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Brand New 2014 Judging

17 April 2014

Manual's Creative Director Tom recently travelled to Austin Texas to judge the 2014 Brand New Awards (and seek out good BBQ and beer). Tom invited Manual client Charlie Kronk, co-founder of Kitsbow, to join him in judging the awards alongside Sagi Haviv, Clement Monk, and Masoud Gerami.

Seriously British

16 April 2014

We recently contributed a beer label design for 100/100 – an exhibition of 100 beer labels by 100 designers in aid of ArtFund in the UK. Views all of the design here

Storehouse launch

16 January 2014

January 16th saw the launch of Storehouse – A visual storytelling app for the iPad, founded by ex-Apple designers. Manual worked with Storehouse to create a distinct brand identity, and provided input into the user interface design. Download the app here.

Process Journal — Edition 9

08 October 2013

The latest edition of design publication Process Journal is now available. Edition Nine features an in-depth interview with Tom, alongside interviews with UK studio Build, and Sweden's Bedow.


Themed 'Less is More', the magazine focusses on small design studios with big ambitions. Buy it here




Design Boom Interview

08 October 2013

Manual Creative Director Tom Crabtree was recently interviewed by Design Boom on branding, packaging, and good advice. Read it here

Caroline Reece

27 June 2013

We are pleased to welcome Caroline Reece (formerly Caroline De Vries) as full time Art Director at Manual. Caroline joins us from Paris, where she worked as co-founder and creative director of Artworklove. Previously she worked at Research Studios in Paris, and Grappa.Dor in Berlin.


Caroline is an internationally renowned designer, art director and photographer, who has exhibited internationally and whose work has been widely published.


She holds degree in graphic design as well as a Masters in Fine Art Photography from the Royal College of Art.

Demand Media Rebrand

07 February 2013

Today sees the launch of our rebrand of Demand Media, one of the largest internet content and social media companies in the US. With over 700 employees and offices around the world, Demand Media reaches more than 100 million people every month—more than 1 in 3 Americans online. Demand Media owns eHow,, and eNom—the world's largest domain name registrar.


Manual has been working with the public company over the last 5 months on a rebrand. We've helped them communicate their new brand tagline Content For Real Life with a completely new look and tone of voice. A full case study will be on our site soon.

TDC recognizes Loveland Aleworks

05 February 2013

We're delighted to have our Loveland Aleworks Identity selected by the The Type Directors Club for the TDC Communication International Design Competition. Loveland Aleworks, which features a custom drawn typeface by Manual, is featured in the Identity category.


Our work is among 215 winning projects that were selected from over 2,000 entries from 37 countries.


The work will be published in the TDC's Annual, Typography 34, and will feature in an exhibition that travels the world.

Loose Leaf Edition 2

16 December 2012

It took us over a year, but we're pleased to finally be shipping Loose Leaf edition 2 - Landscape.


We approached artists worldwide to gather and commission artworks around the theme of 'landscape' and, as with edition 1, presented them as beautiful large scale prints, pre-hole punched to hang on your wall with push pins.


Edition 2 features works by: Jon Boam, Nicholas Alan Cope, Chris Dent, Justin Fantl, Vincent Fournier, Hiroshi Kan, NASA, Richard Niessen, Casey Reas, and Youngsuk Suh.


We're selling Loose Leaf at a new lower price of $35. We have also lowered the price of Edition 1, and are offering an even cheaper bundle price for both editions. 


Watch our short video, and order it here


27 August 2012


Tom is honored to be on the judging panel of Archive 12, this year's Chicago Design Archive event, sponsored by The Society of Typographic Arts. The jury consists of Andrew Blauvelt from Walker Art Center, Adam Michaels from Project Projects, Cheryl Towler Weese from StudioBlue, and Alisa Wolfson from Leo Burnett.


The Chicago Design Archive (CDA) is North America’s most extensive permanent collection of current and historical communication design. It concentrates on work from the Chicago area – one of the world’s most vibrant and innovative centers for design. Artists and designers whose work is represented include Charles & Ray Eames, Man Ray, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Raymond Loewy, Oswald Cooper, John Massey, Martin Goldsholl, Art Paul, Dana Arnett, Greg Samata, Rick Valicenti, Bob Vogele, Herman Zapf and dozens of others.


Visit the site here.


Icon: Rethink - US Road Signage

15 August 2012

Icon Magazine kindly asked us to contribute to their monthly 'Rethink' feature. Feeling ambitious, we decided to redesign the US road signage system. While we barely scratched the surface, our solution proposes a modernized, simplified visual system, with smartphone integration.


View the design study here, or in ICON issue 111, September 2012.


New Studio

11 June 2012

We are happy to announce we have moved to a new studio in the American Industrial Center, in San Francisco's sunny Dogpatch district.


Dating back to 1915, the building was originally owned by the American Can Company, which employed thousands of men and women to manufacture cans and bottles for West Coast canneries. The building is now occupied by a mix of photographers, architects, designers, artisan food producers, and technology companies.


Our new address is 2325 Third Street, Suite 319, San Francisco, CA 94107.

San Francisco Design Week 2012

29 April 2012

Manual is the official branding partner for San Francisco Design Week 2012, hosted by AIGA SF.


In addition to designing the first official logo for San Francisco Design Week, to be used for all subsequent annual SF Design Week events, Manual has also designed this year’s event campaign materials.


Our design concept led us to visit and borrow from various SF design firms including Fuseproject, Ammunition, Stamen Design, IwamaotoScott Architecture, SF Center for the Book, and Mike and Maaike.


We rummaged through boxes of prototypes, design explorations and materials libraries to form a collection for a photographic diorama. We enlisted the SF photographer Michael O’Neal to shoot our concept.


Here’s a teaser of the event campaign. For more information visit the SFDW website here or follow on Facebook.

Loose Leaf Sale on

19 February 2012

Between February 20th-23rd, you can buy Loose Leaf at a 30% discount, exclusively from Buy it here >


Design and beer.

18 February 2012

Manual recently started work with soon to be launching Colorado microbrewery, Loveland Aleworks. Situated in the small town of Loveland, the brewery will produce fine European style beers. The project will include an identity, custom typeface, interior design, packaging, and merchandise. 

New website

17 February 2012

We're pleased to announce our new website. Please feel free to sign up to our newsletter in the Contact section for regular updates. 


Thanks to Chris at Archive Studio for his fine developer skills.