WHAT WE’RE CREATING:
Hello Design Cutters! For this Thanksgiving tutorial (if you’re in the USA), I present you with the coffee based drink menu for The Roasterie, a cozy coffee shop located in Piccadilly Circus purveying bold flavors and carefully selected pastries to its patrons.
We’ll use some of the twenty font families included in the font geek’s go-to bundle to accomplish that. We’ll explore basic visual identity building, and how to use the many symbol/dingbats typefaces included in the collection to our advantage for layout building, and more!
So, pour yourself a warm cup of Arabica, and let’s do this.
Like with our boxing event poster tutorial, we’ll use both Illustrator and Photoshop for this piece. Manipulating type is a breeze in Illustrator, which makes it the perfect candidate. Photoshop, on the other hand, will come in handy when it will be time to add some subtle weathering to the piece.
Note that we’ll make use of Illustrator’s multiple artboard feature for convenience. This implies having access to Illustrator CS 4 or above. You could split each artboard into a separate file, but it would be cumbersome. It’s nice to have all the elements at hand, and ready to go.
Also, you should know that executing the tutorial in Photoshop should be possible. However, I would strongly advise against it: you never ever build visual identity elements in Photoshop for one, and for two, placing elements in Illustrator is so much more flexible.
Because we’ll manipulate raster textures, these few PSAs are necessary:
- Don’t know what a clipped layer is? Glad you asked! This means that the layer is only visible/applies to the layer directly below it. You can very quickly do this by holding ALT down on your keyboard and clicking between the two layers. Here’s a quick demonstration.
- Every time we’ll work with textures, we’ll follow this simple process: place as smart object, sharpen1, desaturate, enhance contrast with levels, and modify the blending mode.
- Placing the textures as smart objects, and using adjustment layers to tweak them, allows us to stick to a non-destructive work flow. We’ve explored in depth the numerous pros and few cons of such a work flow in this past tutorial: “How to Use Textures The Right Way.”
Notes: 1 – accessed through the Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen menu.
With all of this said, it’s time to start brewing.
STEP ZERO: THE CONCEPT
Plan of attack
The idea is simple, and has three components:
- Create a mark for The Roasterie
- Create the cover of their coffee based beverages menu
- Create the inner page of the menu
We’ll create the mark for The Roasterie using Set Sail Studios’ Spirited font family. It provides us with a matching script and sans serif type pair, which will be ideal for contrast.
To complement the two typefaces, Nicky Laatz’ Hello Beautiful is a solid candidate. The brush execution will contrast well with the more defined letter shapes that are part of Spirited.
Additional layout elements, like dividers and accent lines, will be provided by Blessed Print’s BetterFly Swashes, and by Spirited Swashes.
We’ll need a few textures to add substance to the layout. Some are included as bonus elements in the bundle (notably with Nicky Laatz’ Hello Beautiful), but others are part of the extensive Design Cuts freebie library.
Specifically, they come from the Create an artistic birthday card tutorial/freebie pack.
The other freebie is one we assembled for the occasion. It’s this branch of Coffea Arabica, the plant from which Arabica coffee beans are extracted. The engraving comes from a book published in 1894, called Coffee: its history, classification and description, written by Joseph M. Walsh.
Once all the typefaces are installed, and all the freebies gathered, it’s time to get started!
STEP ONE: DOCUMENT SETUP
As stated earlier, we are going to use Illustrator for layout building. We are also going to leverage its multiple artboard abilities. First, let’s create a basic, landscape oriented letter size document (8.5″x11″). Note the document color mode, set to RGB.
A London-based coffee shop is more likely to have a menu printed on paper from the A series in terms of sizes, or custom sized. We’ll call that a habit that’s hard to break.
Also, switching to RGB is to ensure color consistency when switching to Photoshop later on.
From there, using the artboard tool, we are going to create two additional artboards to host the cover, and the content page of the menu.
The tool is similar in manipulation to the rectangle tool. We just have to draw two 8.5″x11″ rectangles (except portrait-oriented) for our extra canvases to be ready to use.
The tool’s options allows you to give custom names to your artboards, to position them exactly within the document, and more.
Finally, we can already create the main layers we’ll be using along the way: visual identity, cover, and content page.
