Who We Are

MANVIL is a small creative services firm. We do what we do because there is beauty in simplicity, and simplicity is never as simple as it sounds.

MANVIL provides graphics, photography and copywriting services for clients who prefer a hand-shake as opposed to a litany of contracts. (Although good business sense requires we take half-down upfront) We provide customers with straight forward graphics and content for all marketing and branding needs. We do everything we can to watch our client’s backs, and we believe our clients would do the same for us. If your heart isn’t in it, it ain’t worth a damn.

The Birth of SUtL

sutl-swutl-sml As a designer, it’s not easy to leave ideas behind. Design is what I do, and I enjoy it.  I strive to solve problems with something that looks good.

MANVIL may be the design end of my efforts, but Swanson Utility Labs is the production end. I started designing for the tiny SUtL product line to supply my lovely aging FJ80 with more function than it was built with. (If that’s possible)

Here is the logo for SUtL, and soon I’ll show off the result of the first prototype production bumper soon.

Not sure if this is a re-do or a re-new

App-logo-MANVILAfter what comes across as almost 10 years with our immernets hosted by a friend of a friend, MANVIL’s site needed to move on to a whole new host. Not being net savvy, we had to move our site to some new digs, so we went with a trusted body… we moved our WordPress.org oriented site to WordPress.com’s hosting site. And now we’re confused.

The look and mood of the old MANVIL site is gone and in it’s stead is this kinda blank looking thing. I mean we’ve been gone for a few months, but really, this is kind of a shock. It’s white for one, and pretty glaringly so, and where did the old layout go?

We’ll keep hunting for answers.

Title goes here…

This is an additional placeholder post provided by the good folks at WordPress. As my new hosting team, they’ve provided a very simple and easy link to producing blog posts. Here’s hoping I’m able to enjoy the freedom involved in order to produce beautiful images, designs, thoughts et al. (Because I love making things, but in honesty, I can’t stand the idea of coding anything.)

Cheers! As I enjoy my oddly vintage looking coffee cup with what I’m sure will be a delightful artisanal coffee.

Concept to production… the Soap Sticker

patch roughProduction for Portland Adult Soapbox 2016 has had its pleasant challenges, and also its very cool educational tidbits.

MANVIL, for all that we do and have done, has never had the opportunity to make a patch for an event. PDX Soapbox changed that, so we focussed our efforts on making something rad. We put together the image at the top, and then proceeded to hunt someone down in Oregon who could provide the finished product. After a few google searches, some intense question asking and some kind responses from other graphics folks, we came across Lee at EMC Patches in sunny Rogue River, Oregon.

We took a bit of time looking at his prior productions, the thread count, the backing, and the stiching densities, and chose Lee because in all honesty, there aren’t a whole hell of a lot of stitching teams in town who aren’t under contract with one large Portland athletic company, or three others for that matter. I got together with the PDX Soapbox staff and we chose to go with Lee based on his awesome array of prior works! I’m just gonna shutup and let his superior product speak for itself…Patch

Rusty Iron 2016… went off without a hitch.

Rusty-2016-front-chstSince before we opened the doors here at MANVIL, we’ve been helping out with the production of the Rusty Iron Hawaiian Canoe paddling race. The race is put on by Pacific Outrigger Canoe Club, and it’s all volunteer staff try to make sure the effort is safe and fun for Outrigger paddlers from all over the Pacific Northwest. The event is the first race of the Pacific Northwest Outrigger Canoe Association season, and it’s currently held at Frenchman’s Bar just west of Vancouver, Washington on the last Saturday of April. (Excepting this year natch!)

With that in mind, we always try to put a great design together for the event, as everybody who signs up for the race gets a tee. We’d rather they enjoy the tee, than use it as the next rag to wipe the canoe with.

Our first concept was to create a sort of tapa pattern in order to represent the race, but then we thought better of it. Rusty-2016-HI-ChoiceAlthough pretty damned good looking (IOurHO) we wanted to boost the Northwest component… So plaid! Much grunge!

Once the swing towards plaid was chosen, we tried to provide the most color coverage without using more than two solids. How to solve that?  As an exercise providing the most bang for the buck we varied color densities and were able to create a rich image with a lot of depth. We think the he exercise was successful, and seeing how the entire production of shirts was sold out only supports us.

So here’s a look at the bill of materials we threw together for the production team. (Please note: the text is irrelevant as the shirt color was changed mid-stream.) The entire production was put together by Oregon Screen Impressions who did their own special magic to produce some pretty fine lines in a beautiful manner. They do excellent work and we can’t promote them enough.



Wild Root Farm… stuff

WildRootFarm-full-color-Fin2brnWhen you go to Wednesday Farmers markets to buy mushrooms, and spore infused DIY mushroom log kits, you kinda need to find yourself some directions. Growing mushrooms is not the kind of thing that is obvious.

It takes some doing, and a bit of a plan. So when Wild Root Farm asked for a printable version of their spore infused mushroom log directions, we all sat down and figured out what might work the best for the novice.

There were several requirements: Clarity, Easy depiction and Attractiveness. Not meaning to brag, but I think we nailed it, while keeping it a Wild Root Farm graphic.

Simply print out the directions on a quality printer, and fold to fit the directions in the spore filled bag. WRF-Instructions-prWRF-Bag-Sticker-3by5


Update Continuum…. Wild Root Farm!

Since we’re still on the catch-up on the year (and a few months) review, let’s mention this gem!


Clients based out of Sandy, Oregon have a farm that grows mushrooms! (The edible, yum for food sort) The farm has been a key check on the bucket list for my buddies who put it together, and they want to proudly display and sell the fruits of their labor. We put our heads together and figured out a design that matched their self image. Strong, clean and bright, the mark functions well with all of their marketing efforts. It’s not for the timid, but that goes the same for farming. Incredible amounts of effort and love go into making a farm work. Wild Root Farms fits the part. You can find them at the Wednesday Moreland Farmers Market in Sellwood.

Because they’re just starting out they targeted shirts, packaging materials and bumperstickers. And we have to admit their kinda rad!


De-Constructing client work…

Daniel-S-McCurry-GCSomething we always look forward to is production for smaller clients. (Honestly, we like all clients, but it’s fun to explain and expand upon the possibilities) We’ve had the opportunity to help start several organizations with their first foray into marketing, and we’re proud of what we’ve been able to make for them.

An introduction into presenting new or growing businesses allows us to learn more about their needs as well as their goals. When our clients grow, we’re thrilled to keep up with them. Daniel S McCurry is a general contractor working all over the Portland metropolitan area, and his bent towards wood working is fairly obvious in the graphic we were able to put together. We’re stoked to have been able to design this for Daniel, as well as his business cards, stationary and tee shirts, which turned out nicely.


SOAPBOX! New graphics, new BOMs…

PAS-Logo5-MANAs with any community gathering, some folks are going to want some reminder of the great to do, and since tees are what MANVIL lerves doing, we pitched in on production of racer, volunteers and visitor apparel. It should be noted that not all of these images will be produced, as this is apparently a family friendly event. (And fanciful names for the absurdity of swiping a phone to kill imaginary goblins are frowned upon.)

Anywho, the tees have been sourced, and are set to be printed by none other than Thorntown Screenin Ink, in SE Portland. Their support of Derby is noted, as they’re going to print some large numbers, but what should be noted also is that Adam and his crew work tirelessly to make great product.

Soap-VOL-Shirt-BOM Soap-Hoodie-BOM Soap-Ring-Shirt-BOM Soap-OG4-BOM