woman (designer) on the verge
How the current political climate has led us to join forces with a few strong voices and help them come to life in both words and visuals.
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 School of Art in New York City. After graduation she joined the legendary design studio M&Co., working with Tibor Kalman to create work for Knoll, Wieden & Kennedy, and Talking Heads, as well as being the original designer for the launch of Benetton’s critically acclaimed magazine, Colors. Before joining Pentagram, Emily cofounded the design studio Number Seventeen in 1993, which operated for (coincidentally, perhaps) seventeen years.
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 have included Benetton and NBC Universal (including brand identities for 30 Rock, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and Saturday Night Live, for whom she has done the opening title sequence for 19 years, as well as a new coffee table book).
Recent projects include strategy and branding for DC Entertainment; strategy and branding for Film Independent as well as show packaging for the Film Independent Spirit Awards; strategy and branding for the luxury resort Le Guanahani as well as the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Mia); branding and opening sequences for Tina Fey’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; and theatrical identities for JK Rowling’s film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, DC’s Justice League, and Steven Spielberg’s 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 coworking space for women that opened in the fall of 2016 and is expanding across the country as well as into the lifestyle category with our newly designed magazine,No Man’s Land.
Emily’s work has been recognized by the AIGA, Communication Arts, the Type Directors Club and the Art Directors Club, 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. 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.