Fitness First signage completed for Manly location Club Burwood RSL was recently rebranded internally and externally by Blueprint Recently completed some external building signage for Kmart at Southgate Shopping Centre in Sylvania We recently completed the internal and external signage for Guzman y Gomez Blueprint Concepts awarded Surry Hills Community Centre signage fitout

Beyond Menu Boards: A Review Of Restaurant Signage Trends In Sydney

It all started with a simple question: What are the most common signage practices in the food retail industry? 5 food courts, 60 retailers, 100 photos and 3 km later, our Blueprint trend-spotter team scanned the signage tendencies of the food retail industry in presentation of menu boards. All retailers want their shops to stand out in food courts. We decided to have a closer look at this war for differentiation. From fast-food restaurants to Asian cuisine and French gastronomy to organic food, this study aims to identify the most widespread signage strategies for menu boards.  


What are the most popular types of menu boards?

The majority of menu boards are acrylic panels, which are stronger, cheaper, more impact resistant, safer to use, lighter and more cost-effective than other materials.                                                                                                      

Light boxes were second most popular, favoured by 20% of retailers. Light boxes are effective because they can easily grab the attention of passers by with attractive designs and luminous glow. Light boxes are highly suitable signs for businesses that frequently change their promotional design because the snap-open feature allows the graphics to be changed easily. Digital screens ranked third: 12% of retailers chose this type of high-tech, in-store marketing display.           

Digital screen menus are used frequently by fast-food retailers like McDonald’s, Subway, Hungry Jack’s, etc., who were the early adopters of this form of advertising. Digital screens allow instant updating of content, infinite possibilities for visual effects and high capacity for data. Digital signs are likely to soon be standard in the signage industry, replacing traditional light boxes and vinyl menu boards and exploding in popularity. Although wooden panels and blackboards were once used frequently by retailers, this is no longer the case.      

Material & Colour Trends

The main aspect to consider for menu boards is design, which includes selection of material and colours. Most retailers chose simple colours. This is why the most common combination of colours were black, white and red; green, beige and brown; and black and yellow. Out of the 50 restaurants surveyed, two chose to handwrite menu boards, which gave a familial look to the shop. It seems that shop owners chose legibility and readability over originality.

Finish options: glossy vs. matte! 50% of retailers that used acrylic panels selected a glossy finish, which adds a vibrant and sophisticated touch to menu boards. Glossy finish is more expensive and requires more labour, but the results are eye-catching. However, glossy finish is closely followed by matte finish, with 41% of retailers attracted by its simple and efficient style. Picking a finish option is a subjective choice dictated by the corporate identity of each shop.



Full signage report: