What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

katymac
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What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby katymac » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:04 pm

The current menu design has obviously been a winner, as people seem to be taking them as souvenirs - we're down to two copies in the cafe, one of which has gone a funny colour. So we need more...

There is a view that the current design is a bit wordy with very small print - hard for people to read - and the artwork is not to everyone's taste (though, what is?).

I've drafted an alternative, keeping some of the jokes, but cutting a lot of the text, and I've moved a couple of things around. This may please some of you, but will annoy others, so I'm putting my flack jacket on and uploading the pdfs here for your comments and feedback. I should say, I'm no graphic designer, and the look of it owes a lot to an Apple Works template, which you might also hate. It still wouldn't meet RNIB clear print guidelines http://www.rnib.org.uk/professionals/ac ... print.aspx
but it's a step closer.

I've given a couple of options for page 2. I also have a third option with a smiley Buddah but that took me over the upload limit on here. Option 2 'Your artwork goes here' can either be 'as is' - a sort of symbolic thing - or we can actually use one or more artist's work on the menu. If you've got something perfect, send it over!

Please comment with your feedback and preferences. Happy to make changes to any or all of it, or we can hunt out the original files if you're not ready to say goodbye.

Going to put some hard copies of the draft redesign into the cafe tomorrow too - just so we've got something for people to choose food from meantime.

Thanks
Katy
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neil
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby neil » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:40 pm

Very much like the colour and improved readability. I suspect the removal of many jokes and much innuendo will not be popular, not to mention the nicknames all the dishes had. The Handsome Jack, for example, must always be the Handsome Jack as this is named after one of our dear, departed friends.

I really appreciate the effort to make this menu more readable and generally appealing visually. I wonder if there's a way to keep some more of the funny/silly stuff and still make it easier on the eye in the way that you have?
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby martinmckenna » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:46 pm

It may a good idea to wait to see if we going to put the prices up due to vat hike. 2.5% is a big increase.

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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby Keni » Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:41 pm

Looks great, like the colours & the cleanness. Also, by getting rid of the jokey dish names saves having to look at the menu to know what a punter wants. Or is that just me who toils with it?

I also agree with Martin about waiting re VAT.
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby dan » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:19 pm

Looks good I think. I agree with Neil - Handsome Jack must stay Handsome Jack, and I would lose the 'starving artists' bit on the corkage spiel, but otherwise looks great, nice one! d x
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby scoutwinter » Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:52 pm

we have a different logo, might fit better with the theme
forest logo.png


i think it looks a little bit generic but is a vast improvement readability-wise. I am pretty sick of having to read the menu out loud to someone who forgot their glasses...
the number of times that people who aren't native english speakers have tried to order a " THE OLD MILKY AKA" ... maybe we can memorialise Handsome Jack in another way, that's less incomprehensible? I don't mind if the names stay, but they confuse a hell of a lot of people, and making people feel dumb isn't good business, moneymakers!
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby swithun » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:40 am

A readable menu is something we haven't done before. A step into the unknown might be good.

Regular customers don't need to read the menu. But, having navigated it, they might enjoy the menu's jokes and unusual design. New customers need to read the menu, and won't immediately appreciate the jokes and busy layout. It is difficult to cater for these two audiences with one piece of paper.

The current template's colours and fonts looks a bit too 80s sub-Conran to me. But using columns and different colours improves readability. The jokes seem to clash with the design, so maybe we need some new jokes. Having two yo-mamma jokes in the first two dishes is bad timing.

Can the software being used export the menu to SVG or LaTeX? That way, it would be very easy to change prices. This is an example of a humorous and readable menu done using LaTeX.
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby Jane » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:53 am

Hey,

I have all the files with the current menu design so no need to hunt it out if you did want to print more. But if people think it's time for change, go with changing it. We've had the same ones since May so maybe it's time...

My thoughts on what makes for a good menu are pretty obvious and I know everyone has different artistic taste, but I think if we do change it we should do it wholeheartedly with a complete vision rather than meshing two disparate things together.

While the text CIA nights wrote goes well with the ghanavision posters, if people want a classic menu that is simple clear text and stock google image of a coffee cup (rather than a woman being mauled to death by killer cats), then the text should be rewritten too.

If we change it, it would be good to have some artwork on it by Forest artists on the second page.

jxx
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby katymac » Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:32 pm

Thanks all for constructive comments. I totally agree it's generic (sub-Conran - ha ha!) and has lost some spirit-of-Forest, and, while I'm fairly new and don't get the references, I understand the nicknames are loved. However, they are also bewildering for customers and newer vollies.

