Born in 1952 into a military family, John traveled for six years in Europe before moving back to the United States in 1961. He attended New Mexico Military Institute, where his father taught American history. In 1979, he graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a Bachelor of Arts degree in graphic design.

John taught briefly at the University of Southern Maine while doing freelance book and package design for biomedical companies. In 1981, The Johns Hopkins University Press employed him to build marketing materials. John went on to establish a long-term freelance business designing varied books and collateral marketing materials for publishers. His clients have included the Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press and the University of New Mexico Press.

John has worked with multitudes of small publishers, creating many monographic-style manuscripts and a number of large art books.

For the past three years, John and his wife, Karen, published Santa Fe oneheart magazine.

John has been building books successfully on a personal computer since 1987. Throughout this journey, he has continued to push for better typographic features in layout software. Nevertheless, no matter how hard the software designers have tried to improve their products, visual problems remain. Although software continues to improve, it has not replaced the human eye.

John brings years of experience in typography, illustration, photography, manufacturing materials, technology, and fine printing to his projects. His work incorporates recent developments in all of these fields.

In 1973, John illustrated his first advertisements for an indie newspaper in Flagstaff, Arizona. Today, after years of working with changing methodologies, from strippers to dot etchers, he has lots of stories to share about design technologies that are long gone. Although the design systems may have changed, John retains a clearly defined and experienced understanding of a quality product's sensibilities.