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John Dowling

John Dowling

Senior Lecturer

Nottingham School of Art & Design

Staff Group(s)
Graphic Design


John Dowling is year lead and co module leader of level 6 (final year) on the BA (Hons) Graphic Design course at Nottingham Trent University. John also contributes across all levels, including the Masters program and is the liaison officer for the FdA (Foundation) Graphics & Digital Arts course at Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies. Alongside normal teaching responsibilities, and utilising his vast experience and extensive network, John is involved in building and maintaining links with industry through guest lectures, collaborative projects and external activities.

Career overview

With nearly 30 year’s experience, John has worked for and collaborated with some of the worlds most respected designers and design agencies, run his own studio for over 20 years and been involved in design education since 2006.

John began his career in 1995 at the innovative London design studio — Area, where he worked on projects for De Beers, SCP, MoMA and the V&A. In 1998 he joined John Rushworth’s team at the internationally acclaimed agency — Pentagram, working on accounts for clients such as King’s College London, Pantone, Polaroid and Hewlett Packard. Following a brief spell at SEA Design, John joined Vince Frost at Frost Design in 2001 where he managed accounts for Nike, Swiss Re, Serpentine Gallery, Laurence King, Phaidon Press and the first London Design Festival.

In 2003 he established Dowling Design & Art Direction, moving his studio from London to Newark in Nottinghamshire the following year. In 2010, he joined Rob Duncan to form Dowling Duncan, a multi-disciplinary design studio with offices in Newark, San Francisco and New York. In 2013, Dowling Duncan merged with Mucho in Barcelona to form a global boutique design agency with offices in the UK, San Francisco, Barcelona, Paris and New York. In 2016 John returned to his own practice — Studio Dowling.

Widely published, John’s work has garnered awards from the Art Directors Club of New York, Graphis, Creative Review, Design Week, the Tokyo Type Directors Club, British Book Awards and D&AD, who awarded him a coveted Yellow Pencil in 1998. John has delivered talks on graphic design at various universities and institutions such as the University of Lincoln, Northumbria University, Norwich University of the Arts and the Typocircle in London. He has also sat on a number of judging panels for ISTD, Antalis McNaughton, ICAD, Polaroid UK, D&AD’s professional awards (2000, 2006, 2015) and D&AD’s New Blood student award schemes (2007, 2012).

John has been a senior lecturer at Sheffield Hallam (2015 – 2019) and an associate lecturer at the University of Lincoln (2006 – 2019). In 2019 he joined Nottingham Trent University as a full time senior lecturer on the BA Hons Graphic Design course, where he works across all levels. John is currently the year lead and co-module leader of level 6 (final year) and the liaison officer for the FdA Graphics & Digital Arts course at Confetti. John has been an awarded member of D&AD since 1998, a fellow of The Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and recently nominated as a Fellow of the RSA (FRSA).

Research areas

Practice based, branding, editorial, book design and typography

External activity

John maintains an active professional practice of client-initiated and self-initiated design projects.

Selected accreditation:
PGCert (Learning and Teaching in Higher Education)
FHEA (Fellow of The Higher Education Academy)
FRSA (Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts)
D&AD (awarded member since 1998)
External Validation Panel Member (Northumbria University 2018)

Selected professional awards:
1x D&AD Yellow Pencil
2x D&AD Graphite Pencils
5x D&AD Wooden Pencils
4x Graphis Gold
3x British Book Awards Shortlisted
2x McNaughton Review Awards Highly Commended
1x Cream Awards Gold
2x Cream Awards Bronze
2x Cream Awards Nomination
2x Tokyo Type Directors Club Merit
1x ISTD Certificate of Excellence
3x ADC of New York Merit
1x Creative Review Annual In-Book
1x Premier Paper Awards Highly Commended
1x Design Week Awards Nomination
1x Hong Kong Triennial Exhibition
1x Asia Pacific Design In-Book
1x Communication Arts Award of Excellence
1x Wallpaper Design Awards Winner

Selected design tutor awards:
6x D&AD Yellow Pencils
5x D&AD Graphite Pencils
13x D&AD Wooden Pencils
2x RSA Award Winners
1x RSA Highly Commended
3x RSA Shortlisted

Selected judging:
ISTD Student Awards 2022
ICAD, Dublin, 2016
D&AD Professional Awards, London, 2015
D&AD Student Awards, London, 2012
Antalis McNaughton Review, Gloucestershire, 2011
D&AD Student Awards, London, 2007
D&AD Professional Awards, London, 2006
D&AD Professional Awards, London, 2000
Polaroid UK, London, 1998

Selected talks:
Norwich University of the Arts, 2016
Sheffield Hallam University, 2016 
University of Lincoln, 2015
Northumbria University, 2015
Typographic Circle, London, 2014
Middlesex University, 2008
University of Lincoln, 2006
Croydon College School of Art, 2003


Co-authored article:
Eye, No. 89, Vol 23, 2014, Reputations Profile, p14-27

Selected designed books:
Villa Ventorum, Profile Editions, 2021
14-18 NOW, Profile Editions, 2019
500 years of the Royal College of Physicians, Profile Editions, 2018
Remarkable Case of Dr Ward, Laurence King Publishing, 2018
100 Years of Architecture, Laurence King Publishing, 2016
Rubber Stamping, Laurence King Publishing, 2016
Ballpoint Art, Laurence King Publishing, 2016
Typewriter Art, Laurence King Publishing, 2014
100 Ways to Create a Great Ad, Laurence King Publishing, 2014
John Everett Millais, Phaidon Press, 2012
Drawing for Designers, Laurence King Publishing, 2007
Winslow Homer, An American Vision, Phaidon Press, 2006
Louis I Kahn, Phaidon Press, 2005
Fashion & Graphics, Laurence King Publishing, 2004
Nan Goldin, Phaidon Press, 2001
Architecture and the Environment, Laurence King Publishing, 1998
Library Relocations, Bookworks, 1998

