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Improve Menu Design Process by Applying Paragraph Styles in Adobe InDesign

Updated: Apr 11, 2019

Menu design is crucial to any restaurant's brand identity.

Aside from the atmosphere and interior design of a restaurant, a menu can have a lasting impact on customers.

Why is this so? First and foremost, an organized menu layout allows hungry customers to easily scan through the items offered without any confusion.

In this tutorial, I am going to go over how to add paragraph styles so formatting large bodies of text doesn't have to be daunting. Using the Paragraph Rules feature in #Adobe InDesign is also a nice way of adding a different element to your menu headlines.

Here are some tips and tricks to improve your menu design skills.

Paragraph Rules

  1. With your Selection Tool, highlight the headline you would like to format and then hold Option + Command (Mac) or Alt + Control (PC) and the letter J.

  2. This will bring up the Paragraph Rules dialog box with option to add rules to the top and bottom of your headline. We'll add a line to the bottom for this tutorial.

  3. Check thee Rule On box, select the weight and type of the rule you want.

  4. Select the colour of your text.

  5. Choose the width of your rule — either to span over the column or the word itself.

  6. Click OK and then centre align the headline

  7. Go to your Paragraph Styles and create a new style called Menu Header

Next, we'll format the food items by applying a bold weight in Helvetica Neue, while also adding proper tabbing that can be used throughout the food items in the menu.

Paragraph Styles

  1. With your Selection Tool, highlight the first food item header in your document.

  2. Use a bold weight — preferably in the same font family. In this case, I am using Helvetica Neue.

  3. Put your cursor between the food item and the price and hit Tab on your keyboard to give it a single tab.

  4. Select the food item and price and go to Type > Tabs

  5. In the dialog box, choose how you would like your tab to be aligned. In this case, I am selecting justified left.

  6. In the leader field, type in a single period so it will form a dotted line from your item to price.

  7. With the newly formatted text still highlighted, apply a new Paragraph Style to the selection.

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