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Menu Design in America. 1850–1985

Hardcover, 9.8 x 12.4 in., 6.72 lb, 392 pages
US$ 60
Multilingual Edition:
English, French, German
Multilingual Edition: English, French, German
Availability: February 2023
Gastronomy meets graphics, in this irresistible collection of American menus from the mid-19th century to the 1980s. Not only an excellent insight into our evolving eating habits, this lineup of some 800 designs also serves as a history of graphic styles, designed to entice, excite, and titillate our palates over the years.

À La Carte

Appetite for art: over one hundred years of menu graphics
Until restaurants became commonplace in the late 1800s, printed menus for meals were rare commodities reserved for special occasions. As restaurants proliferated, the menu became more than just a culinary listing. The design of the menu became an integral part of eating out and as such menus became a marketing tool and a favored keepsake.

Menu Design is an omnibus showcasing the best examples of this graphic art. With nearly 800 examples, illustrated in vibrant color, this deluxe volume not only showcases this extraordinary collection of paper ephemera but serves as a history of restaurants and dining out in America.

In addition to the menu covers, many menu interiors are featured providing an epicurean tour and insight into more than a hundred years of dining out. An introduction on the history of menu design by graphic design writer Steven Heller and extended captions by culinary historian John Mariani accompany the menus throughout the book. Various photographs of restaurants round out this compendium that will appeal to anyone who enjoys graphic and gastronomic history.
The editor

Jim Heimann is the Executive Editor for TASCHEN America. A cultural anthropologist, historian, and an avid collector, he has authored numerous titles on architecture, pop culture, and the history of Los Angeles and Hollywood, including TASCHEN’s Surfing, Los Angeles. Portrait of a City, California Crazy, and the All-American Ads series.

The contributing authors

Steven Heller has produced over 200 books on visual communication and published countless articles in international design magazines. Currently he is cofounder and cochair of the MFA Design program at the School of Visual Arts, New York.

John Mariani is food and travel columnist for Esquire Magazine, wine columnist for Bloomberg International News, and author of The Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink, America Eats Out, The Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink, and How Italian Food Conquered the World.

Menu Design in America. 1850–1985
Hardcover, 9.8 x 12.4 in., 6.72 lb, 392 pages
ISBN 978-3-8365-2662-3
Multilingual Edition: English, French, German
Diane Keaton

Diane Keaton

“OK, I’m thinking how do they do it? TASCHEN’s book, Menu Design in America by that amazing Jim Heimann, is just another reason I can’t wait to get my hands on their next gorgeous book.”
Illustration: Robert Nippoldt
Menu Design in America. 1850–1985
Menu Design in America. 1850–1985
US$ 60
Menu Design in America. 1850–1985