Manual Creative

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Manual is a graphic design and branding consultancy based in San Francisco. Our approach is tailored to every project and is always grounded in clarity, simplicity, and beautifully crafted design.”

Manual is not playing. They have an exquisite body of work that would make any graphic designer salivate.

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Jesse Balmer

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I saw some of San Francisco based artist Jesse Balmer’s work in the recent issue of Juxtapoz and was reminded how much I like his personal brand of pop-psychedelia. There is some new work in his Flickrfolio to check out. It’s just a shame it isn’t posted at a little larger of a scale to show some of the detail of his imagery.

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Jeremy Forson

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San Francisco based artist and illustrator Jeremy Forson is influenced by fashion, pop art and tattoo culture. Aside from accepting freelance illustration commissions his work can also be seen in exhibitions throughout the bay area.

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Comments Off on Serious SituationsGraphic Design


Serious Situations is the portfolio of Simone Magurno who was born in Italy and now works in San Francisco. He has an impressive client roster including the likes of Nike, Microsoft, Xbox, Akqa, McDonalds, Taco Bell, Target and GAP to name a few. He has some slick site design in his portfolio as well as some exceptionally executed digital illustration work. He very recently updated as well.

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Alex Varanese

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Bay area native Alex Varanese has an unusual style all his own. I have seen his work before and posted it in prior versions of the blog but he has been staying busy and recently updated with a new series of experimental typographical layouts. He obviously has a fetish for the color orange, that much is easy to figure out and he has a thing for cassette tapes and the 80s. He is also very good at rendering 3d type and image. The one thing that you might not pick up on right away until spending a little time surfing around his site is that he also has a great sense of humor. He may or may not know that he is also a good writer. What I’m trying to say is this guy’s got some skills and I am picking up on what he is layin’ down.

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Stripe SF

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CalArts MFA graduate Jon Sueda has some exceptional graphic design for print in his portfolio. Sueda has worked the world round as a designer and also writes and teaches.

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Paul Wackers

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Painter Paul Wackers creates eclectic and colorful works drawing from numerous spheres of influence.

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Jesse Balmer: Updates

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Jesse Balmer is an interesting illustrator/artist (more artist than illustrator) that I have had an eye on for a while. I really dig his work and it appears as though he has put some new examples of his unusual version of psychedelic surrealism on his website.

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Jacob Arden McClure

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Interesting collages from self-taught artist/designer Jacob Arden McClure.

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There is some really great work in the portfolio of the San Francisco based design firm, The Office. I just wish the images were a little larger on the site so you could get a better look at the work. They are fellow Buckminster Fuller fans as well.

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Ryan Fitzgerald

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Ryan Fitzgerald has captured some very moody atmospheric photos that transport you into a silent space. You can feel the images as much as you can see them.

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Loren Holyoke

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From his bio section:Maxwell Loren Holyoke-Hirsch is an illustrator and fine artist based in San Francisco, California.Maxwell has created illustrations for newspapers, magazines, musicians and websites for numerous clients around the world.”

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Dumbster SF

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Matthew Palladino is based out of  San Francisco but is currently in New York until the end of August. That is honestly about all the information I can give you about him. Oh yeah, that and he makes some really cool illustrations.

Ha ha, zing. Did you like how I wrote that post? Sorry, I know it was pretty corny. I partied like a rockstar in New York this weekend and I am fried today. Cut me some slack.

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Tom Crabtree

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Tom Crabtree is a talented graphic designer with an impressive resume who now resides in San Francisco after a recent stint at Apple. His work is minimal but expertly crafted and he has worked for some amazing agencies and big clients.

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Character SF

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Character is a design agency based in San Francisco. Character was established in 1999 by Benjamin Pham, Patricia/Tish Evangelista and Rishi Shourie. The studio now employs a team of art directors, designers, project managers, brand strategists and writers. Character has generated creative for Nike, Levis, Restoration Hardware, Kohler and Pottery Barn. They have some beautiful design work in their portfolio. All of it is on point and highly accomplished.

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Steven Knodel

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Steven Knodel is a San Francisco based Graphic Designer currently working for advertising agency, Venables Bell & Partners. He has produced creative for Audi, A&E Television Networks, HBO and SlimJim. He has some very unusual work in his portfolio that combines a sense of design-classicism with a contemporary twist. It makes for an interesting browse where you can see some modern trends influencing the visuals but they never seem to stray to far from the root fundamentals.

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Comments Off on CompfightAdvertising


San Francisco based Art Director Bryan Denman and designer Ryan Teuscher built a special flickr search bar specifically for the creative community. According to Denman, “It pulls in a flickr feed at speed (w/ some other tricks) so that an AD can quickly scour the site as a source for reference material.”

In the image above you can see what was yielded by my search for ‘typography’. You can try it out yourself at Compfight.com. It really is impressive how fast it compiles the images and it even has filters for images licensed by Creative Commons. If you occasionally have to hunt down imagery like I do for use in comps for ads, it could really come in handy. Flickr has a lot of large image as well that will look a hell of a lot better than a stock photo blown up to 20 times it’s size with a giant ugly watermark right over the middle. Thanks Bryan.

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