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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

7 font styles from $39.00
The sex life of the woodchuck is a provocative question for most vertebrate zoology majors.

Albums

5 font styles from $39.00
A large fawn jumped quickly over white zinc boxes.
Vendetta™ Vendetta™
Vendetta™ Vendetta™
Vendetta™ Vendetta™
Vendetta™ Vendetta™
Vendetta™ Vendetta™

Albums

4 font styles from $39.00
Blowzy red vixens fight for a quick jump.
Brothers Brothers

Albums

3 font styles from $39.00
A very bad quack might jinx zippy fowls.
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
Cozy lummox gives smart squid who asks for job pen.
Council™ Council™
Council™ Council™
Council™ Council™
Council™ Council™
Council™ Council™

Albums

6 font styles from $30.00
Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow.
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