Chalkboard menus are trendy and eye-catching. In this tutorial, I will teach you how to design a chalkboard menu in Adobe InDesign. You'll learn how to create a chalkboard drink menu background and how to format images and text for your restaurant chalkboard menu.
If you're looking for a pre-made template, check out this mouthwatering chalkboard burger menu on Envato Elements. This particular chalkboard menu template features a front and back design, with three bonus burger images included.
What You'll Learn in This Chalkboard Menu InDesign Tutorial
- How to format a restaurant chalkboard menu background in Adobe Photoshop
- How to apply text and images to a chalkboard menu design in InDesign
What You'll Need
1. How to Format a Chalkboard Menu Background in Photoshop
Let's start this chalkboard menu board design. Open the DSC_8017.jpg in Photoshop. Change the image to CMYK by going to Image > Mode > CMYK Color.
Add a Solid Color Fill using the color
#000000. Change the Opacity to 32%. Save this image as a TIFF file by going to File > Save As and naming it ChalkboardBG.tif.
2. How to Apply Text and Images to a Chalkboard Menu in InDesign
Let's continue with the chalkboard drink menu design. Create a new document in InDesign by going to File > New > Document. Use the Tabloid dimensions of 11 in x 17 in, 0.5 in Margins, and 0.125 in Bleed on each side.
Place the ChalkboardBG.tif file into your InDesign document by going to File > Place.
At the top of the document, grab the Type Tool (T) and create a text frame. Type the name of your menu. For this example, I'm using "Signature Drinks" with the Espresso Vintage font, 141 pt and Paper swatch.
Create a New Color Swatch in the Swatches panel by selecting the hamburger icon and using the color C35 M5 Y68 K0.
Create a horizontal rectangle using the Rectangle Tool (M). Make the size of the rectangle 3.1 in x 0.7 in. Change the Blending Mode to Overlay in the Effects panel by going to Object > Effects > Transparency.
Grab the Type Tool (T) and create a text frame. Type the "Margaritas" header for this section using the Espresso Vintage font at 52 pt, and fill it with the Paper swatch.
Now let's create the title, description, and price for each drink in the chalkboard drink menu design. Take the Type Tool (T) and type the title of the drink. For the first drink, let's use "BLUE SUNSET" using a 32 pt, Espresso Vintage font, and fill it with the Paper swatch. As for the description, use the font Gabiant Regular, 17 pt, and fill it with the Paper swatch as well.
Create a new text frame and type the price of the drink in the green swatch we created earlier, using Espresso Vintage and a 32 pt font size.
Repeat the previous steps by creating new text frames and typing the name, description, and price of each drink. Arrange the text so that it looks similar to the image below.
Open the four drinks photo in Photoshop and select the Pen Tool (P). Make a path around the drink shown in the image below.
Right-Click the path and select Make Selection. Make sure the Feather Radius is set to 0. Select OK. Create a Layer Mask by selecting the layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. Change the color mode to CMYK by going to Image > Mode > CMYK Color.
Change the Resolution to 300 by going to Image > Image Size. Make sure that Resample is unchecked. Crop the drink by using the Crop Tool (C). Save this file as Drink1.tif.
Place (File > Place) the Drink1.tif into the InDesign document. Apply a Drop Shadow by going to Object > Effects > Drop Shadow using these settings:
- Mode: Multiply
- Opacity: 75%
- Distance: 0.1375 in
- Angle: 135°
- X & Y Offset: 0.0972 in
- Size: 0.1875 in
- Spread & Noise: 0%
Repeat the previous steps for the shot drink, red shot, and beer photos by creating a Layer Mask, cropping the photos, changing the Color Mode to CMYK, changing the Resolution to 300, and saving the files as TIFFs.
In InDesign, use the Pen Tool (P) and create an arrow path from "The Gatsby" to the drink using the Paper swatch. Change the Weight of the Stroke to 0.805 pt.
