Emily Oberman was born in Yonkers, New York, and studied at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. She began her career working with Tibor Kalman at his legendary studio M&Co., where from 1987 to 1993 she collaborated with Kalman to create groundbreaking work for Knoll, Wieden & Kennedy, Talking Heads, and Bennetton’s Colors magazine. In 1993, she co-founded the design studio Number Seventeen with her partner Bonnie Siegler. She joined Pentagram’s New York office as partner in April 2012.
Oberman is a multi-disciplinary designer whose work encompasses brand identity, motion graphics, publications, packaging, advertising, and websites for clients including hotels and restaurants, publishers, film and television, and nonprofit institutions. Her design is notable for its intelligence, political commitment, and sense of humor.
At Number Seventeen, Oberman’s clients included Benetton (the 2004 redesign of Colors); NBC Universal (logos for “30 Rock,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and “Saturday Night Live,” including the opening title sequence for 15 years), and Herman Miller. Other media work included the identity, promotion, and launch advertising for progressive radio network Air America; the ubiquitous launch campaign for Jane magazine; and the creation of Lucky magazine for Condé Nast. Oberman’s book design has included work for the Type Directors Club, HBO’s “Sex and the City,” Glamour magazine, and the deluxe illustrated edition of Stephen Dubner’s Superfreakonomics.
Emily Oberman’s extensive work in the hospitality industry includes the brand identity and design for hotels for André Balazs Properties (Mercer Hotel, Sunset Beach, Chateau Marmont), and restaurants for Jean-Georges Enterprises (The Mercer Kitchen, JoJo, Vong, V and the Spice Market). Other clients have included the Maritime Hotel, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Orbitz, MTV, VH1, HBO, Nickelodeon, Cinemax, This American Life, The Daily Beast, The Original Soupman, Science Friday, Conduit, and New York’s River to River Festival. In 2006, Oberman was one of the co-founders and creative directors of the website and daily bulletin Very Short List.
Oberman’s work has been recognized by the AIGA, 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. She has served on the national board of AIGA and as president of its New York chapter. While on the AIGA board she was responsible for two national conferences on design for television, DFTV.001 and DFTV.002.
Oberman has taught at the Cooper Union, the Yale University School of Art, and Parsons The New School for Design. She will begin teaching at the School of Visual Arts in fall 2012.