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I didn't choose this lifestyle. It chose me.


Welcome to my blog. Instruct is the design agency of graphic designer John Owens, based in Central Manchester.

My main work site can be found here:



About Me Posted on Mon, April 12, 2010 22:04:22

Normal service has been resumed over on Tumblr, much easier and quicker to post but i’ll leave this blog up for the time being…


Like Posted on Mon, March 01, 2010 12:10:02

Elevens are a new range of T-Shirts celebrating hypothetical all-time best XI’s of various football clubs. Conceived as a cult alternative to the replica strip, the shirts are printed on heavy cotton Gildan shirts in London, UK. Their design owes a debt of inspiration to Experimental Jetset’s T–Shirtism , and to the fan forums and pundits who regularly debate their respective clubs all-time, dream line-ups.

Designed by London based designer James Greenfield and available here

All About Audiences

Work Posted on Thu, February 18, 2010 23:41:13

New brand designed at Hemisphere for All About Audiences (formally Arts About Manchester). Brand includes stationary, website, promotional material and exhibition stands, more work to follow soon but nice to be featured on The Drum:

The Drum

A new global visual language

Like Posted on Thu, February 18, 2010 18:46:47

This has done the social media/blog rounds over the last few days but thought worth posting up here. I’ve always admired the BBC for it’s digital output and over the last few years I think they have really upped the ante with the way they deliver information.

Having iPlayer on my Wii is all well and good but making sure the user experience is intelligently designed is paramount and this new update by the BBC shows lots of promise.

Working with Neville Brody’s Research Studios they are developing ‘A new global visual language’ which sounds a bit pomp but then looking at how transparent the BBC are being and the initial visuals it looks like they are onto a winner:

BBC article

Shaw & Shaw Calendar

Inspiration Posted on Sun, January 17, 2010 21:08:55

Bristol Flags

Sometimes you see a piece of print that not only makes your draw drop, it makes you green with envy. This happens less and less now with budgets being cut and clients preferring a more digital route but now and again a real gem comes through that makes you fall in love with the process all over again.

I was delighted to see Christoph Shaw last week who kindly handed me one of their latest calendars which in true Shaw&Shaw fashion made you smile as well as made you envy at their creativity. Designed by Music this gorgeous calendar is printed/embossed onto heavyweight stock with lots of clever die-cutting giving you a choice of using the months image as a postcard. So much attention to detail has been given to the folding and printing which is trademark of Music’s craft for design.

This is married with Shaw&Shaw’s beautiful photography, some very simple but catching the essence of Britishness and some from other projects they have worked on. One of these projects being Lakeshore in Bristol which I had the pleasure of working with them both on.

If you have never seen or heard of Jo Shaw & Christoph Shaw then go and have a look at their website, again designed by Music.

Talented Bas***ds!

Christmas by Colour

Like Posted on Sun, December 06, 2009 16:53:38



Last year and at the start of this Blog I posted this on my submission for Christmas by Colour which made the final poster. This year they have gone a step further and created these great cards based on user submitted colours. I had to buy some for this year but not sure if everyone will get the design joke, more specifically my mum asking me why she has a card saying ‘Yellow Snow’ on it!

Cards are available here

Christmas by Colour

Put together by Raw Studio


Inspiration Posted on Wed, December 02, 2009 13:00:22

Counter-Print Mailer

Counter-Print Poster2

Counter-Print Poster/SM4

Counter-Print Poster1

Just received some lovely goods from Counter-Print including this free poster illustrated by Robert Hanson. I’ve been waiting ages to buy something from Counter-Print and first spotted this SM Atelier 4 in Tokyo but didn’t have enough to buy it, luckily Counter-Print has loads of old gems like these.



Like Posted on Mon, November 30, 2009 22:10:00

Decode 2

Decode 1

The V&A has commissioned Karsten Schmidt to design a digital identity for the Decode exhibition using open source code. Karsten has worked previously on similar identity projects with Universal Everything and this project relies on users creating and uploading versions of Karsten’s original code either the brainbusting way or using a specially designed UI which can be downloaded for Pc or Mac.

More details:

V&A Website

Rising Stars – Karsten Schmidt

Home Grown – The story of UK Hip Hop

Inspiration Posted on Thu, October 15, 2009 12:38:41

I went to the launch of Home Grown last night at Urbis here in Manchester which features the story of the emergence of UK Hip Hop and its current place in the music industry today. A subject close to me being a fan of UK and US Hip Hop this exhibition shows our own take on what was happening in the Bronx back in the early 80’s, taking in breakdancing, graffiti and turntablism.

It was great to see old B-Boy crew videos and the whole mixtape culture which reminded me of searching though my mates older brothers tapes when I was younger and them teaching me to crab on sheets old old sheets of kitchen lino.

Everything is put together really well with design by Leeds own Peter & Paul, lots of sleeve art/graphics and flows chronologically to now with labels such as Big Dada, If your around it’s well worth dropping by and is on until March 2010.

More images on my Flickr

Home Grown – Urbis

Peter & Paul Website

Garden of Unearthly Delights

Like Posted on Sun, October 11, 2009 12:10:54

Whilst in Tokyo I had the opportunity of visiting the first solo exhibition from Timothy Saccenti named : Garden of Unearthly Delights. Having been a fan of of his work with Flying Lotus & Audi it was worth trekking through the 90+ heat to find it, secretly tucked away around affluent shopping area of Aoyama.

Once inside the soaring heat and sun was quickly forgotten as your faced with super slick/crisp work ranging from photography to sound and vision. The exhibition promotional flyers/poster are designed by Build and I managed to purchase one of Timothy’s catalogues again designed by Build. The exhibition runs until November 9th and I have uploaded some pictures from the exhibition which can be found:

On my Flickr page

And for more information check Timothy’s website

Promotion/flyer design by Build

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