STEP TWO: THE ROASTERIE LOGO
From now, we should turn on the grid (View > Show grid), as well as Snap to grid. It will help us to position elements much faster when creating the logo for The Roasterie.
In order to simplify things, we’ll focus on creating a text-based visual identity. This shouldn’t stop you working to add elements to it, from coffee beans to cups, and from coffee grinders to coffee pots.
The mark is composed of two elements, split in three text blocks: the name (The Roasterie) and the tagline (Purveyors of bold flavors & carefully selected pastries). The aesthetic touches to the raw type are simple: an alternate character, and a mirroring arc effect.
I will share with you the exact positioning, and other characteristics, of each type object. This will ensure that we all build the same thing.
The Roasterie is set in Spirited Script Bold that is 48 points tall, and centered. Its center point has X: 2″, and Y: 2″ for coordinates.
From there, we’ll change the “t” to its alternate, using either the stylistic alternates (via the OpenType panel), or directly from the glyph panel.
The first half of the tagline reads PURVEYORS OF BOLD FLAVORS, and is set in Spirited Sans, that is 12 points tall, and centered. Coordinates: X: 2″, and Y: 1.3″.
The second half reads & CAREFULLY SELECTED PASTRIES, and is set in Spirited Sans, that is 12 points tall, and centered. Coordinates: X: 2″, and Y: 2.45″.
Finally, both tagline blocks receive a mirrored Warp Effect > Arc of 35% to give them the curvature.
We’re almost there. We need to organize the layers, as we’ll create a few additional variations.
A fully vector version
We could go ahead and use the version of the mark we just created, with the live text objects. Annoyingly, these aren’t always your friends: they are displayed sometimes slightly differently than their vector equivalents, their size isn’t measured the same, etc.
To remediate these issues, we’ll create a pure vector version of the mark. First, we need to duplicate the elements. The copy will be the black and white version of the mark.
With the three elements selected, we’ll head to Object > Expand appearance.
The result is a partially expanded set of text objects. The tagline blocks are vectors, the name isn’t yet. We have to repeat the process once more to fix this (by using Object > Expand the second time around).
With that copy ready, we can start talking colors.
The color palette
Earlier this year, I worked on another coffee related product. One of the many color palettes developed at that occasion proved to be the perfect fit for The Roasterie.
The colors are, from left to right
- Orange – #f05832
- Off-white – #f9faef
- Medium brown – #874b2c
- Dark brown – #5a331d
- Dark gray – #534e4a
Applying the color palette
To test the colors, we need to build ourselves a “sandbox.” First, we need to create a copy of the pure vector logo, and position it at X: 2″, and Y: 5″
From there, we need to scale it down to 2.5″ wide.
Next, we’ll bring the color palette in our design. A small square for each color, ready to be sampled at will.
The following step is to create a rectangle that will emulate our background color. It should be 3″x2″, and located at X: 2″, and Y: 5″ (centered behind the logo). Assuming that we’ll want to use a light color as our background, the rectangle could right away be colored in off-white (#f9faef).
From there, and after a solid dose of trial and error, it has been determined that The Roasterie should be orange (#f05832), and the tagline elements medium brown (#874b2c).
The result is neat, but lacks some depth. To address this, we are going to create a shadow, like we did in the bowling event poster tutorial: a slightly offset copy of the element to enhance, hidden behind it.
Let’s first copy and paste in front The Roasterie (CTRL/CMD+F).
Let’s change the color of the bottom copy to our dark brown (#5a331d), and offset it lightly, so its new position is X: 2.01″, and Y: 5.01″. The result features now more depth, and has extra visual punch.
And with that, the logo block is ready to go. We can now move onto the menu cover. Here’s the layer stack so far.
Last note: here’s a view of the other four color palettes that were up for consideration. The creative process is usually a strange combination of a not so straight line, coupled with a funnel: start wide, with as many ideas as possible, move forward three steps, take four steps back, run sideways one step, and move forward again, then slowly eliminate the options that don’t resonate with the initial brief and/or the client’s tastes.
STEP THREE: THE COVER LAYOUT
What should we include on the cover?
