New menus for Harlem Cafe, Belfast

If you haven’t eaten in Harlem, you have sorely missed out on some of the finest food and wine in Belfast. We’ve been fans of this cafe for many years, but only recently have we begun assisting with the design and print. We started late in 2016 with a focus on taking the Harlem drink and cocktail menus to the next level. Focusing on high quality spirits and other alcoholic drinks, it was our opportunity to really bring the brand to the next level through creative and considered cocktail menu design.

Situated on Bedford Street in the heart of Belfast, Harlem is described as follows: “Eclectic bistro menu, plus cheese and charcuterie boards and cream teas, in funky, art-filled space.” We think this sums up the bistro perfectly. We’re particularly fond of Sunday brunch in Harlem, but get there early as there’s often a queue due to its popularity.

Printing Harlem’s drink menus

As you can see from the photos below, the high quality printing combined with the bespoke heavy cover is not only strikingly designed but highly practical for a busy restaurant environment. Looking at the cover first, we created a bespoke black wibalin covered outer, with a black gloss print. Emblazoned with “Harlem’s Little Black Book” the focus of our design and subsequent print was high quality to compliment the drinks list. Inside the typography led design presents a clear and defined opportunity to present the products in the clearest manner possible. The menus are printed on a beautiful silk card stock, drilled in 2 positions and creased to allow for easy insertion within the covers.

Designing a drinks menu

While a drinks menu or cocktail list looks like one of the easiest marketing and sales tools to design, the success of a project like this is critical on the designer understanding the needs and wants of customers. Their ability to logically place text and imagery in a understandable and defined order ensures readability and provides the end user a guide to the product range. Typeface selection is critical, as choosing the wrong font can present the drinks list in the wrong light. It can be perceived as cheap or uninviting, whereas we’re trying to present an upmarket inviting menu focused on delightfully high quality beverages.

When bringing a drinks menu or cocktail list to a design studio like ours, there are a couple of points we recommend you undertake to ensure you get the best value from our time and also the best result from our services. Our top tips when creating a drinks menu are:

  1. Type out your drinks list in entirety. We recommend a word or pages document.
  2. Check all prices and spelling for errors
  3. Research what menus you like and don’t like in the marketplace
  4. If you need photography to supplement your menu design we recommend using a professional photographer as opposed to taking photos on your phone.

We have created drinks lists and cocktail menus for hundreds of restaurants, hotels, bistros and cafes all across Northern Ireland. From low cost menus to decadent drinks lists, we have the ability to meet every budget and to create the perfect drinks list for your business. To get in touch with our team, please visit our contact page or call us on 028 9002 2474. We’re more than happy to talk through any design or print project you may wish to undertake.