Emily Oberman is a multidisciplinary designer whose work encompasses brand identity, motion graphics, publications, packaging, advertising, and websites.
A native of Yonkers, New York, Emily studied design and filmmaking at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. After graduation she joined the legendary design studio M&Co., collaborating with Tibor Kalman on work for Knoll, Wieden & Kennedy, (the much-missed) Restaurant Florent, and Talking Heads, for whom they made the award-winning music video for for “(Nothing But) Flowers.” With Kalman as creative director, Emily was the original designer for the launch of Benetton’s critically acclaimed magazine, Colors. Emily cofounded the design studio Number Seventeen in 1993, which operated for (coincidentally, perhaps) 17 years. She joined Pentagram’s New York office as partner in 2012.
Emily’s work is unique in that it blurs the line between promotion and design—often using language and humor to make an emotional connection. Her clients include film and television, hotels and restaurants, real estate developments, cultural institutions and nonprofit organizations.
Clients and projects include NBC Universal, including brand identities for “30 Rock,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Saturday Night Live,” for whom she has designed the opening title sequence for 19 years, as well as a visual history published by Taschen; strategy and branding for DC Entertainment and the “Justice League” film; strategy and branding for Film Independent; branding for the LA Film Festival; identity and show packaging for the Film Independent Spirit Awards; strategy and branding for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Mia); branding and signage for Hudson River Park in New York; branding and opening sequences for Tina Fey’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and Tracey Wigfield’s “Great News”; identities for JK Rowling’s Wizarding World and the films “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and “The Crimes of Grindelwald”; and the identity for Steven Spielberg‘s adaptation of “Ready Player One.”
Other projects include the brand identities for This American Life, Bike New York, Alex Gibney’s production company Jigsaw, and The Wing, a social club for women that opened in the fall of 2016.
Emily’s work has been recognized by the AIGA, the Type Directors Club, the Art Directors Club and Communication Arts, among others. In 2004, she was awarded the prestigious Augustus Saint-Gaudens Award for distinguished alumni from her alma mater, Cooper Union. In 2016 she was chosen by Fast Company as one of the year’s 100 most creative people in business. In 2022 she was awarded the profession’s highest honor, the AIGA Medal, in recognition of her distinguished achievements and contributions to the field. She has served on the national board of AIGA and as president of its New York chapter. She has taught in the graduate program of Yale University School of Art, as well as at Cooper Union and Parsons The New School for Design.