Noma Bar

Noma Bar is a London based graphic designer, illustrator, and artist. He was born in 1973 in Israel.

He gained a reputation for his clever and subtle work, with designs that appear simple at first glance, but they reveal a hidden meaning upon closer inspection. With his use of primary colours, negative space, and minimal detail, Bar believes that less is more and that adding unnecessary elements can detract from the message of an image.

”I am after the maximum communication with minimum elements”

Noma Bar

Early life

As a child, Bar discovered his passion for drawing by creating caricatures of his teachers at school. He was always fascinated by the idea of transforming something ordinary into something extraordinary, and this was reinforced by his childhood neighbour who made sculptures out of spare farm machinery. This experience showed him the power of composition and how it can drastically change the appearance and purpose of an object.


Bar pursued graphic design and graduated from the Jerusalem Academy of Art & Design in 2000. After moving to London, the following year, he had to find other means of communication due to the language barrier. His native language was Hebrew. He became fascinated with pictograms and began collecting them in various forms. Eventually, he developed a form of his own sign language. Bar states that inspiration for this choice in career dates to the first Gulf War when he was in a shelter reading the newspaper and discovered a resemblance between the “radioactivity” symbol and Saddam Hussein’s features. He sketched his silhouette around the symbol and found it a close likeness. This image helped Bar to secure his first commission for Time Out London.

Body of work and awards

Bar’s impressive body of work has been featured in various renowned media publications such as Time Out London, BBC, Random House, The Observer, The Economist and Wallpaper. He has been credited with creating over 550 illustrations and more than one hundred magazine covers. In addition to this, he has also published three books: Guess Who – The Many Faces of Noma Bar, Negative Space and Bittersweet. The latter, a 680-page 5 volume monograph, was produced as a Limited Edition of 1000 and published by Thames & Hudson.

Bar’s work has been recognised with several esteemed industry awards. He recently received a Gold Clio for his animation and direction work on the New York Presbyterian Hospital campaign, highlighting new frontiers in cancer treatments. He has also been awarded a Yellow Pencil at the D&AD Professional Awards. In 2018, his exhibition ‘Cut It Out’ was selected as one of the highlights of the London Design Festival and was nominated in the graphics category for the Design Museum, Designs of the Year.

previous exhibitions

Profile image credit: Samuel Wiki, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons