Cheeky Observer | Cheeky Observer | Typography, Hand Lettering, Illustration, Design - Cape Town
Alicia McFadzean (Cheeky Observer) is a Cape Town based typographer, illustrator and designer. She is provides bespoke, artistic solutions for an array commercial and conceptual commissions, inclusive of print and packaging design, logos and branding, exhibitions, murals, tattoo commissions and more.
typography, hand lettering, illustration, design, designer, typographer, lettering workshops, Cape Town, South Africa, Packaging Design
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Inospace Mural
Cheeky Observer Art Studio

Of Lines & Letters

The other half of my art practice comes in the form of lettering and illustration.
For me, language is the fuel that keeps the imagination churning; as the means through which we absorb the world around us, and in turn utilise to express our unique ideas, authenticity and sense of self. It is with this reverence that I approach my lettering practice –  I love that even the simplest of words and phrases, layered with the creativity of design, hold the potential to communicate something powerful.


Since taking taking the leap into full time creative work, I have lent my lettering and illustrative skills to a wide array of commercial and conceptual projects, inclusive of print and packaging design, logos and branding, exhibitions, murals, tattoo commissions and more.


I love to develop creative solutions for disruptive start-ups, brands, organisations and individuals who are making a conscious effort to improve our world.
Blackletter Calligraphy Alphabet
Calligraphic A
Majesty Of Nuance Thumbnail
Typography + Line Illustration
Circus Style Block Lettering
Cheeky Observer Street Calligraphy

Typographic Murals

With more experience than most working on a ladder, I have over six years experience painting murals, indoor and outdoor, for clients, festivals and for my own pleasure.
Every single wall I produce is bespoke; all lettering is designed from scratch and installed using weather-proof acrylics and/or aerosols.
Octagon Agency Mural
The Arrow Club Mural
'Kismet' Brush Script Mural


Mural Commission for Broll Property Group
Pretoria, South Africa


Loosely translated as meaning ‘spirit’ in Afrikaans, this artwork pays tribute to the power of spirit in all living things. The land on which it stands was traditionally a quagga farm – a subspecies of zebra that are now extinct. I wanted to pay homage to this little piece of history whilst also serving as an expression of spirit in all its fluidity; as it is cultivated both within self and within broader culture – particularly in spaces like this where people often gather in community.
Mural Painting Progress Photography
Quagga Mural Detail
'Gees' - Mural by Alicia McFadzean


Syntropy is the essence of life. It describes the law of organisation, the ability of complex forms to gather consciously in the business of creating something new, something vital.
Like the formation of a new galaxy, amongst the ruins of collapsed stars and the cosmic debris of an older galaxy. On the micro level we could consider the formation of cells to grow into a living organism as an example of syntropy. By definition it is the antithesis of entropy – the other side of the universal coin – which describes dissent into chaos and disorder.


For this typographic artwork I chose to incorporate sacred geometric line work (the egg of life) as the visual language to illustrate the cohesive, cyclical nature of syntropic phenomena.
Syntropy Typographic Mural
Passion Mural

Passion | Piaxão

Passion Mural MTN94
Mural Commission for Vida E Caffe.
Ndabeni, Cape Town.


Vida is known for its beverages – this design visually plays on this idea through a liquid-like look and feel, flowing in and out of the word ‘passion’ – the value which sits at the heart of the Vida brand.
Calligraphic Lettering Design
Smudge Stationery Print Design
Lettering Design Black and Gold
Cheeky Observer Brush Lettering
Life Is A Mirror Calligraphy
Smudge Stationery Graffiti Pattern Illustration
International Public Art Festival Cheeky Observer
International Public Art Festival Cape Town


My mural for the International Public Art Festival Cape Town (IPAFest).


“Each One Teach One” is a concept which speaks to the power of education in its ability to solve so many of the world’s problems. It was the philosophy the political prisoners of Robben Island lived by during their sentence in the time of apartheid in South Africa.


To me, this idea still bears such incredible relevance today, as we stand on the brink of fighting for equality between nations, and between humans and the natural environment. I believe we need to consciously share our knowledge with those in our circle of influence, and possibly even go one step further to try and bring education to those who might not readily have access to it. The strength of many minds combined is the seed which will nurture positive change.
International Public Art Festival
Elevate Education Typography Mural
Sk8 For G8 Illustration
Alicia McFadzean mural painting
Sk8 For Gr8 DeskStand Fundraiser Artwork
Learn Hand Lettering

Lettering Workshops

I offer interactive workshops that teach the fundamental building blocks for lettering design and technique.
During my sessions students will experience a playful introduction to a range of different styles, including brush script, block lettering, cursive, calligraphy and more.


Cape Town workshops are hosted publicly at a central location a few times a year.
Private group sessions are also available on demand for groups of 4+ people, and need to be booked 2 weeks in advance.


For more information on upcoming workshops, please keep an eye on my Facebook events page.
Beginner and intermediate workshops generally run for 3 – 4hours.