Before digitally attempting to put together the menu I did a small paper mock up, as shown above. This helped me to decide on a square format because I felt that this would give the menu a more linear feeling. I also decided on the order of the print menu with the most simplistic at the top (mono-print) moving to the more complex (intaglio processes) at the bottom. Through this prototype I started to think about the back of the menu and the fact that it would be a perfect space to put examples of these print processes which I have collected here. Something else I thought would be useful on such a product would be a map to rossington street print room. The perfect space for this would be on the back of the front cover of the menu.
I started out experimenting with the words shown above and looked at incorporating some of the punctuation ornamentation I found during my research into menu design. I also made use of the font KG Happy. This is because it looks like a bold type that could be used on a chalk board. The idea of a chalkboard communicates just the right cross over of education and menus so often found in cafes and restaurants.
This idea of the chalkboard made me try out white type on a black background and although I like it the drop shadow on the font looses all definition and the black is possibly too intense.
I then tried out a chalk board texture to elevate the intensity of the black and found it really worked. I then went on to try out different ways of putting together the type in the square space available, but found that fitting the type together to create a square within the square was not possible without compromising the hierarchy of the type.
I tried some different types of ornamentation that I had collected as part of my type journal. During this process I came up with the idea of naming the menu 'a taste of print' because of the menu like design and organisation of the piece.
Finally I settled on this design for the front, where I have increased the tracking a bit to provide a more spacious feel. I used flourishes rather than lines because I found that on the cover this just felt too constrained.
When constructing the print option pages I added a frame to the screen print page to draw attention to it both because it is one of the most widely used hands on print forms but also because it uses a frame.
I also constructed white vector graphics of some of the tools for each of the processes, just to give a hint at the kind of thing the students will be doing.
Rather than gradients or any other method for creating shape in these images I used lines, much like those that would be using when etching or using any intaglio process, to suggest shades of grey.
For the main body text I have used gill sans because I wanted something that would not pull attention away from the subtitle type. I am uncertain about this decision and it is something I will bring up during the interim crit. For the subtitle text I have used Happy KG without the drop shadow and added two different forms of decoration that didn't work too well on the front cover. I made as much variation as i could without going over boards because this variation and mix of different things is what makes chalk board text so distinctive. I am considering changing the cover to some of my own chalk board art but this depends on whether I have the time and if the response at the crit is positive.
This is the back of the menu with the examples of print methods. For their origins please follow the link.