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Graphic Design Kids Menu Essay

Marcia: I love the fun yet educational aspect of your menu idea. This has a two-fold draw for parents in that it not only keeps the children occupied, but teaches them something in the process, as well. While a vibrant color scheme can be tricky to achieve in an upscale venue, when done well, it can engage all ages and backgrounds. You are correct about the need for a little ‘zing’ in the food options, as the line is fine between the foods that children will want to eat and the foods that a parent is willing to spend between $8 and $15 for.

Parent involvement is an excellent idea, but should be limited, as many parents do not wish to spend their entire wait-time engaged in children’s activities. Overall, I believe you are off to a great start! Kathleen: You are very smart in looking to your own abilities as a base for your menu creation. Even the best ideas fail when they have no means for implementation. I love your inclusion of the “Save the Ocean” theme, as it is never too early to instill a planet-friendly philosophy; especially when it is done in a fun manor.

I whole-heartedly agree with your thoughts on game-selection as it pertains to parental assistance. Choosing games that most children will enter the restaurant familiar with, will give every child the opportunity to play; rather than only those whose parents wish to participate in the activities. On the same token, I would highly recommend including single-player games. It is clear that you have done your homework, which will only help you throughout the remainder of the process. Unit 7: Project C, Part 2 Kathleen: I must, again, applaud you on your thorough research and ability to apply the information garnered.

I do feel, though, that your initial brainstorming could have been more extensive, as this activity is meant to reach the outer limits of an idea’s potential, rather than simply listing informational points. This was definitely accomplished, however, by your outstanding work on the character sketches. The transformation from simple outline to life-like character is wonderful to see. A jovial approach to the creation of this menu, as evidenced by your inclusion of ‘Nemo,’ will assuredly shine through in its final design!

Jack: Using animal/cartoon characters is an excellent way to engage children, and create a kid-relatable menu. The addition of Spanish translations for the animal names is tremendous as well. Your layout sounds wonderful, though a little ambitious. Cost issues will likely require you to make the booklet smaller in size (allowing one sheet of paper be cut or folded into two pages), number of pages, or number of colors used. The connections made, within brainstorming, between geography, possible character, and dish selection is really outstanding!

It is clear that you put a lot of time into exploring a great number of characters through sketch. However, I would recommend narrowing the pool in an effort to give a few select characters more life and detail. All in all, I believe that you are off to a great start! Unit 8: Project C, Part 3 Critique Jack: I love the border graphic you have chosen; it definitely adds a Latin flair! Including instructions on what could be drawn in the blank spaces highlights the fact that they are activity areas as well, rather than just blank spaces.

While I do like the use of animal characters, I would like to see more environmental reference on the front cover and menu page. The animals and menu options should be linked to the Latin theme of the restaurant a bit more. Your choice to use the more ‘fun & frolic’ styled type options, like “Billy” or “Sudsy” for the titles, while choosing the most clearly-legible fonts for item descriptions makes complete sense. I absolutely agree with your first choice of color scheme, as it is bright and fun without being too shocking. Very nice job!

Kathleen: While I very much agree with your choice to integrate a “Save the Ocean” theme, I would be careful to not let it overpower the actual restaurant’s theme. The use of well-known song lyrics is very clever and could be highlighted by the addition of music notes near the phrasing. The inclusion of ocean facts is wonderfully educational. The overall activity placement looks good. A small picture of the word being scrambled would help the younger children in participating. I love your characters! They are brimming with humanity and fun. Stellar job! Part 4 Critique Laneet: Excellent job!

The flow of the menu is quite good, without a single aspect that strays from the overall consistency of the clean and simple design. The uncomplicated starfish, pirate-crab, and clam do not clutter the menu; though add a sense of whimsy. The typeface selection is appropriate in size and nature. The games are very easily understood and the choice to leave the entire inside area colorless maximizes activity potential. The menu is clearly aimed at the younger child in every facet. With full color on the outer pages and art-inspiring black and white on the inside activity pages, there is no question of each area’s purpose.

Children and their parents, alike, will definitely enjoy this entertaining and user-friendly children’s menu. Kyle: Very nice job! The flow of the menu is excellent, as all aspects conform to the obvious design theme. The typefaces, layout techniques, and word choice are consistent and blend beautifully. While many would choose a more clearly-legible font for the menu-item descriptions, this would have been a poor choice when dealing with such a specific theme. The games are described very effectively; however parental assistance will be necessary in most cases.

The treasure hunt premise is delivered very well and, although this menu is clearly aimed at the older child, this clarity of theme will intrigue the younger child as well. The use of color-schemed borders maintain the menu’s flow through the otherwise colorless activity pages, in addition to keeping the menu from feeling overwhelmed by the great amount of graphics and copy on these pages. Shape-simplification and image-number reduction keep the menu page from feeling overfull, while the full-color format stifles any felling of emptiness that could otherwise occur.


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