Traditional Techniques and Contemporary Design: Wheat  Starch Paste 

By: Eat Print Love |

Good design has the potential to elevate an aesthetic experience from great to outstanding, and beautiful menu design is a key example of this. For me, a really standout wine list or menu card helps to set the tone for the whole dining experience, just as much as the look of the restaurant, and the sound and aroma of the kitchen.

Take a look at this menu from the Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery in St. Davids, Ontario. It features burlap over 100 pt pasted chip board with wheat starch paste, and black foil stamping. While the burlap gives the book an organic, artisanal feel that really vibes with the farm-to-table dining experience on offer at their estate, the thing that really caught my attention was the use of wheat starch paste in the binding process.

Wheat starch paste is well-known as a traditional book binding adhesive. In the modern bindery, more contemporary adhesives often find themselves preferred for day-to-day projects. That’s why I love the use of this traditional, organic glue against natural materials such as compostable, biodegradable chipboard and burlap.

Most commonly used with paper, board and leather, wheat starch paste has been used since antiquity in bookbinding and other arts, and is a preferred adhesive for modern conservationists. It’s highly adhesive, and completely reversible, with a long drying time. It’s also non-toxic, and cheap and easy to prepare, even at home. You can find a great recipe from the Center for Book Arts here.

The combination of inspiring aesthetics with thoughtful production is how I define great design. This menu, even through the adhesive used in its construction, speaks to the unmistakably artisanal dining experience to be found at Ravine Vineyard.

Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery 2019
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Inspiration Traditional Techniques and Contemporary Design: Wheat Starch Paste