TYPO San Francisco 2014


Gemma O’Brien

Gemma O’Brien is a Sydney-based typographer and artist represented by the Jacky Winter Group. A stint learning letterpress in university sparked a fervent obsession with typography, and the creation of her blog For the Love of Type. At 21, she produced an experimental body-lettering video which caught the attention of Font Shop’s Jurgen Siebert and earned her an invitation to speak Germany’s 2009 TYPO Berlin. Since then she’s been sprucing up words in pen, ink and vectors for clients including Woolworths, Heinz, Vodafone, Smirnoff, Canon, Kirin and The New York Times. Gemma has also worked in art direction for motion graphics at Animal Logic, Fuel VFX and Toby & Pete. In addition to commercial work, her artwork has been exhibited in numerous gallery shows and she hosts hand-lettering workshops across Australia. She has presented at design conferences including TYPO Berlin, Semi Permanent, Field Trip, agIdeas International Design Forum, and Typism. In her spare time she travels and illustrates puke-puns on airsick bags for The Spew Bag Challenge. (Photo: Toby Dixon)

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Crafting Authenticity

TYPO San Francisco 2014TYPO San Francisco 2014, April 10, 2014, 1:00 pm (YBCA Theater)

For Gemma O’Brien, what started as a passion for the history and discipline of typography has shifted towards an interest in all forms of writing that represent the diversity of human experience. The growing demand for commercial commissions of hand-crafted lettering and calligraphic brush work sparked an interest to look deeper into the lure of the handmade and the value of authenticity in a digital age. At Typo SF 2014, she will discuss these observations by drawing upon experiences from her path to becoming a letterer and artist.