My next project fo the Advanced Typography class is to redesign a menu for an existing restaurant. The catch is that the restaurant has to be small, inexpensive “mom and pop” joint with a simple, poorly designed menu. I knew exactly where I could find the materials.
Today I head to Eden for lunch with a few restaurants in mind. My first stop was Thanh Truc’s. This is a small shop with a very selected menu: bun bo hue and com tam. I explained to the owner the purpose of borrowing the menu. If his menu is selected for a redesign, I would give it to him for free once the project is completed. He can use it if he wants to. If not it doesn’t cost him a penny. His menu is simple a laminated piece of paper; therefore, it’s a perfect candidate.
Then I went over to Thanh Van. They only serve vegan food so I thought I could play with the green concept. Unfortunately the owner didn’t want to let me borrow his menu. Pho Xe Lua should be fun to play around with the train concept as well, but the owner didn’t let me use it either. So I went to Hai Ky Mi Gia. I was pretty sure that she would have no problem with it since I dine there quite frequent. To my surprise, she refused and just wouldn’t give me a reason. They must have thought that I try to steal their ideas to open my own restaurant or something. If I were to head to Viet Bistro, I am sure Antonio would let me use his, but his menu looks very nice already. It looks to me like he’s only one who take great pride in his menu.
I used the same approach to American’s “mom and pop” places and all of them were glad to provide me their menus. They even told me that they would love to see the new design if their menu was selected.