Receiving an MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University in 1976, Fernández has taught at the University of Cincinnati, Carnegie Mellon University, CCAD, Maine College of Art, Ohio State University, and Montana State University. His expertise and research interests include wayfinding and interaction relationships, information design, user-centered design, typographic information architecture, symbol systems and communication design history.
His professional career began with architectural firms and progressed through design directorships at international for-profit and non-profit institutions, including Fitch Worldwide and the Wexner Center for the Arts. His clients have included Fedex, P&G, Fraser Papers, and the Hara Museum (Tokyo).
Oscar Fernández has been adjunct teaching at CCAD since 1988. He currently teaches typography. Among his design awards and scholarly work are recognitions in GRAPHIS, Print, AIGA Annuals and SEGD. In 2011, the International Institute for Information Design awarded his design team, Best in Category for Healthcare Design for the universal healthcare symbol set Hablamos Juntos (We Speak Together). This was followed by the co-authored (Lisa Fontaine & Kathryn McCormick) paper, Universal Symbols for Cross Cultural Audiences: New Methods for Design and Testing, published by the International Journal of the Humanities (04/01/2011).
He is principal of the design consultancy, Bridge, focused on designing for people.