Striking the balance of adequate information information and adequate whitespace is the Stationers’ Dilemma. On a recent menu project, the input I received from the client and the chef were pretty far removed from one another. (Fortunately, the client and the chef were great in helping me land on a typesetting that worked well for everyone.) My initial sketch included the word “Menu” at the top as well as the event’s date. It also included the number of each course in small caps (ONE, TWO….).

When it was said and done, we pared almost ever last bit of that out, leaving the text to entice (and, oh, what a delectable sounding menu it was!) and inform.

My gut says a lot of this boils down to the collective personality of your audience and the type of event. If this had been a wedding, I would have been more inclined to advocate for leaving the date (there would likely have been a monogram as well), especially if the guests were prone to memento-keeping. In this case, I think the audience was sophisticated enough to know what they were looking at and the exclusion of superfluous information made the menu all the more elegant.

What are your thoughts?

On menus, invitations, announcements…what are things you generally expect to be included and what would you prefer be omitted?

(The image featured is not the menu I’m discussing. I’ll share that after the event has occurred.)

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