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John Downer

John Downer began training as a sign painter while he was in high school. He finished his apprenticeship after college, then started graduate studies in art at The University of Iowa, where he received MA and MFA degrees in painting.

John Downer currently resides in Iowa City, and lectures throughout the U.S. and Europe. His essays on type history and hand lettering have appeared in Emigre magazine and House magazine. Downer’s professional activities include sign painting, lettering, glass gilding, type design, typography, and logo design. He has also designed custom fonts for individuals and corporations.

Downer’s debut text family was Bitstream Iowan Old Style, published in 1991. Iowan Old Style is classified as a Venetian old style type design. It is related to earlier, 20th-century American interpretations of Italian Renaissance types cut by Nicolas Jenson and Francesco Griffo, but it is modeled also on classical inscriptional lettering and sign painting seen in certain regions of eastern Iowa.

6 font families by John Downer

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Albums

4 font styles from $39.00
Viewing quizzical abstracts mixed up hefty jocks.
Brothers Brothers

Albums

7 font styles from $39.00
Brawny gods just flocked up to quiz and vex him.

Albums

5 font styles from $39.00
Boxer M. Tyson packs his bags w/ Jay-Z DVDs, Quik, Holyfield’s ear.
Vendetta™ Vendetta™
Vendetta™ Vendetta™
Vendetta™ Vendetta™
Vendetta™ Vendetta™
Vendetta™ Vendetta™

Albums

3 font styles from $39.00
Ebenezer unexpectedly bagged two tranquil aardvarks with his jiffy vacuum cleaner.
Triplex Italic Triplex Italic
Triplex Italic Triplex Italic
Triplex Italic Triplex Italic
Triplex Italic Triplex Italic
Triplex Italic Triplex Italic

Albums

3 font styles from $39.00
Quickly Shortz dreams up a few vexing jumbles.
Council™ Council™
Council™ Council™
Council™ Council™
Council™ Council™
Council™ Council™

Albums

6 font styles from $35.00
Six crazy kings vowed to abolish my quite pitiful jousts.
Iowan Old Style Iowan Old Style
Iowan Old Style Iowan Old Style
Iowan Old Style Iowan Old Style
Iowan Old Style Iowan Old Style
Iowan Old Style Iowan Old Style