Skip to main content

art & design

InDesign Typesetting: Design a Restaurant Menu

Lesson 5 of 9

Content Planning

Michael Stinson

InDesign Typesetting: Design a Restaurant Menu

Michael Stinson

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

5. Content Planning

Lesson Info

Content Planning

Okay, everyone let's take a look at the creative brief that we have for this menu project we have and you have access to this online and we want to look over the overview just a little bit here about the restaurant it's it's, a french restaurant over jean means eggplant in french. So it's french and this assignment we want to use in design, we have a pre um uh uh uh, word file from the chef that has the menu in it that we're going to use for the project says here one color and ah, we want a pretty company in for today. So what I want to do is go to the content and start talking about assessing the material that we have from the chef. So I'm gonna go down here to my desktop and look through the the content file here and what I want to start looking at us, you know what continent content in my dealing with here? And uh so with this dinner menu for over jean, I'm looking at what were I'm going to start counting the areas that we're using for this menu. So the start of the top I have, um, ...

the bar menu here looks like so that's one section, so I'm gonna count these subheds, so I have one, two, three, four, five, six and kind of seven altogether here, let's say, um with the hours and a couple other pieces of information. So what I want to start doing is allocating, you know? Ah, grid that's gonna work for all this content. I also want to start to look at, you know what? He put on the menu first and the higher priced items here. Okay. And just start to notice. Pricing on everything like shrimp cocktail is emphasized here, right? And you have appetizers here and then your main entrees, right? This is the largest piece of information or trunk of information. And I played for two, which is, is kind of expensive as well. So it may need its own area on the menu. Let's, say, and then the cheeses. So some of these air emphasized even the chef is if size. So we also want to allocate what's going to be top of menu. And, you know, so I decide what's going to be more important. So when I start sketching this out, I have the number seven in my head. So it's not a grid that's going to be, um, straightforward, right? So when I come over here and just start, you know, trying to work this out on paper, um just to start with a menu and it looks on the brief here we're doing eleven by seventeen size ok so it's rather large ok so when I start drawing my grid I want to start to notice how many sections I have one two, three, four and where I'm ending up so I just want to start to plan this out like here's six right what happens if I do this I have six and I need seven so this gives me one two three four five six seven so I have this kind of format here then if I really want to keep sketching and planning you know I may want to try toe toe layout the headline as well so if I have this format you know maybe I'm going to end up like this depending on so here's one two three, four five, six it's seven so when I'm playing this out I'm looking at the continent's catching at the same time so I mean at a section on top that's going to be it's a dinner menu for the headline and then I'm going to go into maybe this first thing that that thea the diner is going to see which means it must be this bar menu here and then this is a big main section here and this is a big meet sexual so this section might be entrees and this one might be you know, the appetizers this one here we can use for plates for two and then the bottom information down here below all that stuff. So down here, when we get to the cheeses in the restaurant hours restaurant hours is really at the end of the menu. That's the information you want toe probably push towards the end, and then the disclaimer down here as well, eating raw, uncooked fish, blah, blah, blah. So all that stuff can going to go in this section. So maybe over here we put ours in the last section, and at the at the bottom of that last area we put the cheeses, and then the disclaimer in there so it's kind of like my strategy let's say for now, because I have a nice flow is going back and forth in giving the reader, um, areas to work within the menu, you always want to try to end the eye back within itself on a page. So with that this is really what I'm goingto work from his faras a strategy to lay this content out for this, for this menu is this kind of I've got a three column it's, really? Ah, you know, fundamental rule of thirds kind of sketch that I'm working on, ok? And I'm just breaking up. The columns and having them offset themselves and extreme a little bit more about that when I put the continent so I'm going to go to my indesign file and actually try to produce just to show you what I've done here I've got a three column good so it's a standard rule of thirds fundamental rule everybody knows, right? As far as designers, that is, and so I'm just gonna have numbered my sections like from the content and I just wanted try toe reproduce this so that's, what I'm going to do with this content when I go to my file here, so I want