John has worked for some of the UK's most respected design companies, beginning his career in 1995 at the innovative London studio – Area, where he worked on projects for De Beers, SCP, Museum of Modern Art Oxford and the V&A. In 1998 he joined the internationally acclaimed agency – Pentagram, working on accounts for clients such as Amanda Wakeley, King's College London, British Friends of the Art Museums of Israel (BFAMI), Pantone and Hewlett Packard. Following a brief spell at Sea Design, establishing the Beyon identity, John joined Frost Design in 2001 where he managed accounts for clients including Nike, Swiss Re, Serpentine Gallery and the first ever 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 studio and in 2016 set up Studio Dowling, a graphic design agency.
Widely published, John’s work has garnered awards from the Art Directors Club of New York, Design Week, the Cream Awards, the Tokyo Type Directors Club and D&AD, who awarded him a coveted Yellow Pencil. John has given talks on graphic design at various university's and instutions such as the University of Lincoln, Northumbria University, Norwich University of the Arts, Middlesex University and the Typo Circle in London. He has also sat on a number of judging panels for, amongst others, D&AD’s professional awards (2000, 2006, 2015) D&AD's New Blood student award schemes (2007, 2012) and Polaroid UK. He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy