Android Developer Kit
For the 2011 Google I/O Developer Conference, Manual devised an appropriate identity and packaging solution for Android’s Accessory Development Kit. The Android team wanted to inspire developers to create hardware and software solutions for the Android platform. Manual’s challenge was to create a low cost packaging solution.
Our design drew its inspiration directly from a piece of hardware included in the kit, an Arduino circuit board. We created a typographic illustration incorporating universal icons to hint at possible applications of the technology. Limited edition silkscreen posters and t-shirts were used as giveaways for developers.
T-Star Mono Rounded
The Slanted Door
The Slanted Door has defined modern Vietnamese food in San Francisco since 1995. Led by award-winning chef Charles Phan, The Slanted Door is situated in the Ferry Building overlooking the San Francisco Bay.
Manual worked closely with the Phan family to identify the values and personality traits of the restaurant. We devised a master logotype and supporting visual language that was as modern and sophisticated as restaurant’s food. The resulting mark references the ‘slanted’ aspect of the name and utilizes a single line to bring a distinct and memorable element to the identity. With family being a core value of the Slanted Door group, this unifying line also conveys the notion of connection.
A supporting monogram was used as a sign-off, bearing resemblance to a nautical flag – a fitting connotation given that the restaurant is situated in the Ferry Building and faces the water. This monogram is used as a supporting sign-off on branded items, and is also used to represent the umbrella company The Slanted Door Group.
The identity is applied in copper ink and foil across a muted, sophisticated color palette, with all paper menus folded at an angle, providing an unusual touch.
Logo – custom drawn, initially based on Avant Garde Light
Supporting typeface – Lacrima
Plywood for Good
Collective Good asked 30 local artists to use blank skateboard decks as a canvas for their thoughts on Japan’s earthquake and tsunami devastation. The decks were auctioned off at a fundraising event with all proceeds going to Direct Relief International.
Opting to deliberately steer clear of the obvious red and white Japanese icongraphy, our design uses universally understood building blocks and the title ‘Rebuild’ (Saiken) to convey positivity, hope, and creativity.
Loose Leaf is an ongoing self publishing project by Manual. Published annually, each edition is a carefully curated selection of artworks by artists, designers, and photographers that have caught the attention of the studio. Part publication, part print series it exists in the form of a collection of unbound and large-format printed art works. It intends to celebrate images in a physical, livable form, a distinct departure from the online consumption of visual material that pervades our lives.
Each edition comes packaged and ready to be installed, not stored. Leaves are hole-punched for hanging on a wall with small aluminum push pins that come packaged. Its unbound format allows the viewer to edit, select, and reshuffle images on an ongoing basis, like a personal art gallery.
Manual specifically commissions and collaborates with select artists for the content of Loose Leaf. We view the project as an extension of the studio’s ongoing interest in contemporary visual culture.
Aperçu, Aperçu Mono
London-based architects Spacelab specialize in space and the way people use it, from offices and public venues to housing schemes and hospitals. Using a range of research techniques, they analyse how space is used in order to make it more effective.
In addition to an identity refresh, we designed a clean, bold website that uses a custom content management system, allowing the client to easily update and add content. We took the notion of ‘creating space’, as a driving factor in the design, allowing the content in the site to expand and collapse. This approach enables a clean, focused user experience.
The website’s layout, navigation and structure responds to the clean lines and bold colors used in many of the firms projects. The hiding and revealing upper navigation allows for the website to remain clutter free, yet provides the user with a ‘breadcrumb trail’ so all three levels of content navigation can viewed be accessed easily. By using section color coding, bold typography and dynamic sliding content, the design provides a vibrant and fluid interactive experience throughout.
Wo Hing General Store
Wo Hing General Store, situated at the epicenter of the Mission district. The restaurant’s name pays homage to a small grocery store that Phan’s uncle and father owned in Vietnam after fleeing China in the 1960s. Phan intentionally wanted to avoid any visual reference to a general store, but asked that Chinese characters be incorporated into the identity.
The logo plays with the delicate nature of noodles, a main staple on the restaurant’s menu. We also noticed a similarity to the structure of tubular neon signs that are often associated with Chinese street food. In addition to the logo, we created a rich, colorful visual language using only the aforementioned humble noodle. Using a scanner, designers experimented with raw and cooked noodles to create a number of flowing, abstract images.
As a departure from the ubiquitous neon sign seen in many Chinese restaurants, Manual designed a flexible, printed electroluminescent sign that hangs in the restaurant window.
Fugue (with customized W), Courier
A Few Words from the Editor
Funnily enough this was supposed to be an exclusive, but with advent of social media, keeping things a secret can be rather tricky these days ;) Nevertheless, for those of you that don’t know, SF’s Manual have given their site an overhaul with a fresh, squeaky-clean design in addition to a plethora of new work.
A very big thank you once again to Tom for providing the high-res images and info for the feature and for giving SI the heads up in advance. Sorry things didn’t work out as planned – time differences can be a real nuisance ;)
About the Studio
Manual is a design and visual communication studio. Our work strives to uncover the intangible essence of a brand and express it through unique visual solutions. Through our process of conceptual design thinking, we help businesses and organizations articulate their unique offering, giving them more value and distinction.
While we are passionate about design and continually push ourselves and our clients, we like to be collaborative and flexible in our approach. We work with a broad range of clients—from startups to the world’s most revered brands—and maintain a consistently high level of execution and production across print, packaging, and digital media.
Manual practices its craft in San Francisco, California.
This post is tagged Identity, Interaction Design, Manual Creative, Packaging, Print, San Francisco, Skateboard deck