Manual designs objects that celebrate slow food & drink.
In a time when mainstream food 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.
Manual values craft over convenience, elevates routines into rituals, and chooses simplicity over novelty.
At Manual we create products that are first and foremost tools for food, but also express our aesthetic vision through thoughtful design. We aim to create products you can use everyday and that you'll love even more over time.
Manual is managed by Emily Berman — 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—and delicious lunches—to the Manual studio.
Manual 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 this background of high design mixed with DIY attitude, Manual was founded to produce products that combine the authorship of design with the spirit of slow food.