to open up the template that the branding firm already kind of set up with the menu my job is to to lay out the content of the menu, so I want to work within their parameters. So my working file that I have is here, okay? It's in layers so I have a content I have the content and the template so here's the template, if I turned my guides on you could see I don't have any any greater anything, it is pretty raw, ok, so what I want to do is the very first thing on there is try to reproduce the grid that I designed here and lay this out, so I'm going to start with margins and columns and I have three columns and then from there the next thing I want is either baseline grid or just a horizontal line cred. Either way I tend to just use my baseline grid is always a good rule of thumb because um it keeps the rhythm of your type in alignment with each other ok the whole thing about using baseline creates is to keep its like music I always teach it as a way of music right musical notes stansell along a staff right and it pertains to a beat a rhythm right so that's how you want to set up the rhythm on a page for time setting ok, so this a normal in design default is twelve point so if I go under here in the preferences under grids I believe might set it six so whatever your baseline grid is, everybody works differently with baseline grid you want to make sure it has a common denominator of your leading and since points it pike is living the three six, nine, twelve numerical range I always try to stick to that unless I change it up to like divisible by five fifteen, twenty, twenty five letting k so I always try to stick to what's conducive of the environment which is three for points and pikus so I have mine it's six which should work out fine the reason you do that guys and so you can have alternated alignment on the page the only way to achieve that kind of harmony in with the type in the rhythm of the leading is to have a common denominator in the leading ok so if I have a letting of twelve state type is nine over twelve typical body copy situation the twelve number the leading number whatever type you put with that should have a common nightmare three so if I put larger copy next to the nine by twelve let's say fourteen over fifteen the twelve in the fifteen will live together because they're comin on miers three ever understand that yeah so it's just some simple math okay, so you want to have that kind of mathematics numerical rhythm there for the type so for now I'm going to use this this grid and I know I'm going to be using kind of ah really third like I sketched out so I may want top of that just lay out three rows for what I'm doing here just so I can see it right? So I'm a put those down and then lock this down it's already locked so there's my grid that I'm working from ok and as I'm going through this you know now that we've kind of looked at the the text and uh assessed what we have I want to look at another thing here and that's redundancy I'm noticing as I go through this menu that my prices all have sense on them but they're all zeroed out so I don't really need those so I may just use the whole numbers for the prices because there's no reason to have two zeros on there that's one thing and let's just say for now the chef okay that decision okay I want to notice where my where my dishes are the information from my dishes are and then description of them okay so that information might be separated um I'm also noticing about the emphasis of some of these areas as well there might be some room done to see down in tears well but it doesn't look like it for the timeline so we'll leave I mean for the restaurant hours so we'll kind of leave that for now and then of course the additional information okay, so from here you know I can copy this content or you khun imported as well another way too do this is to um what I tried it uh the way I try to work with copy fitting and content is too when you draw your text box to import content you put your text box on the margin and you you don't worry about it okay so for now though I'm going to use tabs and tables that's the reason we have this class so in order to break up this information in these areas that we have we need we have nine here but we're only using seven ok I'm going to create a simple table and you go to insert table and I could just start with the default here the body rows and columns to start with and this is what it'll look like ok we just turned some of these guides off maybe so we can see everything so this table is inside this text box okay and it operates just like any other piece of content um if I put the cursor behind it I can hit return and start typing and the box will um if I do a solid return after that you know it'll flow with everything else so if I change the leading and you know I do this just to show you it flows with everything else if you move the text box with the table in at the table will stick out ok but now you can move you could move the uh the table itself anyway you want just like this right when I try to do with tables is to set up um the parameters first I will turn off all the the outlines which is up here sol zero everything out and then tio access the cells themselves let me turn off this based on register you see syria access the cells and