Friday, February 01, 2013

Family Dinners at The Station: Designing Menus for a 1960s Family Reunion Dinner

One of my passion projects that I'm extremely excited about is Family Dinners at The Station. Today's font picks, Garamond, Lydian, and Pan Am, are inspired by that project and will be used in the menus I'm designing.
Adventures in Food
When I first began thinking about this project, I kept remembering holiday dinners at my grandparents in Novato, CA. Depending on the year, we'd have family members who had flown in from Southern California and Georgia and others who had driven down from Ukiah. During the course of the afternoon and evening, my grandfather would share stories from his travels; he was in the travel business and had gotten his start as a baggage handler at Pan Am. Often my grandmother and he would give us grandkids the toiletry kits they received. I grew up wanting to travel the world like they did.
While the days when air travel was glamorous and Maxim's catered the food are gone, the joys of coming together to share stories over a communal table are not. So what better way to infuse my memories of my grandparents into this project than designing a menu in Pan Am's style?
On the Hunt for the Fonts Pan Am Used
Get the Font(s): First the freebies: Pan Am (commercial use friendly) font by GemFonts and Apple Garamond font family (almost a match; from a quick look one difference is the lowercase "g"). Two of the fonts were not available for free, but are available for purchase from Fontshop. Remember that if you're planning on using fonts in print, you don't want to buy web only versions (available from These fonts were Lydian Std Roman and Lydian Cursive Std Regular designed by Warren Chappell in 1938, published by Bitstream, and available for $25 each. (almost a match; from a quick look one difference is the lowercase "e").
We'll actually be going a little further than just designing a Pan Am menu and serving dishes from my collection of 1950s and 1960s cookbooks, we'll be recreating a Pan Am menu. I wish I could take credit for this part of the idea, but this was one of cubes' many contributions to the project.
To learn more about Pan Am and its catering, plus see some of its menus from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, visit M. Kelly Kusack's Everything PanAm website. To get a taste of some of the cocktails served on board Pan Am flights, visit Yum Sugar where six drinks from the 1954 Pan American's Complete Around-the-World Cookbook have been shared.
Which flight menu would you like to see recreated?
Europe | Hawaii | Japan | Paris | Thailand
Bon Appetit!
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Credits: All layouts designed by and images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.