Bell finds that working with blocks of lettering is a good start for script typefaces. "If I'm drawing a script typeface, I have to write out sentences in the letters first," she explains. "Drawing each letter separately doesn't establish the flow and spontaneity that scripts deserve."
Bell's newest design is ITC Swank. It's a somewhat tattered formal script with definite links to early copperplate scripts. Though probably not for wedding invitations, Swank's elegant underpinnings are evident, with its slightly narrow proportions and a baseline that can best be called "bouncy." Graphic designers will appreciate the abundance of swash letters, making it easy to create distinctive headlines and short blocks of copy.
Bell has a fondness for the "open, genuine" quality of Chinese and Japanese calligraphy. "Eastern styles incorporate the natural flow of the hand," she says. "Natural, human qualities shine through. Mistakes are accepted, not scorned as in the 'white-out' Western culture."
This philosophy is evident in Bell's own designs. Whether it's