The Manual has begun arriving in mailboxes this month. No, we don’t mean THAT kind of mailbox; although the new journal is dedicated to discussing web design, you won’t find this publication in your email inbox. The Manual is a print publication that takes a fresh look at how we create, present and experience online content.
The project was successfully funded on Kickstarter this spring, securing a large network of supporters and exceeding their fundraising goal. As a gift to The Manual subscribers, the publication partnered with email-marketing service MailChimp to a produce special-edition Scout Book three-pack.
The inaugural issue of The Manual features contributions from six leading web design practitioners, and each article is skillfully illustrated by one of six visual artists. That The Manual chose to address a digital topic in print form is perhaps unexpected, but too is a testament to the value of ink on paper. An update from the Manual’s Kickstarter campaign detailed the print-centric process undertaken by this team of designers:
So, we’ve been busy. Very busy. In the past five months, we’ve collected and edited articles from our six authors, commissioned and completed our six companion illustrations, designed, typeset and proofed all 116 pages—and, after breathing a heavy sigh of contented relief—sent a complete and final Issue One off to the printer. It’s been an exciting and exhausting journey.
The Manual was spearheaded by Belfast-based designer Andy McMillan, with art direction and design by Edinburgh-based graphic designer and illustrator Jez Burrows. Portland-based Carolyn Wood of Pixelingo is editor. Contributors to the first issue include Simon Collison, Frank Chimero, Liz Danzico, Dan Rubin, Jon Tan, and the Web Standardistas.
The suite of printed rewards for Kickstarter supporters includes a three-color screen print, a letterpress-printed post card, and these handy offset-printed pocket notebooks. Why include a set of blank books? Andy McMillan explains:
During the process of publishing The Manual, we were continually discussing our decision to publish the articles in a printed journal, and anything we could do to augment that central idea… [This] posed an interesting question in regards to readers capturing the thoughts and ideas they’d have while reading, thoughts they’d likely want to reflect on and follow up on later. Bundling the first issue with a set of beautiful, custom notebooks seemed to be an excellent solution to that problem.
The first issue of The Manual is currently available on their website, with pre-orders for future issues and annual subscriptions becoming available when the full website launches later this month. Perhaps you can also get your hands on this excellent Scout Book three-pack!