That’s a tough question. Sometimes, menus don’t have covers at all! In our case, we decided to have one, and to put the actual items on the other side of the sheet. Here are the elements that we’ll be including:
- A header section, featuring the logo and some other simple brand system extensions
- A title block, along with framing elements
- An illustrative element (the coffee plant engraving)
- A footer element, featuring the shop’s web address, and some framing elements
As established during our color palette tryouts, our background will be in off white (#f9faef). Let’s start with that.
Next up, the header block. The first thing to bring in place is the logo we just created. It’s positioned at X: 4.25″, and Y: 1.25″, and scaled up, to 3″ wide.
The second piece of the puzzle includes the shop’s location: Piccadilly Circus, in London, UK. Both text objects are set in Spirited Sans, that is 18 points tall, and colored in medium brown (#874b2c).
PICCADILLY CIRCUS is left aligned, and positioned at X: 1.5″, and Y: 1.25″.
LONDON, UK is right aligned, and positioned at X: 6.75″, and Y: 1.25″.
To further ground the location elements, we are going to use some of the swashes available through Spirited Swash. The one we are interested in corresponds to the letter “f.”
The first one is centered, 66 points tall, colored in medium brown, and positioned at X: 1.55″, and Y: 1.125″.
In order to make it look more fitting, we are applying a counterclockwise rotation of 2° to it. That can be done through the appearance panel, or through Effect > Distort and transform > Transform.
The second is also centered, colored in medium brown, rotated, but only 60 points tall. It’s positioned at X: 6.95″, and Y: 1.125″.
The layers should look like this.
The title block
The title reads Coffee based beverages, and is set in Hell Beautiful Regular. It is centered, 66 points tall, colored in orange (#f05832), and positioned at X: 4.25″, and Y: 4″.
To not float in the page, we are going to frame the title with two lines created using BetterFly Swashes. In particular, we will use the border corresponding to the number 3.
The top border is set in BetterFly Swashes, that is 30 points tall, dark brown, centered, and located at X: 4.25″, and Y: 3.375″. We’ll need to repeat the number three 12 times to reach a line length that frames the title well.
The bottom border has the same parameters, except for its location: X: 4.25″, and Y: 4.5″. Copying and pasting the first one is a good way to save time.
The coffee engraving comes next (this is found within your freebie pack).
It needs to be placed at X: 4.25″, and Y: 7.5″, scaled up to 5″ wide.
It should be colored in light brown.
Here are the layers so far.
The footer has three elements: two of the “f” swash from the Spirited font family, in light brown, rotated counterclockwise of 2°, and 66 points tall, as well as the URL for the coffee shop (THEROASTERIE.CO.UK), set in orange Spirited Sans, that is centered, and 18 points tall.
Left swash: X: 1.55″, and Y: 10.125″.
Right swash: X: 7″, and Y: 10.125″.
URL: X: 4.25″, and Y: 10.5″.
And this concludes the cover layout work! The texture, and weathering stuff will come later. Here’s the complete cover layer stack.
STEP FOUR: MENU LAYOUT
It’s time to get into the thick of it, and to lay the actual menu items. There are six of them:
- Espresso – Strong black coffee made by forcing steam through ground coffee beans. Perfect for a quick jolt of caffeine. £1.75
- Americano – An espresso shot, diluted with hot water. £2.00
- Cappuccino – Espresso and milk that has been frothed up with steam. £2.25
- Cafe Latte – espresso and steam milk. can be flavored with syrups like caramel, vanilla, and mint, or honey, for an extra 50p. £2.25
- Cafe Mocha – Espresso, chocolate powder, milk, topped with cocoa syrup. £2.75
- Doppio – Double espresso. Will bring you back from the dead. £2.50
Given the small, and inconsistent amount of copy for each item, we are not going to follow a painstakingly drawn grid, or create text boxes, etc. Instead, we are going to break down each drink in the following blocks:
- Drink name – set in orange, right aligned Hello Beautiful, that is 48 points tall
- The “price line” – set in BetterFly Swashes for the same divider style, that is 30 points tall, and in orange Wanderlust Gold Pro, that is formatted £ (space) X.XX, that is 24 points tall
- The drink description – set in Spirited Sans Regular, that is 18 points tall, and colored in dark brown
Header, footer, and background
The page features again an off-white background, a header element (a stripped down version from the cover), and a footer. Let’s start with that.
