Bämler is mentioned in Augsburgian city records from 1453 as a scribe and from 1477 as a printer. He appears to have begun his career as an illuminator and calligrapher; a few illuminated manuscript pages and books decorated by calligraphy by his hand survive to this day (in the Free Library of Philadelphia, Bavarian State Library, Herzog August Library, Morgan Library & Museum and others).
He probably learnt the art of print-making in the shop of Günther Zainer. The first printed book by Bämler appeared in April 1472, and the first illustrated printed book from his workshop in September 1473. He based his typefaces on local cursive script, and they are considered to have contributed to the development of the Schwabacher. Approximately half of the books printed in his printing office were illustrated with woodcuts or other decorative elements.
He belonged to the guild of painters, glassmakers, woodcut-makers and goldbeaters, and eventually reached a high position within the guild. His printing activity ceased in 1495.
- Digitised version of his first printed book, Lehr und Unterweisung, from the Bavarian State Library
- Chronik von allen Kaisern, Königen und Päpsten. Augsburg, Anton Sorg, 9 Sept. (Sampstag na¨chst nach Vnser Frawen Gepurt) 1480. From the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection at the Library of Congress
- Buch der Natur. Augsburg, Johann Bämler, 20 Aug. (Montag vor S. Bartholomaeus) 1481. From the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection at the Library of Congress
- Summa confessorum. German (Middle High German). Augsburg Johann Bämler, 25 Sept (Freytag vor Michaelis) 1472. From the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection at the Library of Congress
- Collationes patrum XXIV. German. Augsburg, Johann Bämler, 18 Dec. (Freitag vor Weihnachten) 72. From the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection at the Library of Congress
- Historia de preliis. German. Augsburg, Johann Bämler, 28 June (Montag nach Johannes Baptistae) 1473. From the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection at the Library of Congress