Bob Noorda


Bob Noorda was a Dutch-born Italian graphic designer who lived and worked primarily in Milan from 1954 until his death. His works included design projects for major corporations and large-scale retail chains, publishing houses as well as public works such as the Milan Metro and NYC subway sign and image systems. In addition to design practice, Noorda was a professor in graphic design at the Industrial Design School in Venice, ISIA Urbino and IED (European Institute of Design) in Milan. From 1996 to 2001 he was a professor of visual communication at Politecnico di Milano.

Project Title (1963): LINEA 1
MM – Metropolitana Milanese

A masterpiece of graphic design. This project introduced revolutionary innovations, becoming a standard for subway signage systems worldwide. For the first time ever, all signage information were placed on a band that ran along the whole line, while station names were repeated every five meters to be easily read by anyone, while the train was still moving. The same system was repeated for the other lines of the Milan Metro. The project was awarded a Compasso d’Oro in 1964.