Manufactura Independente is a design studio based in Porto, Portugal. It was founded in 2010 by Ana Isabel Carvalho and Ricardo Lafuente as a space for both comissioned work and self-initiated projects.

About our practice

Our approach floats around a set of key principles:

  • Involvement with free/libre culture. It's not only about switching to different tools, but about welcoming a different mindset for design. Sharing our work, our tools and our processes is an integral part of what we do.
  • Libre workflows applied to design practice. Not only do we employ an exclusively free/libre software stack, we enjoy tinkering, creating and sharing our own experimental design tools.
  • Engagement with software as a medium. Software is more than a tool: it's an expressive medium to be questioned and improved upon. Only free and open tools give us that kind of agency.
  • Cross-media practice. We love web, we love print, and we'll love whatever comes next.
  • Community engagement. Be it through workshops, publications or work with public data, it's more fun to do it with others.

What we make

  • Workshops. We conceive, organise and facilitate experimental, results-driven workshops. We're at ease to talk and work with several subjects: retro and contemporary font design, speculative data visualization, working with F/LOSS tools, layout and typeface experiments, and the list goes on.
  • Design. We work on most kinds of design tasks: branding, identity, print layouts and production, web presence, editorial projects, type design or design-oriented tools.
  • Consultancy. Digital or print media, technical or conceptual, we take on problems and dilemmas in order to determine the best path forward, be it for a website, publication, company identity or mobile app.
  • Custom tools and development. We enjoy planning and designing novel ways to take care of old and new problems. Automation, scripting and custom interfaces are our cup of tea.
  • Full-stack web development. We're at home with the nitty-gritty aspects of web development, and we're proficient in the front-end design side as well. We endeavour to take care of the full stack, ranging from visual concepts to server administration, back-end coding and user interface development.

Manufactura Independente

Credits: photo by Mário André


You can reach us at hi@manufacturaindependente.org.

Slow mail will reach us through this address:

Manufactura Independente  
Rua Elísio de Melo 28, sala 36  
4000-196 Porto  

We are also on Twitter and GitLab.