Gemma O’Brien


Gemma O’Brien is an Australian artist specialising in lettering, illustration and typography. After completing a Bachelor of Design at the College of Fine Arts in Sydney, Gemma worked as an art director at Animal Logic, Fuel VFX and Toby and Pete before deciding to fly solo as a commercial illustrator in 2012. Her typographic work takes on a variety of forms, from calligraphic brushwork, illustration and digital type, to large scale hand-painted murals.

She splits her time between advertising commissions, gallery shows, speaking engagements and hosting hand-lettering workshops around the world. Her clients include Playboy Magazine, Nike, Adobe, Volcom Stone, Kirin, Heineken, QANTAS, and Angus & Julia Stone. A number of her projects have been recognised by the New York The Type Directors Club with Awards of Typographic Excellence and in 2015 she was recognised as an ADC Young Gun.

Letters From Oz

Tuesday, 17th – 14:40

Over the past 10 years, Australian designer and artist, Gemma O’Brien, has taken her passion for typography and built a flourishing career around drawing letters. Her bold type and detailed illustration can be seen in work for advertising and editorial clients or painted large-scale onto the walls of galleries, offices and interiors around the world. At SmashingConf 2017, Gemma will tell the story of her big break in the design world, explain how an Australian outlook shapes her work, and consider the importance of analogue craft in the digital future.

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