Manual designs objects that celebrate slowness.
In a time when mainstream culture pushes us towards the ultimate conveniences—the fastest food, miracle appliances, and technology that does the thinking for us—we have a divergent perspective.
We think food should slow you down. It’s a time for nourishment for yourself and those you love. Food has the unique ability to bring people together, to spark joy, to celebrate what nature has created, and what humans have learned to cultivate and craft.
Preparing food is work—and it should be. But we also think the preparation effort can be just as pleasurable as the actual meal. We think there's pride in making something yourself. We think there's joy in repetitive rituals. We think food is best when it's slow.
We value craft over convenience.
We choose simplicity over novelty.
We elevate routines into rituals.
Manual is more than a brand name—it’s our philosophy for creating products that encourage you to slow down, think about what you’re doing, and appreciate the moment. The word “manual” means doing things by hand, but it’s also a reference to “user manuals”—the paper booklets that explain how things work. Ultimately we aim to create products you can use everyday, products you love even more over time, and products that inspire the curiosity.
Manual's operations are managed by Emily Berman — a trained chef and creative partner with a passion for homemade mayonnaise and handmade spreadsheets. Emily's background in studio art, business operations, and the culinary world adds a unique mix of creativity and structure to the Manual studio.
Manual was founded and is directed by Craighton Berman—a designer who has work in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago and was the first designer to use Kickstarter to launch a product. Based on his background of object design mixed with DIY attitude, Manual was founded to produce products in the spirit of slow food.