He studied drawing, painting, and printmaking at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where he later became an instructor.
Not to be confused with the British born actor and singer Noel Martin born 1988. He was self-taught in typography and design, which were his main activities for the bulk of his career. Martin worked as a freelance graphic designer and art director.
His clients included Champion Papers, Federated Department Stores, Xomox Corporation, Dreyfus Corporation, The New Republic magazine, Hebrew Union College, and many other industrial, educational, and cultural organizations. He was the Designer for the Cincinnati Art Museum since 1947. Martin was at the forefront of the movement to simplify and remove the clutter from catalogs of all varieties—from industrial parts catalogs to art museum catalogs.
Martin attended the Art Academy of Cincinnati, studying painting, drawing, and printmaking. His education was interrupted by World War II, when he spent time in the Air Force working in camouflage. Later, he taught at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and was adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati, and he had major one-man exhibitions in the United States and Canada.
His work was included in the exhibition, "Four American Designers", at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, in 1953, and in a one-man exhibition at the American Institute of Graphic Arts in 1958. Foreign exhibitions have included those of the U.S. Information Agency in Europe, Latin America, and the U.S.S.R., and also at the Gutenberg Museum, Mainz. Musee d'Art Moderne, Paris.
And the Grafiska Institute, Stockholm. Martin's work is represented in public collections in New York, Boston, Washington, Cincinnati, and Amsterdam. He lectured at the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, Aspen Design Conference, and schools and organizations throughout the country.
Among his awards are the Art Directors Medal, Philadelphia, 1957, and the Sachs Award, Cincinnati, 1973.
Served to sergeant United States Air Force, 1942-1945.
Married Coletta Ruchty, August 29, 1942. Children— Dana, Reid.