Probably one of the few areas where visuals do not contribute to more effective communication is on restaurant menus. When I stand outside a place and see a menu with an image of a greasy hamburger on a laminated piece of paper I decide to move on, because I have eaten in too many bad restaurants that use food photography on their menu. My brain has hardwired the relationship: food image on menu -> bad food.

The greasy hamburger image effect also applies to slides. The second you put your first one on the screen, people compare that visual to the 1,000s of other presentation slides they have seen. If it is a list of bullet points, you have lost your audience before you uttered your first sentence.

(P.S. I think typography is a big opportunity for bad restaurants: cut down on the images, replace the laminated menus with pictures for nice heavy paper with freshly printed menus (new every day) using lots of white space and a chique font, and business will boom in your tourist trap. But hey, if you are willing to put in this amount of effort into your business, why not start improving the food...)


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