He was born in Amsterdam in 1927. In 1950 he graduated from IVKNO (Instituut voor Kunstnijverheidsonderwijs), an institute for industrial arts education where he received a rationalist education. The spirit of IVKNO was that of functionalism, basic design and constructive typography.

The Institute of Design was directed by Mart Staam, architect and urban planner trained at the Bauhaus in Dessau and creator of the first chairs in tubular metal; his teachers were all Bauhaus professors. Bob Noorda said of this formative experience: “a school of thought that goes in the direction of removing all the superfluous, of thinking things simply and acting accordingly… When I arrived in Italy, industrialists still gave advertising to illustrators and painters. We were among those who introduced modern graphics here, the corporate corporate image, which is a mixture of architecture, interiors, design and advertising”.

Later, in 1956, he settled in Milan and began to operate in all sectors of visual design. From 1962 to 1965 he was a lecturer at the Humanitarian Society of Milan and taught graphic design at the upper course of industrial design in Venice. In 1961 he was art director at Pirelli, in 1963-64 he became artistic consultant for packaging at Rinascente-Upim, since 1965 he has been co-founder and vice president of Unimark International (a coordinated image design company).

He has received many awards in Italy and abroad, including two Compassi d’Oro from the ADI (Association for Industrial Design) of which he is a member. Then two Bodoni awards for Publishing and a gold medal for coordinated image at the Ljubjana Biennial.

Noorda was a professor of graphic design at the Umanitaria in Milan, the ISIA in Urbino and the IED in Milan; from 1996 to 2001 he was professor of visual communication at the Design faculty of the Milan Polytechnic. In 2005 he was awarded the Honoris Causa Degree in Design by the Politecnico di Milano. He died in Milan in 2010.