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Best of 2011

UnderConsideration


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Although we’ve only been publishing since early August, there have definitely been numerous menus that stand out and I thought it would be fun to start the tradition of naming what I think are the best menus on Art of the Menu of each year.

The good thing about having only four months worth of content is that it made my job easier, because there is a lot of good stuff to choose from. Listed here are my twelve favorite menus that we have featured.

Click on each restaurant’s name to see the full menu.

Posted

By Armin on 12.22.2011

 


No. 12

Design

Mucca Design

Thoughts

Great, subtle color palette against the inimitable typesetting and typecasting of Mucca Design. Plus, delectable ornamentation.

The Blue Pig Tavern

AMERICAN in Cape May, NJ

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No. 11

Design

N/A

Thoughts

I have to admit that this is me liking shiny things: the layout and design of the menu aren't anything to ask the chef to come out for compliments but, dude, the menus light up when you open them!

DUO

American in New York, NY

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No. 10

Design

OMFGCO

Thoughts

The name of the restaurant says it all. 1970s style graphics as an ode to the championship season of local NBA team, the Trail Blazers.

Spirit of 77

Bar in Portland, OR

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Best of Art of the Menu


No. 9

Design

Nothing : Something

Thoughts

Probably not the prettiest menus out there, in the traditional sense, but there is something kind of kinky about it, with all that metal and pointy serifs and rough edges.

The Alembic

Bar in San Francisco, CA

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No. 8

Design

Henrique Folster

Thoughts

Luscious and contemporary yet rugged and homey.

Marakuthai

Thai in Sao Paulo, Brazil

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No. 7

Design

Toormix

Thoughts

I love the complete monoweight approach and all the swoops in the typography and iconography.

Betlem

Gastropub in Barcelona, Spain

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Best of Art of the Menu


No. 6

Design

Pentagram

Thoughts

White space be damned! These menus occupy every inch with heavy-handed typography and more split fountains before you can say "Basta!"

Maudie's

Tex-Mex in Austin, TX

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No. 5

Design

Hook

Thoughts

This is another example where the menus themselves aren't superb, but their delivery is bad-ass, and it doesn't get more bad-ass than license plates with the establishment's logo stenciled in spray paint.

Taco Boy

Mexican in Folly Beach, SC

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Best of Art of the Menu


No. 4

Design

Tanner Glaves

Thoughts

Of all the menus we've posted this is one where the typesetting and layout stand apart from others. There is great, nuance, subtlety, and clarity to the menu that contrasts the messiness that is about to come once you get your hands on some BBQ.

Kay Bros Barbecue

BBQ in Gainesville, FL

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Best of Art of the Menu


No. 3

Design

Tracy Ma

Thoughts

Beautifully typeset and delivered in a dead-pan approach, this oversized menu doubles as a wrapper for french fries and take-away containers.

Smith

Comfort Food in Toronto, Canada

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Best of Art of the Menu


No. 2

Design

In-house

Thoughts

The only thing keeping the frenetic, lo-fi Shopsins' menu from being the best menu of the year is that it also happens to be, well, the worst menu out there. But this duality is what makes it so awesome. Read the comments (from when we had them open) to feel the love and hatred the menu generates.

Shopsins

Diner in New York, NY

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Best of Art of the Menu


No. 1

Design

Mucca Design

Thoughts

With three selections in this top twelve being Mexican restaurants it seems that that's the cuisine where cool things can happen. But no one pulls off the Mexican inspiration better than Mucca, with this very authentic rendition of Mexican signpainting and hand-lettering. Plus, the food is to die for and it's only 15 minutes from our house.

La Condesa

Mexican in Austin, TX

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Best of Art of the Menu



About

Art of the Menu, is a division of UnderConsideration, cataloguing the underrated creativity of menus from around the world.

Art of the Menu uses Typekit to render Proxima Nova by Mark Simonson and Adelle by Type Together.

Art of the Menu is run with Six Apart’s MovableType 4.32-en

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About UnderConsideration

UnderConsideration is a graphic design enterprise that runs a network of blogs, publishes books, organizes live events and judged competitions, and designs for clients.


online

Brand New / Displaying opinions and focusing solely on corporate and brand identity work.

FPO (For Print Only) / Celebrating the reality that print is not dead by showcasing the most compelling printed projects.

Quipsologies / Chronicling the most curious, creative, and notable projects, stories, and events of the graphic design industry on a daily basis.

Speak Up (2002 – 2009) / Discussing, and looking for, what is relevant in, and the relevance of, graphic design. Archives Only.

Word It (2003 – 2010) / Encouraging creative diversity in the community through monthly, one-word challenges. Archives Only.

Brand New Classroom (2010 – 2011) / Providing a space for critique and opinions on student identity workArchives Only.

graphic design

Department of Design / Designing corporate and brand identities and full development of printed and digital matter for clients.

publishing

The 2010 Brand New Awards / 2011, self-published.

Flaunt: Designing effective, compelling and memorable portfolios of creative work / 2010, self-published.

Events & Judged Competitions

Brand New Conference / A one-day event on the development of corporate and brand identity projects by some of today’s most active and influential practitioners from around the world.

Brand New Awards / Celebrating the best identity work produced around the world.

FPO Awards / Celebrating the best print work from around the world.

Writing

Graphic Design, Referenced: A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design / 2009, Rockport.

Women of Design: Influence and Inspiration from the Original Trailblazers to the New Groundbreakers / 2008, HOW Books.

The Word It Book: Speak Up Presents a Gallery of Interpreted Words / 2007, HOW Books.


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