Is Handsome Jack the only nickname people would really be upset to loose? If so, how about we just keep that one? Or, follow Scout's suggestion - could we memorialise Handsome Jack another way? What about a proper tea cabinet with labels (I see this has been discussed before), which could be a handsome thing called the Handsome Jack, and would improve the whole tea ordering process for customers and vollies?

Having said that, Jane I think you've put your finger on it: it doesn't work because it needs a complete vision, not a meshing of two styles, and I think it definitely should have Forest artist artwork.

How about...
1) We keep the current design, at least until the price changes (but we do need more copies).
2) I make a completely plain, clear print version, in no particular style, and we keep several copies of that on the counter too (for people who haven't got their glasses etc). This might appear solve the problem long-term, but I think the main text should be clear print, rather than having an inaccessible thing and then having to have a 'special' additional thing (also it's 2 docs to keep up-to-date instead of 1).
3) We get a little group of interested people together (volunteers?), find Forest artist artwork, edit the text to suit and do the whole thing properly in time for the price change.

Whaddyathink?

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Last edited by katymac on Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby katymac » Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:43 pm

by the way: I didn't get copies of the draft redesign for the cafe yesterday because the place I went to had a broken printer, so no harm done there
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby martinmckenna » Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:19 pm

yo

heres the new prices . with add value ! these new prices wont go live until the till is reprogrammed . this should happen on Monday 17th all being well .


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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby katymac » Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:22 pm

Oh wow, how efficient. Since that's all happening so soon, how about I just do a couple of copies of a plain version - 3 copies of the menu should be enough for the cafe until it's redesigned/updated.
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby Jane » Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:40 pm

all sounds good, here are the other files
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby neil » Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:06 pm

katymac wrote: What about a proper tea cabinet with labels (I see this has been discussed before), which could be a handsome thing called the Handsome Jack, and would improve the whole tea ordering process for customers and vollies?
Like!

katymac wrote:I make a completely plain, clear print version, in no particular style, and we keep several copies of that on the counter too (for people who haven't got their glasses etc).
Also like.
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby Martin » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:34 pm

As far as the nicknames go, just putting them in a smaller font below the actual name of the dish would be a big improvement. Then they're still there but it's clearer what people are actually supposed to ask for.
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby katymac » Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:49 pm

The attached extremely plain menu is now sitting alongside the existing design in the cafe, as a temporary step. I still think the Forest menu should have art, humour and at least something to surprise/amuse/offend, all of which is missing from this design, but I think it does meet the clear print criteria. Taking on board everything said above, where do we go from here? I don't want to tread on anyone's toes, and I certainly can't do a good enough job by myself, but I'm happy to help and do what I can...

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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby swithun » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:54 pm

The braille version looks good. Nice work.
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby mirka » Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:39 am

with the new prices we are going to need a lot of 5 pence coins :)
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby martinmckenna » Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:21 pm

yo

are these new menus going to be ready by this monday ?

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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby Shannon » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:41 pm

Who's gonna reprogram the till?
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby martinmckenna » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:58 pm

me and scoutt are going to do it on Monday,


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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby katymac » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:53 pm

We won't manage a collaborative loved-by-all re-design by Monday, but we can come back to that. I can easily do an updated plain version, or presumably we can have an updated version of the existing design pretty easily too? What would you like?
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby martinmckenna » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:56 pm

Katie it would be cool to have plain ones on Monday. and the other ones later.

thanks

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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby katymac » Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:57 pm

It shall be done :wink:
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby katymac » Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:32 pm

Very plain menu with updated prices - I will do print copies and bring them tomorrow if it's OK. I don't have a new price for 'extras', full pints of fruit juice, or corkage, so these haven't changed (but could - let me know ASAP). Kx
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby martinmckenna » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:30 am

sorry about the omissions, heres the updated list .


thanks

martin
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby katymac » Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:00 pm

No worries, here's the pdf v2. Print copies on their way... kx
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby chombee » Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:49 pm

Putting this on the website now. Felafel should be falafel?
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby chombee » Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:56 pm

Can someone upload the menu PDF to theforest.org.uk server so I can link to it on cafe page? Thanks
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby swithun » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:49 am

You mean, like http://www.theforest.org.uk/2011-01menu_plain.pdf?

