Monday, 2 November 2015


MahMoods restaurant & takeaway aesthetic relies on the use of red and yellow, which is probably the most extended combination in fast food companies starting from McDonalds, which has been changing in the last few years.

The use of the red colour on text is to emphasise on key words like "FREE", the main word of the headings and also to highlight the 3 or 4 words dishes as well as the price, even though the price is grey for sidedishes, which is confusing as they are not easily noticeable as the others. The rest of the text is mostly grey, excepting for a green section (which I first thought was for vegetarians) called Grilled Choice that shows not only a Grilled Chicken Salad, but also BBQ Grilled Chicken Wings, not very green food.

Along the menu it is possible to count up to 5 different typefaces, some in bold that added to the use of many different colours makes the menu confusing and apparently without any particular order. The communication is poor and lacks of a particular objective.

Legibility is not an issue excepting for the two burgers that form the letters "OO" on the name of the restaurant. I was not able to tell the name of it if it was not for the website. Although the readability is quite problematic as there is a high contrast between colours white and red and also a use of bold with red colour and small size of letter.

I made a draft of what it could be an alternative using less colours and font variations. I used Helvetica bold for titles and subtitles, Garamond for text. The titles of the sections are in red so they are easily found with a subtitle in black. Each dish is in black and the details in a smaller size but with the same characteristics. Using an image at the 25% of its opacity in the background and on a side of each section makes the menu more open and the text gains terrain, making it a more comfortable reading experience. I used a vectorised picture on the bottom left because I was not able to find an original photograph with these characteristics without the McDonald's logotype, but with it I wanted to prove that it is possible to remove elements like the dashed lines and the yellow texts and it is still readable. In this draft is also easier to appreciate a use of grids, while in the original design there is more randomness at the time of placing elements, sometimes even not having enough separation between photographs and text, making the eye struggle as that kind of problems makes it tricky to read. (<- Blogger does not let me to track the text, so this is my orphan here).

Although I identified some problems this menu has I have to admit it is a difficult design to make. There are many things to consider and to include in a reduced amount of space, but I think that is another reason to keep it simple. Overuse of typefaces, colours and images only makes the experience of reading a fast food menu confusing, and also the addition of ornamentation or gradients can be very problematic for the reader. Less is more.

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