Marking a significant shift in approach to seasonal menu design, The Route 66 Menu at Pouring Ribbons, Fall 2015, chose thematic inspiration as a way of reinvigorating the creative process for bartenders weary from developing cocktails inspired only by the changing of the weather. From a design perspective, this meant reinterpreting three full years of consistent branding in such a way that would embrace the chosen theme while respecting the existing Pouring Ribbons identity that had become so well-established.
As a solution, the menu maintains most of it's pre-existing structural elements: the shape of the logotype, page format, the cocktail matrix that plots drinks on a scale of comforting to adventurous and refreshing to spirituous, and the overall order of sections. The cocktail spreads, however, are redesigned to fully express the given theme, with type and color changes applied throughout the menu to unify the document. Like a building adorned with a new exterior, the trademark Pouring Ribbons menu structure is still recognizable. Looking into the future, the intention was for all of the menus to embrace this standard, so that when placed side by side, they would represent a connected and ongoing series, regardless of any evolution of ideology.
The Route 66 Highway served as a major path of travel between Chicago and L.A. until its retirement in 1985, when it was made obsolete by the Interstate Highway System. It serves as a major resource for vintage Americana and and icon of national nostalgia. The Route 66 Pouring Ribbons menu takes its visual cues from the Travel Mats once found in small town diners that studded the route. These mats used iconography to advertise roadside attractions, and the Pouring Ribbons menu attempts to recreate that visual richness with a carefully curated collection of images intended to feel whimsical, yet cohesive. Within this rich visual landscape, information is simplified to encourage easy navigation.