I'm seeing felafel a lot these days. I think it is how the cool kids transliterate. I'm still a falafel guy though. And so is my spell checker. But who knows?
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby katymac » Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:25 pm

falafel it shall be

this also has the new prices, think the other pdf was pre-VAT increase

still need to do a design with forest artist artwork - any of you visual artists want to get involved? (please)
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby chombee » Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:33 pm

Update the web page. Can you update the PDF link Swithun?

Unfortunately the tool I used to convert the PDF to PNG image files for the web page has changed the fonts a bit. Might try again later from my computer at work, which didn't seem to do that.
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby ChaoticReality » Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:53 pm

I've done it. Swithun's previous link should now give you the newest version posted here by Katy.
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby chombee » Sun Feb 06, 2011 12:20 pm

Thanks Mike.

By the way, although I do like sarcastic jokes and pretty pictures, I actually think these plain menus look very nice!
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby swithun » Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:16 pm

Thanks, Mike. I forgot about that. Work has been a bastard the last few weeks. Never do a skills audit.
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby ravanwin » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:45 am

not that I've been overly involved on this but --- a few minor things:

can we please not have images of coffee cups or children on our menus. Very 'Favorit'.

BUT I DO Love the idea of artwork from the community! That's great. I think Dan's right about 'starving artists' and I think the toned-down text is fine unless people can think of something truly creative. The point of the weird menu which was made many many years ago now and should be destroyed was that Menu descriptions are always ridiculous. Especially if you take them seriously. Basically, they should just be:

Burrito: Rice. Red Kidney Beans. Salsa. (tomatoes, peppers, chilli, lemon juice, salt) and cheese wrapped in a flour tortilla.

but of course how can you print that? No one does. So you have to write -- 'engorged red kidney beans' or whatever to try to sell it.

I mean -- does anyone NOT know what Brie and Oatcakes is or what a Burrito is or a Salad. In the ideal world we wouldn't even have a menu -- people would just say, 'liquid' or 'solid' hot or cold and then they'd get whatever we give them.

If Jack had a tea cabinet -- it would only have one type of tea. Normal.

Anyway, there's no way to force these things 'make a funny menu' is not something we can really dictate. If people have ideas / the will -- then by all means I heartily support that and unreadable fonts and stupid names for stuff that don't need names and homages to our friends our heroes and our enemies. I think the DFW and Pynchon and Long Served Punk were all highlights of the form.

Nice job on the re-draft though. And certainly some good ideas in terms of layout and making it clear yet still leaving room for art and interesting things. I am glad 'we don't like you but we don't want to kill you' is still there!

R
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby Jane » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:39 pm

ravanwin wrote:The point of the weird menu which was made many many years ago now and should be destroyed


actually, I made that menu last May because there was an older menu with plain easy-to-read text and (I think) coffee cups on it that I hated. Such is the life of the forest menu, tis good though, change is the opposite of death, etc...

However, pictures of children are inexcusable. Ever.

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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby katymac » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:50 pm

coffee cup and child are gone forever, I promise, in fact they never disgraced the cafe counter - banish them from your thoughts. I heard two ideas in the cafe yesterday, both of which I really like...

Take the menu up to 4 pages (2 sides food, 2 sides drinks) with the previous text, but in a larger font - funny and original and readable. Ideal.

Provide a plain text file (on the website? or here on the bb?) with the minimum required text, and invite any and all to design their own menu - that way we hopefully get several designs, with different art and text, which I think would be deluxe. And I suppose when we need to change the menu, we just put out one version and start again.

I think we could do both, and my dull-but-functional one can be in the mix for those who've forgotten their glasses. Do we like that?
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby mirja » Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:57 am

sounds great! will the text match?
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby katymac » Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:12 pm

Hey all,

I know this is not the most pressing concern of the moment, but... here's a variation on the plain menu design, still plain, but transformed by Cornelia's amazing cat. If you like it, I will print it!

Still working on the other stuff discussed above.
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby Margarida » Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:35 pm

Oh yes :D Can we please have some of these in café?
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby chombee » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:36 pm

Updated the web page with it, looks good
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby chris » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:59 pm

yeah it llllooks way betteR! good work :)
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby gaia » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:52 am

Margarida wrote:Oh yes :D Can we please have some of these in café?

+1!
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby arizoniandreamer » Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:44 am

+2
Lien & Kata
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Re: What has happened to the menus? Redesign options

Postby lucyj » Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:29 pm

puurrrrrty!!!!!!!
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