Emily Oberman


Pentagram / New York, NY

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, Weiden & Kennedy, (the much-missed) Restaurant Florent, and Talking Heads, for whom they made the award winning music video for “(Nothing But) Flowers.” With Kalman as creative director, Emily was 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 was open 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 with its audience. Her clients have included Benetton and NBC Universal (designing 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 the identity and website for NPR’s This American Life, working on the new identity and signage for NYC’s Hudson River Park and Bike New York, the branding, website, and collateral for the new Jean Nouvelle tower on 53rd street, and the strategy, branding, and signage for MIA (Minneapolis Institute of Arts), among other wide ranging projects.

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. She has served on the national board of the 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.

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Day 1

Jonathan Hoefler / Philippe Apeloig / Andrew Schapiro / Tom Geismar, Ivan Chermayeff, Sagi Haviv / Paula Scher / Hilary Greenbaum / Rodney Abbot / Larry Pipitone, Eric Collins, Joey Ellis / Christine Taylor / Fredrik Öst, Magnus Berg

Day 2

Johnny Earle aka "Cupcakes" / Gabor Schreier / Julia Hoffman / Brett Wickens / Emily Oberman / Greg Hahn, Ryan Moore / David Heasty, Stefanie Weigler / Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich / Susan Skarsgard / Ty Mattson
Emily Oberman



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Talk Topic

"Saturday Night Live" has been on the air for 40 years and I have been working with them for almost half of those years. I’ll share what I’ve done right, done wrong, laughed at, cursed at, and learned in those years and the run up to the 40th anniversary. So stick around.