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How to Design a Chalkboard Drink Menu in InDesign

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Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

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.

Chalkboard burger menuChalkboard burger menuChalkboard burger menu

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

Step 1

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.

Chalkboard menu backgroundChalkboard menu backgroundChalkboard menu background

Step 2

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.

Add a solid color fillAdd a solid color fillAdd a solid color fill

2. How to Apply Text and Images to a Chalkboard Menu in InDesign

Step 1

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.

Create a new documentCreate a new documentCreate a new document

Step 2

Place the ChalkboardBG.tif file into your InDesign document by going to File > Place.

Place chalkboard backgroundPlace chalkboard backgroundPlace chalkboard background

Step 3

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.

Signature drinks textSignature drinks textSignature drinks text

Step 4

Create a New Color Swatch in the Swatches panel by selecting the hamburger icon and using the color C35 M5 Y68 K0.

New color swatchNew color swatchNew color swatch

Step 5

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.

Rectangle green barRectangle green barRectangle green bar

Step 6

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. 

Add the margarita headerAdd the margarita headerAdd the margarita header

Step 7

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.

Add the blue sunset drinkAdd the blue sunset drinkAdd the blue sunset drink

Step 8

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.

Add the drink priceAdd the drink priceAdd the drink price

Step 9

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.

Add additional drink prices, description and nameAdd additional drink prices, description and nameAdd additional drink prices, description and name

Step 10

Open the four drinks photo in Photoshop and select the Pen Tool (P). Make a path around the drink shown in the image below.

Add a pen tool path around the drinkAdd a pen tool path around the drinkAdd a pen tool path around the drink

Step 11

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. 

Make a active selection and create a layer maskMake a active selection and create a layer maskMake a active selection and create a layer mask

Step 12

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

Change image size to 300Change image size to 300Change image size to 300

Step 13

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% 
Add a drop shadowAdd a drop shadowAdd a drop shadow

Step 14

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.

Add additional drink photos Add additional drink photos Add additional drink photos

Step 15

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.

Add arrows to drinksAdd arrows to drinksAdd arrows to drinks

Step 16

Repeat the previous steps and create two more arrows as shown in the image below.

Add more arrows to drinksAdd more arrows to drinksAdd more arrows to drinks

Step 17

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.

Add a footer to the drink menuAdd a footer to the drink menuAdd a footer to the drink menu

Step 18

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
Add footer textAdd footer textAdd footer text

Step 19

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.

Add chalk lineAdd chalk lineAdd chalk line

Step 20

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.

Add chalk lines in InDesignAdd chalk lines in InDesignAdd chalk lines in InDesign

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. 

Chalkboard finalChalkboard finalChalkboard final

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)

Blackboard food menuBlackboard food menuBlackboard food menu

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)

Aarley restaurant food menuAarley restaurant food menuAarley restaurant food menu

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)

Italian bistro chalkboard menuItalian bistro chalkboard menuItalian bistro chalkboard menu

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)

Mexican food menuMexican food menuMexican food menu

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)

Seafood menu chalkboardSeafood menu chalkboardSeafood menu chalkboard

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!

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