Manual

Who we are

Manual is a design and visual communication studio based in San Francisco. We help our clients express themselves and their products through iconic brand identities and beautiful experiences. Our work strives to clarify purpose, build meaning, and stir up curiosity and emotion.

The Partners

Tom Crabtree
Creative Director & Founder

Born in Yorkshire, England, Tom began his career in London working for leading design studios with clients in art, architecture, fashion, and music. After a decade in London, Tom relocated to San Francisco to join Apple's design team, working on packaging design and art direction. In 2009 Tom founded Manual with the intention of creating a design studio that fused these two backgrounds—combining creative expression with highly disciplined brand creation.

Patricia Callaway
Managing Director & Partner

Patricia's career in marketing and communications has led her to work with creative people in many industries, but namely publishing, the arts, and technology. Patricia runs the business side of Manual, working directly with clients and collaborators to realize projects and build new relationships.

How we work

We are an intentionally small, independent team of designers and art directors. We specialize in building identities, by working with clients early on to help them define their brand, and partnering all the way through execution across key touch points. We also work with global brands on special projects and initiatives that demand fresh creative thinking.

We believe that a successful relationship is born out of collaboration and partnership. We listen to our clients carefully and dig deep to understand their objectives and audience. We are in constant pursuit of differentiation. We want our clients to stand out, not just fit in.

We have a carefully selected network of expert individuals who we partner with to meet the specific needs of a project, including writers, strategists, photographers, animators, filmmakers and creative technologists. This approach allows us to stay nimble while delivering world-class creative. We keep it in the family and work collaboratively with our clients and partners.

What we do

Our work is designed to function across many applications—physical, digital, and spatial. We care deeply about high quality production and flawless execution, and value working with brands that understand the importance of investing in production as well as design.

Brand Identity:

Strategy & Positioning
Naming
Storytelling & Tone of Voice
Logotypes & Brand Marks
Identity Systems
Brand Guidelines

Visual Communication:

Creative Direction
Art Direction
Campaigns
Graphic Design
Illustration
Type Design

Tactile Media:

Packaging
Editorial Design
Book Design
Printed Materials
Posters

Digital Media:

Website Design
Apps & User Interface
Motion Graphics

Environments:

Graphic Environments
Set & Retail Design
Exhibitions
Signage & Wayfinding

Who we work with

The studio engages in projects of varying scales and scopes both locally and internationally. Our clients are artisans, obsessives, game-changers. From start-ups to global brands, our engagements are founded on a shared passion for design and creativity, down to every last detail.

Technology:

Apple
Google
Joos
Microsoft
Nest

Consumer Products:

Gap
Kitsbow
Levi’s
Nike
Slice
Soma

Food/Drink/Hospitality:

Charles Phan
The Glasgow Distillery
Fort Point Beer Co.
Loveland Aleworks
Merchants of Beverage
Pablo & Rusty’s Coffee
The Slanted Door
Tartine Bakery

Creative Industry:

AIGA
BDG Architecture + Design
Dwight Eschliman
Envelope A+D
Herbst Produkt
Mike & Maaike
Spacelab Architecture

Finance:

Obvious Ventures
Venrock

Publishing & Media:

Demand Media
Push Pop Press
San Francisco Chronicle
Storehouse

Non-profit:

Emerson Collective