I began exploring layouts when I had a high end restaurant client that asked me about "menu engineering". I hadn't heard of this concept specifically regarding restaurant menus, but was aware that when people view art, the eye has a natural path way to explore the visual information usually starting just North-East of center and spiraling outward from there. In Graphic Design, we use solutions such as visual hierarchy to add emphasis or draw attention to the thing that is most important in a graphic. So again, structuring our visual solution to bring the most attention to our main point.
In the image below, we have two words, some geometric shapes, and some patterns that draw our attention too. Which things stand out to you? Did you read the words left to right, maybe the vertical text first? Maybe your focus was drawn first to the object?
What do you see in this piece? Are the objects too close together or too far apart. Things like this matter when creating a layout. For complex ideas, I like to start with a simple composition, then add things from there to communicate more nuanced information. This piece was simply for fun and creativity sake, but with a restaurant menu, we may need to simplify more and avoid too much texture or unnecessary details.
In this menu, I've used similar colors, but muted the images and textures while making menu items in bold font with a bright red to capture the readers attention. The theme of this sushi restaurant is "Kaiju" or giant monsters from films such as Godzilla. This layout is simple and has a clear visual Hierarchy. Let me know in the comments what would make it more readable to you. Does having each item in red make them all have similar weight?
Thank you for reading. If you have questions or suggestions, please comment or send me a message.