Banu Önal was born in 1978 in Ankara. She completed her primary, secondary, and high school education at Yükseliş Private High School. She graduated from Bilkent University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Graphic Design in 2002 with a bachelor's degree and obtained a master's degree in 2005 with her thesis titled "Subverstising versus Advertising: A Semiotical Analysis of The Culture Jamming Act"
She has worked with many brands and institutions in Turkey and abroad through her design office, LavaMedya, which she founded in 2003. In the same year, she created Turkey's first personalized invitation brand Gigno. She designed icon sets for the open-source operating system PARDUS, developed by TÜBİTAK/ULAKBİM between 2008 and 2013. Since 2011, she has been involved in projects with the European Union and humanitarian aid organizations.
Throughout her career, she has provided voluntary design support to many non-governmental organizations such as Amnesty Turkey, World Tribunal on Iraq, LÖSEV, 1 Milyon Kitap, Kız Başına, and Eşik Platform.
Since 2018, Banu has been working with a select number of brands in graphics design and illustration, as well as working on EU, USAID, UKAID projects and her personal projects.