consider placement carefully
The location of every food item on your menu can impact the sales, and so placement should be considered carefully. The prime spot for any menu template is the top third of the menu, in the centre.
Use images with care
Some people love one large image that shows the vibe of the restaurant, whereas others might use photos to highlight a limited few dishes on the menu.
Embrace bold typography
Go bold with your typography to help sell your items and still maintain readability. If you don’t want to include images, bold and engaging typography can be the main design element in your menu.
This may sound simple but don’t be afraid to add colour. Either match the colours to your branding or consider the psychology of colour. You can find out more about this below.
Include organisational boxes and lines
These design elements should be used to show customers logical sections that organise the food into bite-sized chunks. This tip can ensure that even the most extensive of menus is easy to understand, quick to read, and grouped together.
What are the types of menus?
There are many different types of menu designs and menu templates available for businesses. So that we don’t get confused with lots of jargon and digital aspects of web design like a ‘dropdown menu’, we will focus here on the different types of restaurant menu design, cocktail menu design, burger menu design, food menu design, and so forth, for use throughout the hospitality industry.
The various basic menu designs available for hospitality businesses can be roughly split into three main categories: food, drink, and digital.
A la carte menu
A la carte is a French phrase that translates to ‘by the card’ or ‘according to the menu’. An ‘a la carte menu’ lists each item of a meal separately, along with the corresponding prices, allowing customers greater flexibility in what they choose to eat.
For example, looking at a chicken dish, the customer can choose which chicken option they want, what carbohydrate they would like to pair it with, alongside any vegetables or sauce to complete the dish.
A la carte menus are a restaurant menu design typically used for many 5-star menus, as the extensive list of options means that prices are usually a bit higher. However, the wide list of choices allows customers to combine individual items in any way they like.
Du jour menu
Another French phrase, du jour means ‘of the day’. Thus, a ‘du jour menu’ is changed day by day depending on the fresh ingredients bought and what the chef has prepared.
You might be most familiar with du jour menus as a café menu design for local eateries that use seasonal ingredients, perhaps using a menu board design. This is seen in dishes like ‘soup of the day’ and allows eateries more flexibility in what they offer.
A cycle menu design can be either a full menu or a particular section that has options that are repeated over a specific period of time. For example, many classic pubs have fish and chips on a Friday, a burger menu design, and perhaps a curry night too.
They can be used in conjunction with a larger menu, with the cycle menu card design displaying the daily special or special offer. It might also be used as a happy hour or lunch menu too, taking the pressure off chefs of smaller operations at certain times of the day.
The static menu is the most widely used restaurant menu design. This menu option is just as it sounds – a consistent menu that provides a wide range of options, and that rarely changes. It is often grouped into sections such as starters, burgers, salads, desserts, and so on.
The majority of restaurants and bars operate a static menu as they typically provide the best customer experience and are easy to navigate. They can also be used in conjunction with cycle and du jour menus, as well as provide an a la carte section when desired.
Fixed or set menu
A fixed menu, otherwise known as a set menu, has a limited array of options for a set price. You might use a fixed menu for upmarket cafes, local bistros, or for two-to-three course special offers.
There are two common types of set menus: table d’hote and prix fixe. The subtle difference is that a table d’hote menu allows customers the choice between a few options for each course, whereas a prix fixe has little to no variability, except in the case of dietary restrictions.
Of course, if the desserts are not already listed on the main menu, every café or restaurant has to have a dessert menu! Dessert menus are typically given to the customer after the meal, set out using a la carte, static, du jour, or cycle menu templates.
What should be on a menu?
Keep your brand front and centre by making sure to include your name or logo on the front of the menu and at the top of each page. You might also incorporate other design elements to incorporate your branding, such as a consistent font and colour scheme for a true graphic design food menu.
Navigable organised sections
Clearly organise your menu into logical sections that can be easy to navigate for your customers. This includes headings such as starters, mains, desserts, and so on. By doing so, the customer will spend less time on the menu and more time enjoying the food!
If it is consistent with your brand then you might like to include the coolest photos of your menu items. Cocktail and food photos can show the customer exactly what they can expect when ordering that particular dish or drink.
However, it is essential to make sure that these photos make the list of choices look tempting and inviting for your graphic design food menu, not sloppy and in bad lighting! You should also make sure that the photos are representative of how the dishes are served every day, which means not using stock photos!
The name of the dish
In the next step of your menu design, you should list the names of the dishes. The names should be self-explanatory as to what the dish is. However, at our menu design company, we have to admit we love a bit of humour – menu descriptions don’t have to be boring! Perhaps you have a signature burger on your burger menu design that can add a bit of extra branding.
Below the name of the dish, you should also include the ingredients of the dish. Our UK-based menu designers recommend putting the most expensive and important main ingredients first, as well as any that could cause an allergic reaction. This allows guests to read as little as possible in order to choose what they want to order.
Within every menu description should be a phrase which is called the “sell copy”. This bit’s primary purpose is to sell the dish. On your menu design, include descriptors like flaky pastry, golden batter, gooey fudge cake, and so on.
