An Exhibition of Hand Lettered Posters by John Downer

  • News
News | Yves Peters | August 5, 2009

Reserve announces an exhibition of hand lettered posters by world renowned letterer and type designer, John Downer. The exhibition will open with a reception next Thursday, August 13 from 8 to 11 pm at Reserve. John has been working with Freshjive on various T-shirt designs, and the event coincides with the release of four more graphic T-shirts and an in depth article on the Freshjive website. During the evening refreshments and music will be provided, and John Downer will also be hand lettering anyone’s requested name tag while you watch!
Download the full interview with John Downer as a PDF.

T-shirt designs for Freshjive by John Downer.
John Downer is a sign painter by trade with a speciality in gold leaf lettering. He’s also an accomplished swimmer and water polo player. He has both an M.A. and an M.F.A. in painting from The University of Iowa. His interest in letter forms began at a young age. In 1983 he began a career as a freelance type designer. He has since designed faces for renowned type publishers such as the Font Bureau, Bitstream, Emigre, and House Industries. John possesses both an acute sense and an eye for the crafts of lettering and type design. He also writes about type and type history for Emigre magazine, House magazine, and other publications. He lives in Iowa City, and travels widely in the United States and Europe, always on the lookout for interesting letter forms.

John Downer hand lettering name tags
Photo © 2007 Linotype GmbH – Photographer: Lorenz Schirmer

Reserve opened in 2006. While serving as a flagship store for The Freshjive Manufacturing Company and it’s various labels (including Freshjive, Warriors of Radness, and RMK), Reserve also specializes in unique vintage books and magazines related to photography, graphic design and all things related to pop culture. Exhibitions are held at various times throughout the year.

Freshjive, Reserve, and AIGA/LA present

An Exhibition of Hand Lettered Posters by JOHN DOWNER
Opening Reception Thursday, August 13 from 8 to 11 pm

At RESERVE, 420 N. Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
(directly across from Canter’s Delicatessen)

Tags: , , , ,


  1. such an incredible art!!!

    Posted by Bruno Porto on Aug. 9, 2009
  2. That casual lettering on World Problems is nearly exact to what I was taught in the Sign-Painters Apprenticeship program in Phoenix starting in 1987. When the letters are flowing off the brush, man, it is so much fun.

    Posted by Making Tulsa Signs on Aug. 12, 2009
  3. Thanks for the post on John. He is an absolute guru when it comes to font design. One of the great sign writer journeymen!

    Posted by Matt Stafford on Jul. 27, 2012

Post a comment:


The FontFeed

The FontFeed is a daily dispatch of recommended fonts, typography techniques, and inspirational examples of digital type at work in the real world. Eat up.

  • Meow
  • Biwa™
  • Zin Slab
  • Melts Script
  • Diploma Script
  • Jasan™
  • Beaga
  • Core Gothic E
  • Merry Christmas Color
  • Atlantica
  • Dracula™
  • Juno
  • Zing Sans Rust™
  • Macella
  • Civic Sans
  • Zing Script Rust™
  • Zing Rust™
  • YWFT Victoria
  • YWFT Valley
  • Trix
  • Thang™

Popular Fonts

  • Morl
  • Merlod
  • TT Backwards
  • TT Travels
  • Proxima Nova
  • Nexa Rust™
  • Rosella™
  • Vodka™
  • Brandon Grotesque
  • Cenzo Flare
  • Bourton
  • Heading Pro
  • Helvetica Neue®
  • Nexa
  • TT Norms
  • Gilroy™
  • Selfie
  • Aromatica
  • Good Karma
  • Avenir®
  • Moments