Selected Publications:
Animal Logos, Trademarks and Symbols, Counter-Print, 2013, p189
Idea Generation, AVA Academia, 2013, p3, 12-13, 58-59, 92-93
Logotype, Laurence King Publishing, 2012, p32, 62, 94, 134, 186, 190, 196, 205, 218, 220, 228
Symbol, Laurence King Publishing, 2011, p177
How to Design Websites, Alan Pipes, Laurence King Publishing, 2011, p26-27
The McNaughton Review, 2009, p25
Boxed and Labelled, Gestalten, 2009, p12, 21, 138, 145
Simply Packaging, Victionary, 2008, p136, 161
Bastardised, Made in Bunch, 2008, p143, 151
Colour in Graphics, Maomao Publications, 2008, p112
The Designer’s Packaging Bible, Rotovision, 2007, p93, 98, 122
Graphis – Poster Annual, 2007, p171
Logology, Victionary, 2007, p122, 147, 153, 172, 175, 224
Print and Production Finishes for Promotional Items, Rotovision, 2007, p137
The McNaughton Review, 2006, p21
D&AD Annual, 2006, p62, 101
The Best of Brochure Design 9, Rockport, 2006, p117, 138
Print and Production Finishes for Brochures and Catalogs, Rotovision, 2006, p30, 73
Experimental Formats 2, Rotovision, 2005, p16, 44
D&AD Annual, 2004, p241
ADC of New York Annual 82, Rotovision, 2003, p385
D&AD Annual, 2003, p269
Identify, Rockport, 2003, p143
Paper Engineering, Rockport, 2003, p63
Brochure Design 7, Rockport, 2003, p80
No Brief – Graphic Designers Personal Projects, Rotovision, 2002, p92, 93
Rewind, Forty Years of Design and Advertising, Phaidon Press, 2002, p398
ADC of New York Annual 81, Rotovision, 2002, p301
Graphis Design Annual, 2002, p80-81
Design Week Annual, 2002, p66
Experimental Formats 1, Rotovision, 2001, p8, 14, 15, 52, 53, 54, 62, 74
D&AD Annual, 2001, p268, 234
ADC of New York Annual 80, Rotovision, 2001, p312
D&AD Annual, 2000, p161
ADCE Annual, 1999, p172, 174, 176
D&AD Annual, 1999, p172, 173, 254
Cool Sites, HBI, 1998, p85, 103
D&AD Annual, 1995, p556

Selected Periodicals:
Computer Arts, What’s in a Name?, June 2017, p96
Eye, No. 89, Vol 23, 2014, Reputations Profile, p14-27
Communication Arts Design Annual 53, 2012, p113
Eight 48 Magazine No. 6, 2011, Profile, p22-25
Design Assembly, 2011, No Contest Article, p194-195
Process Journal, Edition Six, 2011, Profile, p82-93
IDN Magazine, Pick of the Month, January 2011, p90
Design Week, Voxpop, October 2010, p11
Design Week, News in Pictures, August 2010, p8
San Francisco Chronicle, August 2010, p1
Creative Review, Case Study, August 2010, p19-22
Creative Review, Hi-Res, August 2010, p17
Design Week, News, April 2010, p5,
Design Week, News Analysis, April 2008, p9
Newark Advertiser, Business Guide, October 2007, p41
Newark Advertiser, Business Guide, August 2007, p45
Design Week, News, July 2007, p4
Newark Advertiser, Business Guide, February 2007, p35
University of Lincoln, Contact, December 2006, p1
Creative Review, Gallery, November 2006, p108
Creative Review, First Sight, June 2006, p11
Creative Review, First Sight, March 2006, p11
Wallpaper Magazine, Design Awards Edition, 2006, p71
Creative Review, First Sight, January 2006, p10
Creative Review, First Sight, April 2004, p10
Design Week, News, 2003, p6
Graphic, Vince and Me, 2003, p14, 15, 16, 17
Design Week, Ceramics, 2002, p16, 17, 18, 19
Graphics International 97, Showcase, 2002, p9
Red Magazine, Art — What a Saver, 2001, p123
Time Out, Sport, June 2001, p144
Print Magazine, Great Britain Showcase, 2001, p46
Creative Review, What’s New in Design, 2001, p12
Graphics International 89, Glamour, 2001, p20
Design Week, News, 2001, p6
Graphics International 74, Brochures, 2000, p26, 27, 28
The Guardian Space Magazine, 1999, p1, 14, 15
Design News Week, Japan, 1999, p19
Design Week, Quality Time, 1999, p22, 23
Graphics International 68, Posters, 1999, p27
D&AD Ampersand 6, My First, 1999, p20
D&AD Ampersand 4, Nominations Issue, 1999, p18
The Guardian, Score Draw, August 1998, p13
Graphics International 57, Case Study, 1998, p10, 11
Graphics International 55, Brochures, 1998, p30, 31
Graphics International 53, Showcase, 1998, p8
Creative Review, News, 1997, p15
Graphics International 45, Showcase, 1997, p8
Islington Chronicle, November 1995, p18

Press expertise

Graphic design, typography, branding, editorial and book design

Course(s) I teach on