Gone are the days of PDF restaurant menus and plates with bad lighting. Modern food sites are more likely to involve editorial-inspired layouts and creative directors arranging place settings for longer than diners are seated at them. Here are the key ingredients you need for a good food site.
We eat with our eyes first, so not only photography but photo editing must be a priority. The food needs to looks bright and appetising, with no social media-like filters. Plating must be perfect, and dishes, cutlery and glasses carefully arranged – or at least looking thoughtfully haphazard.
Choosing colours for backgrounds and type can be challenging when it comes to really colourful food. For backgrounds, tie all the elements together by sampling a colour from the representation of the food itself, then lighten it or darken it to bring in something new without distracting from what's on the plate. Do the reverse (darker or lighter) for the typography, or sample a new complementary colour.
Keep typography simple so as to not overshadow the food. Draw inspiration from restaurant menus, cookbooks or handwritten recipes. Many type families have weights that aren't needed, but contrast between content (like subheadlines and ingredients) will leave a good taste.
Granny's Secret has a Didone serif and a script face that invokes the feeling of Granny's handwritten recipes.
Steep and Jar puts care into consistently framed and edited photos of its teas.
Jude's Ice Cream uses tints from its product packaging to tie all the flavours together.
Epicurious decided to ditch the standard, boring, paginated list of search results in favour of a Netflix-style shopping experience.