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.
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.
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, and the best-selling All American Ads series.
The contributing authors
Steven Heller is the co-chair of the School of Visual Arts MFA Designer as Author Program. For 33 years he was an art director for The New York Times, and currently writes the “Visuals” column for The New York Times Book Review. He is the author of 120 books on graphic design, illustration, and satiric art.
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.
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