Semi-Permanent :: Gemma O’brien

During my uni days I was a big time doodler.. And when I had no books to doodle over I was guilty of the occasional hand doodle. I had the doodling thing under control, I felt it would never let it become an obsession or anything. It wasn’t unitl after seeing Gemma O’brien’s, Write Here Write Now project a few years back I kicked myself for not embracing the need to draw over my entire body!

Unlike me and my doodles of skulls, crossbones and Pokémon, there is far more to Gemma O’brien’s typography than these famous photos and videos which caused a sensation amongst graphic designers and type-nerds way back when.

Gemma aka Mrs Eaves (Also a sexy typeface) has since traveled the world and worked for The New York Times, Cannon and even former Prime minister Bob Hawke. All for the love of type!

It is more than obvious she lives and breathes everything about typography and from reading up about her background and views on type I can totally see why.

Gemma On letters..

“they are the greatest human invention ever”…”I know I sound crazy, but just think about letters for a second and you will realise they are awesome”

(Gemma O’brian, Frankie Magazine, Issue 42, p122)

So I took Gemmas’ advice and I sat and thought and even did some research and have learned that typography is a way of contextualizing the world we live in. See letters and the way the way they are presented assist in conveying the messages they make up.

It may sound like a strange obsession but so is Pokémon.

“just think about Pokémon for a second and you will realise they are pointless”


Catch Gemma O’brien, speaking at this years Semi-Permanent , Brisbane… If you are unlucky and have to miss out then keep an eye out for her work on the new Play School opening sequence! Little Ted has never looked so fly!


Other posts by