Monday, October 31, 2011

Menu Design book signing in Pasadena Nov. 19

On Saturday, November 19, from 3-4:30 P.M., The Folk Tree hosts a book signing for Jim Heimann, editor of the recently published Taschen Book MENU DESIGN IN AMERICA 1850-1985. Heimann is a cultural anthropologist and graphic design historian. The book’s contributing editors are Steven Heller and John Mariani.

Until restaurants became commonplace in the late 1800s, printed menus for meals were rare commodities reserved for special occasions. As restaurants proliferated, the menu became more than just a culinary listing. The design of the menu became an integral part of eating out and as such menus became a marketing tool and a favored keepsake.

Menu Design is an omnibus showcasing the best examples of this graphic art. With nearly 800 examples, illustrated in vibrant color, this deluxe volume not only presents an extraordinary collection of paper ephemera but serves as a history of restaurant dining in America. In addition to the menu covers, many menu interiors are featured providing an epicurean tour and insight to more than a hundred years of eating out. An introduction on the history of menu design by graphic design writer Steven Heller and extended captions by culinary historian John Mariani accompany the menus throughout the book. Various photographs of restaurants round out this comprehensive volume. reviewed the book prior to its official release saying: “A book due out in (fall) from the design-centric publishing house TASCHEN will feature nearly 800 examples of graphic art on menus from 1850-1985, and it looks charming as all get out… We've got a copy on the way. Restaurateurs, take note: A resurgence in thoughtful, artistic menus is past due."

Jim Heimann is Executive Editor for TASCHEN America, and author of numerous books on architecture, pop culture, and the history of the West Coast, Los Angeles, and Hollywood. His unrivaled private collection of ephemera has been featured in museum exhibitions around the world and dozens of books.

Steven Heller is co-chair of the School of Visual Arts MFA Designer as Author Program, writes the "Visuals" column for the New York Times Book Review, and is the author of 120 books on design, illustration, and satiric art.

John Mariani is food and travel columnist for Esquire Magazine, wine columnist for Bloomberg International News, and author of The Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink, America Eats Out, The Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink, and How Italian Food Conquered the World.

The Folk Tree is located at 217 South Fair Oaks Avenue, minutes walking distance from the Gold Line╩╝s Del Mar station, and just south of Old Pasadena. Hours are: M-W, 11-6; Th-Sat, 10-6; Sun, 12-5. For more information, call 626/795-8733 or 626/793-4828.

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