exercise: a menu card.

for this exercise i was to produce an illustration for a fish restaurant menu.

I would like to start off my saying that now that I have moved I no longer have an amazing large format scanner. That was equipment provided by my employer. Now I am working from home and I am researching affordable large format scanners to work with. So in the next few exercises, I will have to adjust my working process. All work is now photographed until i can find a scanner. Its not a huge deal, but for me, I really enjoyed using the scanner to get high res images of my work. 



First i started by collecting resources. I looked online at different logos and menus to see what is already out there and to gain inspiration.



I started with some simple sketches in my sketchbook. Trying to just work loosely and brain storm. I was curious about what is sophisticated seafood restaurant was. To me, I would prefer to work towards a trendy new fish  restaurant in Brooklyn that would bring in young people who like to spend money on good food. Either way, i knew it was not going to be a logo for a casual salad bar kind of place to eat. I just so happen to have some sketches of seafood from observation in my sketch book.

You can see them here.

minisketch 20 minisketch 21


Below is my sketch book pages. I messed around with japanese style illustration but mainly just worked loosely.


Below is where i introduced more color into the sketchbook. Mostly watercolor and pen. At this point i was still brainstorming through sketches. DSC_0013


I started to work towards a concept more. What is this was an african fish restaurants. Maybe seafood Mozambique style? I thought about where you can get fish in Angola and if you go to the embarco you can find women selling fish that the men caught in the morning. This is where I got the idea to draw the woman with a basket. She could carry it or it could be balanced on her head to show that she is from africa. DSC_0014

I thought maybe it would be a good idea to edit this a bit and maybe just try to basket and fish. This way its a clear image and would look good large and on a smaller scale. I did this in my sketch book then photographed it and used photoshop to turn it into a menu. DSC_0015

i used a sample image of a clip board and added some paper. I think this style of menu is very contemporary and  great for restaurants updating their menu monthly to suit what is seasonal and local in the area. Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 2.49.44 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 2.51.57 PM 

Using recycled paper gives an earthy and conscious feel to the menu design.

fishmenu Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 2.35.52 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 2.40.38 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 2.40.57 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 2.41.13 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 2.46.47 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 2.48.12 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 2.48.47 PM



In the end this is my final menu design. looks sort of like a screen print. it could even have textural properties if the client wanted. fishmenu2fishmenufood

this is for the client to see how it would also work well on a delivery van. vanlogo


Looking back i think this is a successful menu logo. Its simple, shows clearly that it is a fish restaurant. Is it sophisticated? I am unsure. could there be improvements, yes. I think I could have experimented more with font and colors. I did do some experiment with color on photoshop, however didn’t take all the screen shots for my learning log. The final work reminds me of lino prints or woodcutting prints.




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