Gemma O’Brien is a designer based in Sydney working primarily with hand-drawn lettering, typography, graphic design, illustration and art direction for motion graphics. Over the past four years she has created work for clients including The New York Times, Smirnoff, Canon, Ferrero: Mon Cheri, ABC3, Bob Hawke, and Julia Stone.
Her work has been published in books and magazines including Grafik, Graphic Design Referenced, Just My Type, Form Magazine, Frankie and Slanted Magazine.
“My interest in letters and typography became obsessive,”
“I began doing more readings on the history of printing and typography. And then everywhere I looked was letters. EVERYWHERE! And they are so exciting! Soon I was writing on FedEx boxes, fruit, myself, and who knows what next?”
O’Brien adopted the moniker, Mrs. Eaves, and started a blog, ‘For the Love of Type’, where she began to show her type and lettering experiments.
Her hand drawn typography is stylish and elegant, she even designed Bob Hawke’s 80th birthday invitations.
She put one such experiment—Write Here, Right Now—on YouTube.
The video shows O’Brien writing “Write Here Right Now” on her body with black marker, homage to designer Stefan Sagmeister.
The project took 8 hours of writing, 5 markers, 3 baths and 2 showers to get clean. The video logged more than 185,000 views.
The experiment was part of a university project where the brief was given to identify an issue with a community where O’ Brien chose the issue of graffiti and vandalism, the whole campaign was about creating designated writing walls/graffiti spaces where the community voice could be heard. In order to make people aware of this, a type-covered girl would walk down the street, followed by bus stop posters, which would appear in the following few weeks.