Copying over the same structure (including layer organization) from the cover artboard to the content one is a good way to save time here.
Let’s customize the header. We can think about it as the secondary page version of a letterhead. First, we need to delete the tagline elements.
We then need to bring the header blocks up some. For PICCADILLY CIRCUS, The Roasterie (including the shadow), and LONDON, UK, currently X: 1.25″. We need to make it so X: 0.75″.
The two swashes, go from X: 1.125″ to X: 0.625″.
The footer’s customization is even simpler: the swashes, and the URL all change to dark brown.
Our structure is in place.
The first drink on the menu is espresso. Let’s start with the title (Hello Beautiful Regular, 48 points, orange, X: 1.125″, and Y: 1.875″).
Now, for the “price line.” The dots are set in BetterFly Swashes (medium brown, 30 points tall). We need to repeat the number three 10 times to create a line that’s long enough. After the last three, everything (including spaces) is set to Wanderlust Gold Pro Regular (orange, 24 points tall). X: 4.75″, and Y: 1.875″
The proper spelling for the line is 3333333333 £ X.XX (10 number three space pound sign space X dot XX). We’ll always use the same model for this line. In cases where the dots overlap with the drink name, we’ll simply select the dot blocks that cause problem, and change their fill to transparent.
The drink description reads “STRONG BLACK COFFEE MADE BY FORCING STEAM THROUGH GROUND / COFFEE BEANS. PERFECT FOR A QUICK JOLT OF CAFFEINE” (Spirited Sans, dark brown, 18 points tall). Since we don’t establish text blocks, we have to manually create the line breaks, at the word that roughly aligns with the price above. This one is at X: 4.125″, and Y: 2.5″.
Organizing the elements in dedicated sub layers will help to keep the file overall organized and intelligible.
All the type settings stay the same. Below are the copy, and placement settings. A solution is to duplicate this sublayer another five times, and to adjust the content, and placements after
- Americano – X: 1.347″ (aligned with the left edge of espresso), and Y: 3.375″
- £2.00 – X: 4.75″, and Y: 3.375″ – One of the three needs to have its fill changed to transparent to not overlap with the drink name
- AN ESPRESSO SHOT, DILUTED WITH HOT WATER. – X: 3″, and Y: 4″
- Cappucino – X: 1.25″, and Y: 4.625″
- £2.25 – X: 4.75″, and Y: 4.625″ – One of the three needs to have its fill changed to transparent to not overlap with the drink name
- ESPRESSO AND MILK THAT HAS BEEN FROTHED UP WITH STEAM. – X: 3.875″, and Y: 5.25″
- Cafe Latte – X: 1.25″, and Y: 5.875″
- £2.25 – X: 4.75″, and Y: 5.875″ – One of the three needs to have its fill changed to transparent to not overlap with the drink name
- ESPRESSO AND STEAM MILK. CAN BE FLAVORED WITH SYRUPS LIKE / CARAMEL, VANILLA, AND MINT, OR HONEY, FOR AN EXTRA 50P. – X: 4″, and Y: 6.725″
- Cafe Mocha – X: 1.5″, and Y: 7.5″
- £2.75 – X: 4.75″, and Y: 7.5″ – Two of the three needs to have its fill changed to transparent to not overlap with the drink name
- ESPRESSO, CHOCOLATE POWDER, MILK, TOPPED WITH COCOA SYRUP. – X: 4″, and Y: 8.125″
- Doppio – X: 1″, and Y: 8.75″
- £2.50 – X: 4.75″, and Y: 8.75″
- DOUBLE ESPRESSO. WILL BRING YOU BACK FROM THE DEAD. – X: 3.625″, and Y: 9.375″
Here’s a view of the layers for the content page.
And with that, the layout work is over! We can move onto the weathering now!
STEP FIVE: TEXTURES
Wait, aren’t textures supposed to be applied in Photoshop?
Photoshop is indeed going to be our texturing tool today. And it doesn’t mean that we have to loose our hair rebuilding the layout in Photoshop by pasting over smart objects. We are going to take advantage of Illustrator’s ability to export neatly layered PSDs.