Repeat the previous steps and create two more arrows as shown in the image below.
Create a new swatch in the Swatches panel using the color C15 M64 Y100 K0. Select the Rectangle Tool (M) and make a horizontal rectangle in the footer. Change the Transparency to Overlay by going to Objects > Effects > Transparency.
Grab the Type Tool (T) and type your contact information using these settings:
- Come visit us: Espresso Vintage, 71 pt, Paper swatch
- Mae's Tavern: Espresso Vintage, 32 pt, Paper swatch
- Contact information: Gabiant Regular, 17 pt, Paper swatch
Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document by going to File > New. Use a 5 in x 5 in size, CMYK and 300 ppi. Click Create. Grab the Pen Tool (P) and create a vertical line. In the Brushes panel, select the Charcoal - Pencil brush.
Copy (Command-C) and paste (Command-V) this charcoal line into the InDesign chalkboard menu design. Duplicate this line three more times and place it underneath the headline and down the center of the document.
All Done! Your Chalkboard Menu Design Is Ready!
Now that you have finished the chalkboard menu template, now it's time to display your beautiful design. Placeit is a great resource for mocking up your design. Try this restaurant menu mockup below, for example.
5 Fantastic Print-Ready Chalkboard Menu Templates
Now you know how to design a chalkboard menu. Chalkboard menus are a fun way to list your food and drinks. They're great for restaurants, bars, cafes, events, private parties, catered events, and more! Envato Elements chalkboard menu templates come in a variety of styles to suit any event.
1. Blackboard Food Menu (AI,EPS,PSD)
Looking for a chic and professional way to spruce up your menu? Save time with this chalkboard cafe menu template. This blackboard food menu is simple, yet elegant. What more can you ask for?
2. Aarley Restaurant Menu (PSD)
Every restaurant needs a menu, but not all restaurant owners have the design skills to create a menu. That's where we come in! With this chalkboard template, you can create a menu that fits your restaurant's vibe. Inspired by old-school blackboards, this template will bring the look of your restaurant to the next level.
3. Italian Bistro Chalkboard Menu (PSD)
Looking for new ways to spice up your menus? The Italian Bistro Chalkboard Menu template will look great with your new restaurant, cafe, catering service, or diner. Just edit them, print them out, and you're set.
4. Mexican Food Menu Chalkboard (EPS, PSD)
No need for messy chalk drawings—this template has everything you need to professionally design your chalkboard menu. Add your menu items to the template, and then change the text and pictures to fit your style.
5. Seafood Chalkboard Menu (PSD)
You don't really want your menu to be like every other restaurant's, don't you? It's time to stand out with this seafood chalkboard menu template.
Need More Chalkboard Menu Inspiration? Check This List Out
Looking for more chalkboard coffee menu ideas? With these resources, you'll be able to make your menus more interesting and appealing to customers. Let your creativity go wild, and mix and match different styles to find the perfect design for you!
- 30+ New Tasty Restaurant & Cafe Menu Templates for 2022Melody Nieves23 Aug 2021
- 30 Restaurant Menu Templates With Creative DesignsMarc Schenker18 May 2021
- Create a Chalkboard Effect with the New Pen Tool in IllustratorMary Winkler09 Jul 2014
- How to Create a Chalkboard BBQ Poster in Adobe InDesignGrace Fussell27 Jun 2017
- 45 Best Textured Fonts (Brush, Distressed, Grunge, Metal, and More!)Daisy Ein01 May 2021
- How to Create a Stylized Chalk Text Effect in Adobe PhotoshopRose10 Apr 2020
- 27 Best Chalkboard FontsMelody Nieves16 May 2022
- How to Create a Chalkboard Sign With Chalk Text in Adobe PhotoshopJohn Negoita17 May 2022
- 25+ Free Restaurant Menu Templates & PSD MockupsMelody Nieves03 Aug 2022