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Menu Design in America: A Visual and Culinary History of Graphic Styles and Design, 1850–1985
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Menu Design in America: A Visual and Culinary History of Graphic Styles and Design, 1850–1985

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4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  40 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Appetite for art: over one hundred years of menu graphics

Until restaurants became commonplace in the late 1800s, printed menus formeals were rare commodities reserved for special occasions. As restaurantsproliferated, the menu became more than just a culinary listing. The designof the menu became an integral part of eating out and as such menus became amarketing tool and
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Hardcover, 360 pages
Published August 15th 2011 by Taschen (first published July 1st 2011)
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Bryan
Nov 27, 2016 Bryan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-design
A superb collection of graphic ephemera spanning roughly 150 years and the entire United States, but most of the menus seem to be from NY and LA during the '30s through '50s. Art Deco and midcentury modern designs abound alongside some fascinating culinary history. (Frog legs used to be VERY popular.) Highly recommended to all fans of Americana, food history, or design.
David
May 14, 2013 David rated it really liked it
The title says it all, it's a compendium of 135 years of menus from restaurants in the United States. Taschen really did a great job with the presentation, the oversized book is filled with full color examples of some really fine commercial art. Most of the menus come from the CIA (Culinary Institute of America)Library and considering the large number of restaurants from Southern California represented in the book I was surprised there were no examples used from the extensive collection of menus ...more
Harvey
Feb 04, 2012 Harvey rated it it was ok
My interests in graphic design and food both caused a hunger for this "coffee-table"-style book.

While some of the images are interesting, the book does nothing to explain their seemingly random inclusion. It is not organized in any satisfactory way. No explication of either design or food/menu evolution.

If you're looking just for some pretty pictures this might suit. I wanted/expected a lot more and was very disappointed.
Josh
Aug 08, 2015 Josh rated it really liked it
Shelves: art
An impressive collection. Focus is on large cities. At first, the introductory essays' lengths worried me--is this a text book?--and before the halfway point in the book, I was wishing for historical explanation in more and more detail! (Some menus have explanatory notes. Most do not.)
Maureen Flatley
Aug 31, 2011 Maureen Flatley rated it it was amazing
If you're a foodie this is a fascinating look back at food trends in American restaurants.....and also a nostalgic trip down memory lane if you have been to any of the old school spots featured.
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