4.4 A menu card


The brief was to produce an illustration for use by a sophisticated quality fish restaurant.

Keywords from the brief:

  • The menu uses fresh ingredients
  • The restaurant is contemporary in design
  • Any food depicted needs to be visually appetising
  • The image will be used at a small size
  • Using the image as a logo
  • On stationery and vans
  • Simple and clear
  • Provide an example at 40mm x 40mm

It was clear from the brief that the illustration would need to be very simple and readable at very small scale (stationery such as a business card), and very large (van livery), and well as for its primary function on the menu.

This meant to me that the illustration would need to work in both black and white and colour.

The artwork would also need to be vector based to enable it to scale to extremely large size with no loss of quality.

Generating ideas

I initially used TripAdvisor to carry out some competitor research to see how other top London based seafood restaurants are branded.

It was interesting to see that most these restaurants used a purely typographic solution in their company logos with no use of imagery.

I used a mind map to think through possible subjects for the illustration.

Mind map
Mind map from A5 sketchbook

I have always loved the simplicity and strength of linocut prints and decided this was the perfect brief for me to try this technique.


I carried out an internet search to find examples of linocuts that I could use for inspiration/reference.


I created several thumbnails as I was thinking through the design. Both images are from an A5 sketchbook.


I created two versions in colour and black and white.

The basic illustration is a linocut print which was then scanned and coloured in Illustrator.

Also included are a couple of mock-ups to show how the image would scale.

What I learned from the exercise

What went well

  • I enjoyed making a linocut print – something I haven’t done since school art classes
  • The linocut print transferred well into Illustrator
  • The images scale well and are vector based

What I could have done differently/better

  • I tried reversing the logo out of black which didn’t work so well – it would need a bit more thinking to make that work


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