This is where all the layer organization work pays off: Illustrator will use these layer names and groups when creating the PSD files. This is also where the RGB color mode switch at the start is important: it will allow us to export layered PSDs, rather than just flat images.
First, one more look at our cover, and our content page.
Let’s head to File > Export.
We want to export things in PSDs, and only the content of artboards two and three.
Here’s the magic box. With the color mode consistent all across the document, and assets, we can export layered files. The most current versions of Creative Suite even allow to preserve text editing abilities. Spot a typo? Not a problem.
The result is neatly layered, and organized PSDs, as well as the ability to forget about Illustrator until next time. Below is the cover’s layer structure.
What textures are we using?
As announced earlier, we’ll use both the freebies from the second anniversary tutorial, as well as from the bundle itself.
It’s worth noting that both the cover and the content page get the exact same texture treatment. We’ll walk in detail through the cover. Duplicating the process/values for the content page is child’s play.
Finally, now would be a good time for a reread of the texture PSAs included in the technical notes of the beginning.
The first texture we’ll use is from the birthday freebies: brush-strokes-textures-volume-01-007-sbh.jpg.
It’s placed centered in the canvas, scaled down to 50%.
After sharpening the texture (Filters > Sharpen > Sharpen), we need to desaturate it with a clipped hue/adjustment layer.
It’s placed centered in the canvas, scaled down to 50%.
A clipped levels adjustment layer will help us to bring the artifacts of the texture out.
Finally, the blending mode can be changed to soft light @ 35% opacity.
The following texture is brush-strokes-textures-volume-02-004-sbh.jpg.
It’s placed centered, and scaled down to 65%.
Blending mode: soft light @ 50% opacity.
The next texture is vintage-paper-textures-volume-03-sbh-011.jpg.
It’s placed centered in the canvas, rotated of 90° clockwise, and scaled up to 215%.
In order to use the texture’s color to warm the piece some, we won’t fully desaturate the texture.
Blending mode: soft light @ 35% opacity.
The next to last texture is from Nicky Laatz’ Pleasure Script bonuses (\nicky-laatz\Pleasures Script\Bonus\JPEGS\burntrubber.jpg).
It’s placed centered in the composition, and scaled down to 32%.
Blending mode: soft light @ 50% opacity.
Lossless vignette effect
To add the final touch of character to the pages, we’ll add a vignette effect. First, we need to draw an ellipse that fits our canvas with the ellipse tool (U).
The ellipse’s color is #000000. The color can be changed using the color swatch button in the Shape details section of the properties panel.
With the direct selection tool active (A), and the ellipse layer selected, we need to head to the top toolbar to “invert” the ellipse.
With that done, our vignette looks more like it. Now, we need to feather it so its edge is faded to transparent. That setting is accessed through the properties panel.
Finally, we need to change the blending mode of the ellipse to soft light @ 35% opacity.
And with that, our piece is done! It’s time to add the textures to the content page.
Finally, here are the texture layers.
WRAPPING THINGS UP
Phew, that was a long one! I hope that you enjoyed following along the tutorial as much as I enjoyed creating it, and that your outcome matches the goals you set for yourself before diving in.
Did I leave anything unclear? Any suggestions? Don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments below! The Design Geeks and myself will be happy to help out.
We’d love to see your tutorial outcomes! Please share them with us on the Design Cuts Facebook page. We’ll share the best ones with the whole Design Cuts community.
The font geek’s go-to bundle is still available for a few more days, for an incredible 98% off its original price. Don’t miss out! If you already purchased the 20 font families, I hope you enjoy them, and that this tutorial gave you a sense of what you’ll be able to accomplish with them.
And on that note, that’s it for me!
Today, I wanted to announce to all of you that this will be my last tutorial at Design Cuts, at least for a while.
I have had the privilege to design things, and share my knowledge with you over the course of the last two years. Now is the time for someone else to get this incredible opportunity. It’s also time for someone with different ideas, affinities, and processes to share them with all of us.
I’d like to thank the Design Cuts team for their incredible support, and for pushing me to always design better, for all of you.
And I’d like to thank you all for reading, practicing, asking questions, sharing, etc. It means the world.
Once again, thank you all for 2 wonderful years!