John Downer Sign Painting Intensive Class at Cooper Union - March 12-14 NYC

John Downer will be in New York City to teach a weekend-long intensive sign painting class at The Cooper Union in mid March. This class will be open to the public. The class has a very limited capacity so if you'd like to attend it would be wise to book early.

Get more info or sign up here.

There is a nice article on John's work on a shopfront in Brooklyn on Hannes Famira's blog, the source of the image below.

John Downer is a sign painter by trade, with a specialty in gold leaf lettering. He has a B.A. in Fine Art from Washington State University and both an M.A. and an M.F.A. in Painting from The University of Iowa. He began his career as a freelance type designer in 1983. Mr. Downer 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 letterforms. His digital type has been released through Emigre Fonts, Inc., The Font Bureau, Bitstream Inc., Design Lab, Inc., and House Industries.

Charles_borges_de_oliveira's picture

I wish I could attend this. For those of you who are serious about lettering or font design this is a class that you do not want to miss. True Sign Painters are hard to find these days. John Downer is truelly a Master Sign Painter. I have taken private lessons with John and I was impressed not only with his manipulation of letters with the brush but his vast knowledge of lettering and font design.

I highly recommend this and truelly wish I could attend this class. If you have the means then you would be wise to attend.

.00's picture

I signed up. Hopefully there will be enough interest so as not to cancel the class.

Daniel Gardiner Morris's picture

I expect that this class will run. Enrollment is already looking pretty good. I'm excited to take it myself!


aluminum's picture

I'm jealous. That looks like a great opportunity.

Reserve's picture

Today is John Downer's birthday. He will be gilding the window at the Reserve shop at 420 North Fairfax in Los Angeles, in the historic Fairfax District. Directly across from Canter's delicatessen. If you have never seen gold leaf lettering being done, stop by and chat with John. He's always very enthusiastic about glass gilding.

hrant's picture

What time?


Daniel Gardiner Morris's picture

Did anyone take any photos of that gilding project John was working on?


Daniel Gardiner Morris's picture

I've been informed that John Downer's recent glass gilding project has been documented on the client's site. There are some very nice images and it looks like they'll soon be adding a video interview.

John's class at The Cooper Union is filling and the 'higher-ups' have given the go-ahead to book his travel. This class will likely reach max capacity so if you've held off on signing up I suggest you get on board as soon as you are able. The link can be found in the top post.

Daniel Morris
The Cooper Union

Daniel Gardiner Morris's picture

The video interview from John's recent gilding project for Reserve in Los Angeles is now online. I'm getting excited for this class!


muzzer's picture

is he as angry in reallife as he is on that fontdont forum???

cdiedwardo's picture

The folks at Reserve LA ask that future viewers of John Downer's glass gilding video go to this link instead of the previously posted one:

John's workshop is on track with more than enough people to run. There are about 4 or 5 places left if anyone is out there considering it. It will be happening in the new academic building of Cooper Union. Hope to see you there.
-Cara Di Edwardo

William Berkson's picture

Muzzer, I'm sure he can kick your ass :)

.00's picture

The workshop was great. A lot of fun and a very humbling experience. Damn that Mack #12 brush has a mind of its own!

Great meeting you Dan.


Daniel Gardiner Morris's picture

Thanks to everyone who joined us for John's class. It was a heck of a lot of fun. I will post a link to pictures soon.

James- nice to meet you. Where's the photo of that last piece you were working on? You know the one...

Muzzer- to answer your question Mr. Downer is far more terrifying in real life. Fear the wrath!


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