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Gemma O’Brien

What we love

In a world of many travel types, it’s refreshing to meet someone who travels for type. Gemma O’Brien is a Sydney-based artist and designer best known for her work with illustrated typography and hand lettering.

It was at university that Gemma found her passion for typography and she soon began sharing it with the world on her blog For the Love of Type. You can also see some of Gemma’s beautiful typography work on her Instagram @mrseaves101.

Gemma splits her time between working on commissions, gallery shows and speaking engagements. Her clients include Volcom, Adobe, Heineken, Kirin Cider, QANTAS, Heinz, Angus and Julia Stone and The New York Times. Gemma travels around the world to talk about type at events like Typo Berlin, Semi-Permanent, agIdeas International Design Forum, Typism, Creative Mornings and Typo San Francisco.

With such a busy schedule Gemma knows a thing or two about travel so we asked her about her favourite experiences, top travel tips and what’s still on her bucket list.

We chat to Gemma about her adventures:

Where have you recently visited?

I recently came back from doing a couple of design conferences in Europe. I was in Berlin for TypoBerlin and Barcelona for the OFFF design conference. I also made a quick trip to Paris in between.

Where are you travelling next?

In October I’m off to Portland in America for a design conference and lettering workshop.

What are your favourite hotels in Australia and around the world?

The MONA Pavillions in Tasmania and The Standard East Village. I always stays there. It’s like an old faithful. Compared to other hotels its pretty chilled and it’s like staying at a friend’s house.

What has been your best travel experience?

  • Going to Antarctica!
  • Visiting Powder Mountain in Utah to do an artist residency last year. It was summertime and the scenery up in the mountain was incredible – lots of blooming wild flowers, wide open spaces and outdoor activities
  • Everything about Barcelona on my latest trip was amazing – the Primavera music festival, the food and the beach
  • Doing a day trip from Rome to the island of Capri
  • Riding a bike around Berlin

What’s on your travel bucket list?

  1. Raja Ampat
  2. The Neon Museum in Las Vegas – all the old Vegas signs in one place
  3. Montaigne’s Castle in South West France
  4. Back to Antarctica