And finally, don’t forget to include the price. Of course, some 5-star menus don’t include the price as their clientele might be of a different demographic. However, one way you can lessen the impact of the price tag is to not include a pound sign at the front of the amount. So, if an item costs £12.95, list it as 12.95.
Drink Menu Types
Beverage menus might also be separate from a restaurant food menu design and can be offered in establishments that don’t serve food at all such as bars, pubs, and nightclubs. Beverage menus set out the full selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and can be a static, du jour, or cycle menu.
Similarly, a coffee shop or café might only display a coffee menu as opposed to an extensive beverage menu, sometimes as a menu board design.
Some establishments might also opt for a separate cocktail menu design, listing the base liqueurs, glassware, and flavours of each crafted drink.
Cocktail menus can have distinctive design elements and compelling content, such as photos, and a completely different theme, design, and colour aesthetic to the rest of the menus available – creativity of menus when it comes to cocktails is boundless. For example, if your specialist liqueur is rum, a Tiki Bar inspired theme could be fantastic.
Some establishments might also provide a wine list. For restaurants with a 5-star menu, this might be quite extensive. For smaller bars, this might be combined with other menu design ideas such as the beverage or cocktail menu.
What colour makes people hungry? The psychology behind menu design
Did you know that the colour of your logo, branding, and menu design can actually make customers hungry? Whether it is a colour box, background colour, colour saturation, or the artwork with content, the shade that you or the menu design company select can influence eating habits.
So, in terms of colour, let’s look at which colours make people hungry, taking a deep dive into the psychology behind menu design.
Psychological studies have proven that warm colours like red, yellow, and orange have the ability to increase appetite and make people feel hungry, as well as boost physiological processes like blood pressure and heart rate. Red is also associated with emotion, passion, and high stimulation, with its brightness grabbing the attention of the customer. Red is therefore one of our favourite colours to use for food marketing at our graphic design agency.
In addition to increasing appetite, yellow is also proven to increase serotonin secretion, exuding happiness and energy whilst demanding attention. This can increase the temptations of people to overindulge in food rather than worrying about their eating habits, which is why yellow is often used for our fast food designs. Check out our unlimited graphic design for a monthly fee here.
Conversely, a blue colour can actually suppress the appetite, probably because not many natural foods are blue. In fact, many weight loss programs encourage people to use blue plates in order to help curb their appetite. Instead, blue exudes calmness and reliability, and so is more popular for corporate and medical businesses who enlist the help of our flat-rate graphic design services.
Purple is, in fact, the least used colour in brand marketing and logos, as any design agency will tell you. There are very few food-related businesses that use the colour purple, but the two most recognisable ones are all chocolate bars: Milka, Cadbury, and Wonka. However, it does have a historical connection to royalty and regality.
Green is most commonly used for marketing foods as organic, sustainable, and healthy in our unlimited graphic design work. This is because it is often associated with natural foods such as vegetables and healthy greens. Much like blue, green exudes a feeling of relaxation, but is much more connected to food and so is suitable for menu design.
Brown is very earthy and wholesome but is not the most vibrant colour scheme! Thus, our graphic design agency might only recommend brown when advertising chocolate or coffee, which can ground their rich appeal.
Sadly, monochromes don’t affect our psyche in a way that makes us want to eat. However, our best unlimited graphic design service knows it can be a sleek aesthetic and can save you a bit of money in the printing process. Therefore, our Manchester-based menu designers might recommend monochrome for neutrality and simplicity.
Digital Menu Types
In the digital age, we couldn’t not mention digital menus, such as menu apps. Menu apps require download for use, and so require the business to build a downloadable and usable standalone app from the ground up.
The best example of this might be those used by large chain restaurants and pubs, such as Wetherspoons, or delivery apps like Just Eat, Deliveroo, and Uber Eats. However, you might find a mobile website menu design is less time consuming.
If you don’t want to create an app, then you might consider a website menu design as a page on your website. This might simply list every menu option and your list of choices, or it might allow customers to order online as a takeaway menu design.
To make it functional for ordering online, an online menu might have a range of web features such as descriptive menus, an editable dropdown menu, and carefully organised sections with a dropdown menu, along with the coolest photos of your drinks and food photos, and any other relevant content in a custom style to seamlessly blend with your website.
QR code menu
QR-code-based menus are an elegant alternative to an app and have become really popular during this coronavirus pandemic. This is because, instead of a customer needing to touch the menu and menu container, increasing the risk of spreading germs, they can simply scan a QR code and read the menu from their phone.
This might automate a download of a PDF of your restaurant food menu design onto the smartphone of the customer or direct them to your website menu design as mentioned above.
Get unique menu design today
If you’re in need of a menu where informative meets effective, we’d love to hear from you and help you create a menu that you’re going to love, just as much as your customers do. Get in touch with us today to book a demo – this is a great way to try it out for yourself, with no obligations.