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Emily Oberman


Emily is a multi-disciplinary designer whose work encompasses brand identity, motion graphics, publications, packaging, advertising and websites. Her most recent projects include the website for This American Life, the identity, website and retail graphics for The Original Soupman (the basis for the beloved Seinfeld character), as well as work in progress for Science Friday and the technology company Conduit.


A native of Yonkers, New York, Emily studied at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. She has worked in New York all her life, first for Paul Davis on small projects for the Public Theater, and then with Tibor Kalman at his legendary studio M&Co. While at M&Co. from 1987 to 1993 — no other designer worked there longer — she worked with Kalman to create work for Knoll, Wieden & Kennedy, the iconic and 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.


In 1993, Emily cofounded the design studio Number Seventeen with her friend Bonnie Siegler. Number Seventeen’s clients included Benetton (for whom Emily once again worked on the design of Colors), NBC Universal (designing logos for 30 Rock, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and Saturday Night Live, where they did the opening title sequence for 15 years), and Herman Miller (an early collaboration with Pentagram). Other media work included the identity, promotion and launch advertising for progressive radio network Air America.


Number Seventeen, which dissolved in 2013, created the ubiquitous launch campaign for Jane and helped Condé Nast invent Lucky magazine, working on the content, brand, and tone as well as the design. Emily’s book design has included work for the Type Directors Club, HBO’s Sex and the City, and Glamour Magazine. Most recently, Emily collaborated with author Stephen Dubner on the deluxe illustrated edition ofSuperfreakonomics. Emily’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, Air America, MTV, VH1, HBO, Nickelodeon, Cinemax, The Daily Beast, and New York’s River to River Festival.


In 2006, Emily was one of the co-founders and creative directors of the website and daily bulletin Very Short List. For over two years, Emily and Bonnie wrote and designed “Room 650,” a monthly column about the trials and tribulations of a design studio, which ran on the back page of Step Magazine.


Emily’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 matter Cooper Union (an honor she shares with partner Abbott Miller). 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. More recently, Emily and Bonnie produced the popular Command X reality show-style competition for AIGA’s national conferences in 2007, 2009 and 2011 (hosted by partner Michael Bierut).

Emily has taught at Cooper Union, the Yale University School of Art, and Parsons The New School for Design. 

The curriculum for The Masters in Branding Program allows students to create frameworks to guide brand, design and business development, critically evaluate brand, business, marketing and design strategies and Master the intellectual link between leadership and creativity. Learn more...


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Debbie Millman
Chair, Co-founder


Emily Weiland

Director of Operations, Graduate Advisor


Steven Heller
Co-founder, Faculty Advisor