Hannah Palasinski


Design & Lifestyle Insights of a Yankee Designer Living in the South

What's for Dinner?

As a designer I always judge a restaurant on their menu design. Is it easy to navigate? Are there any mistakes? What is the typeface? Do they use color? The type of paper. Are there photos? 

Below are a few of my favorite inspirational menus I have come across.

I quickly became obsessed with Fruute's menu of their unordinary tarts. It was clean, simple and had vibrant photos of their products. I was so obsessed that this photo was the background of my laptop for an entire year. I found it so inspiring, how cleanly it was laid out and their tone of voice. I mean, Classic & Curious flavors? How awesome!

I came across this menu on the website, Art of the Menu, which if you've never gone before go view it right now. AOTM has various menus and you can search them by cuisine, location and month. I love this menu because they have used a grid extremely well. Your eye can focus on each separate area, which is clearly labeled. This menu also uses yellow as an accent color. I do enjoy a menu that has been tastefully design with a color.

Martha Stewart Weddings covered the wedding of actress Kate Bosworth that was held out on a ranch in Montana. Kate was creative and had the menu printed on a cloth banner and had a mix of vintage fonts and colors. Why have a printed menu when you can have a banner right?


This all started with an Ampersand. Is that not one of the most beautiful ampersands you have ever seen? I love the classic black and white color palette, but the fact that it is designed with diagonal stripes at a not so perfect angle. Which i think keeps things interesting. The font of the menu items are on the thin side and really pop off the white stripes.


I really enjoy weddings that have menus because I hate surprises, especially when it comes to food. Food should never be a surprise and I believe you should always have a choice in what you eat. Can you tell I was force fed a lot of vegetables as a child? Anyways, I love when a couple takes the time to design a wedding menu that goes at your seat, it shows attention to detail and allows you to see the progression of your meal. I love that this menu is round, and that flourishes of the word menu curve around the entire left half of the circle. 

What is more happier than booze? Nothing comes to mind right? This menu again, comes from a wedding, where a specialty cocktail menu was designed. I love that the time was taken for a list of cocktails to be featured that revolves around the couple. A lot of times they are paired with the season the wedding is taken place or they are the bride and grooms favorite cocktails. I love that this feels very personal with the mix of typefaces and the subtle use of flourishes.

I take my last statement back, food is happier than booze! I featured this artist a while ago, her name is Jessica Garvin and she is famous for her chalk board art. She uses any reason to make a chalk board. She hosted Thanksgiving at her home and listed out the entire menu in the kitchen. I love the idea of showcasing the meal for Thanksgiving. There is something so "homey" about this particular holiday, and making it even more personal with writing down the menu makes everyone even more excited to see what is coming out next! I love that this menu is long and written out of chalk! The different handwriting styles also lets each dish stand apart.

I will probably always be obsessed with menus, and dream about designing them all day, every day but until that day comes I will continue to obsess over all the amazing ones I come across.

Hannah PalasinskiComment