Illustrative Menu Design

It can be a blessing or a curse when a client gives you an open brief with no specifics or direction. It is a decision that you have to make because it is a journey full of ups and downs. It seems like 80% of the time it might go horribly wrong, So, it is honestly your judgment whether the project will be worth it to you or not.

I think this one was a blessing, “at least for me”. The learning experience and the final outcome were great.

The rough brief was to come up with a design for the Hundred Wellness Center’s cafe in Dubai . It was originally requested as a hand drawn piece,directly on the wall against the black background. The writing would have been in chalk and the illustrations in permanent paint. I was to collaborate with a local artist, and give creative direction to produce the artwork. Weighing the cons: Chalk is not healthy at all, and it would risk it falling into the food and drinks. / I personally contacted several illustrators from the UAE; all gave excuses for not being able to fulfill the task.

So, my approach was to create the entire design digitally, and then print on wood or canvas with screen printing (as a proposal to the client). This would give it the handmade look to go against the wall.
Branding & Illustration by Natoof
These were my rough sketches on paper. Then, working with a digital pen illustrator to create the detailed drawings with my close creative direction. Once we had it ready and approved, we introduced the typography listing all of the cafe’s servings. The Nexa Rust fonts gave the exact look that we were seeking.
Branding & Illustration by Natoof
Shifted the drawings, eliminated some, replaced the Chemex coffee maker with the Royal Belgian Balancing Siphon Coffee Maker (fancy!) and voilà the final piece.
Branding & Illustration by Natoof
Branding & Illustration by Natoof
And, it doesn’t hurt to get a good presentation for your project. An amazing Architectural visualizer created  the 3D rendering for the space, and I think the outcome is superb.
Branding & Illustration by Natoof
Branding & Illustration by Natoof

Natoof

My name is Mariam Bin Natoof, and I am a creative professional with over 13 years‘ experience in communication and design fields. Natoof is the creative business with which I associate my design work, specializing in branding, identity, graphic design and art direction.

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