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. It's not just about operating tools with skill, it's about considering them as means 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.


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Design. We are keen to 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 are eager to take on problems and dilemmas in order to determine the best path forward, be it on your website, publication, company identity or mobile app.

  • Custom tools and development. Maybe you could use a specialised, hand-tuned back-end? An extra feature on your WordPress-based site? A tool for automating your repetitive design or web-related tasks? That's our cup of tea.

Manufactura Independente


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, Github and Dribbble.