tables I'm going to hit command option b so I get cell options here and this is your inset here so for now I just want to zero those out just so I'm sending from a zero standpoint okay, so that's how I'm going to start my table when I get my content in there? Okay, but for now let's just let's just get in here and see where our contents going to go. So when I when I come back to this this is how I'm going to build it when I'm done laying it out ok, so for now let's just bring in some content and so if I had community I can go to my content and, you know, bring in a word doc if I want and just hit it here and it should should come in just like this another reason to import isthe instead of copying pacing the content in is to uh a lot of times you can go into preferences here and, uh I believe it's somewhere in here maybe it is with type enabling letting a smart tex ltd somewhere in here it will actually linked to the content is in your face notes story editor maybe I forget which one wass six cities I thought it was right here. We just see if I could find that real quick what a collapse enabling layout views my taste display it wass there is create links when placing its under fire handling okay guys so create links when placing text so that way your legs just like an image well show up in here if you link it so if I do this again and I placed in my content it'll show up as a link here so that if the chef changes the menu and he will change the menu ah while you're going to this then it'll link it and updated okay so right now I just kind of comes in as a default pie face and it's in times new room in which just fine but I want to make I wantto take out all the styles and get everything back to normal and start with playing body copy nine over twelve because I always start with body copy first okay take out some of these styles that air in here when I get to it for now let's just go back a step so right now I want to separate my content and I want to do just for layout so what I was trying to do here in my sketch was and just for layout purposes I'm gonna put these in separate boxes but this is not how you want to leave them. This is only to show you how I you know, divided up the content in my sketch so right now this menu here I'm just gonna pull out big a separate tax box so I know where it's going, okay? And based on my sketch your place to shore wass over here on the right just do another one I'm only doing this so you can see what I sketched here too I don't recommend using separate text boxes like this I'm just doing it just to get my sketch in order here so in my sketch my place does euro is here my beginning menu is up in this area kind if you're wonder lab purpletiger looks black on screen that but type is purple the way I'm looking at because of the the brand colors that are in here so my entrees you are going to go here in this area okay? My appetizers are going in this area based on my sketch ok dinner menu the headline is appear and now I have plates for two wass here which I have already my cheeses for mush it's going to be down in this section here and I'm just going through and doing this so I can be organized in here I'm a combine this information and put it below this my hours for the restaurant going the last area so I'm going toe put that over here, okay? And in my last box goes here in the middle of the disclaimer so I can really just take all this out and allocated here a big box okay? So it's really just kind of visualizing what I'm trying to do with my sketch now that I've got it all organized and broken out, that's. What it looks like, right? So if I use, you know, like a text and said, I could probably see the content better, maybe two fighters will say, just so I could see the areas, right.

Class Description

Your layout choices dictate what the viewer reads – you set the priorities on the page and your design guides the reader through it. In Adobe® InDesign Typesetting: Design a Restaurant Menu, Michael Stinson will help you master the concepts of organization and prioritization.

Michael Stinson is the creative director at Ramp Creative and the instructional director for TypeEd. In this class, he’ll share fresh insights experienced designers can use to bring more polish to their work. 

You’ll learn about:

  • Establishing typographic hierarchy
  • Working with tables
  • Using multiple typefaces
  • Organizing and prioritizing content

Using a restaurant menu as a launching point, you’ll explore best practices for setting type in Adobe® InDesign. Michael will help you improve file set-up and workflow to ensure maximum legibility.

No matter which version of Adobe® InDesign you use, you’ll learn techniques that will give greater definition to the hierarchy you are trying to create. You’ll be better prepared to layout every project, no matter how complex.

Software Used: Adobe InDesign CC 2014.2

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

InDesign Project Files and

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


a Creativelive Student

InDesign is a program I use on occasion so this class has been great for a quick refresher on making it work for me. He keeps it clear and concise so it is easy to follow. Even if you are using a newer version of InDesign this class will help you.