New typeface: Bella from Face37

British designer Rick Banks of Face37 has just released his latest typeface, Bella, designed, he tells us, in the classical French Didot style, but based on letterforms by Herb Lubalin, John Pistilli and Jan Tschichold. Featuring extremely thin hairlines, Bella is best suited for use at large display sizes. Here’s a closer look…

569_6.jpg - New typeface: Bella from Face37 - 3504

 

British designer Rick Banks of Face37 has just released his latest typeface, Bella, designed, he tells us, in the classical French Didot style, but based on letterforms by Herb Lubalin, John Pistilli and Jan Tschichold. Featuring extremely thin hairlines, Bella is best suited for use at large display sizes. Here’s a closer look…

“I’ve always loved the ridiculous thin hairlines that featured a lot in New York in the 60s and 70s,” explains Banks of his inspiration for Bella. “Herb Lubalin and Louis Dorfsman were masters at hand drawing thin hairlines,” he continues. “There aren’t that many digital fonts that deal with these extreme hairlines. Possibly due to the complexity of creating them in Font Lab.”

In terms of reference points for Bella, Banks cites Jan Tschichold’s Saskia font…

…and also John Pistilli’s Roman face:

Here is an early sketch by Banks for the S of Bella, and some images of some of the typeface’s completed letterforms:

 

 

Bella is available through hypefortype.com

Rick Banks is also the designer of Type Trumps card game which we blogged about back in 2007 here and also when he released Type Trumps 2 in early 2010, here.

 

 

 

  • Lovely, apart from the ampersand.

  • Jane Tarallo

    BELLA!!!! I LOVE IT!

  • Would love to use this font but I design for the super web… Those hairlines… Nice work Mr. Banks

  • Efe

    LOVE IT!!!!! AWESOME WORK

  • I love the contrast between the thin and heavy strokes.

  • Gorgeous!

  • Makes me think caviar and pimms!

  • Good stuffs indeed!

  • Interesting to find my Saskia image here.

  • Lovely!

  • Is it normal to be sexually attracted to letters?

  • Elegant and exciting!

  • Rob

    Mmm hairlines.

    I like how fat the Ampersand is.

  • Divine. Nice to see due diligence paid to non-alphabetical characters as well. That £ is sumptuous. And if you can make an Eszett look sexy, you’re onto a winner.

  • Divine. Nice to see due diligence paid to non-alphabetical characters as well. That £ is sumptuous. And if you can make an Eszett look sexy, you’re onto a winner.

  • chris

    agree about the eszett, not at all sure about the larger of the ampersands/epershands, but altogether loving it.

  • love that &

  • Lisa P

    Beauty.

  • I’m glad that the designers are tipping their hat to history. It has always been a beautiful font.

  • Nice face. It’s a shame you had to adjust so many my fontlab contours from Estrella for so many of your characters. I know you bought it. I have the receipt. The hairline, measurements and alignment are uncanny!
    http://www.neutura.org/rag.png

  • It’s best practice to at least credit and link back to those whose images you use.

  • Gabriel

    Great Work

  • Lovely, the numbers are delicious

  • John Parry

    Beautiful!

  • Gorgeous! Gorgeous data and typography, Mr. Banks!

  • It’s very strange that CR doesn’t even seem to care to investigate things like:

    1. How original is this typeface?

    2. Has something very similar been done before?

    That’s my two cents …

    Göran Söderström

  • Anna

    Love the ampersand! Bella is certainly beautiful.

  • @Neutra
    I hardly see any grounds for such slanderous accusations — what would happen if you were to take a whole host of poster serifs and overlay them? By the very nature of their design I’d wage a similar result in execution. It’s a shame that boutique foundries such as yourself can’t be more supportive of up-and-coming type designers, instead of throwing your toys out of the pram the minute someone makes a more interesting typeface.

    @_face37
    Congrats Rick, 25 comments and only one hater, shows your doing something right. Bella indeed.

    M

  • Neutura — Before making public accusations that amount to slander you’d be well advised to know that there are so many differences between the two typefaces. You will be saying that Helvetica is a copy of Akzidenz next (which it was!). http://postimage.org/image/20d73jk9w/ shows the massive difference between the two fonts….the hairlines are thinner, geometric circles, letter width, x height, numerals, kerning, not to mention that every letter is drawn differently. You can’t own the Didot style. Should you have any further comments re. your typeface could they follow more appropriate channels and get in touch directly — you have my receipt (and therefore email address) after all — otherwise you will be forced to protect your interests.

  • Charlie de Grussa

    Served

  • Steph Parker

    Bella Bella!

  • Rick send me an e-mail explaining my comment, so here it goes, Rick and CR :)

    01. I think an article like this should show previous interpretations to show other attempts in doing this typeface, since it’s not very original, there are _so_ many version out there alread. It could make the article a little bit more nuanced and more professional, in my opinion.

    02. Besides that it was also a reaction to what Neutura wrote about his fonts. Since I’m very used to work with outlines and fonts, I know that the likelihood that glyphs showing up very close, or exact, is very small if the work is designed from scratch. I see these kind of things happen to often, therefor I often react. This time I had to explaing myself, which was probably as good.

    All the best,
    Göran

  • agreeing with a few comments here. Overall a very sexy set but the ampersand needs a tweek. great work though.

  • Gorgeous! Voluptuous!!!

  • Neutura

    How you managed to angle the slash the same, space punctuation the same, and 99% near exact match on this many characters is astonishing considering it’s from scratch. Not to mention Bella is thicker. Add that to purchasing my typeface a month prior. Hmmm….
    No hate, just amazed at how my glyphs magically fit on top once lined up.

    http://www.neutura.org/rag2.png

  • Graham Ackers

    Beautiful font but would you please NOT use the incorrect double and single quotes. They are an anathema to proper typesetters!!!!!!!

  • I think a public message board isn’t the most professional of places to discuss this. Alex, I have spoken with Rick about your comments and he has agreed to provide you with sketches, work-ups, and the type developers details — Phillip Kelly I believe.

    Hopefully this will be enough for you to both resolves your differences, and carry producing great work.

  • Josh

    BRAVO for Bella! That is the perfect name for it because it is stunningly beautiful!
    I love this font and am looking forward to buying it.
    Regarding these ugly accusations above: I am not a type designer but I can plainly see significant differences in literally every character between Estrella and Bella. Of course there are similarities — they are both Didot style fonts. Just like the dozens or even hundreds of Didot styles that have existed for decades…are they all copying you, Neutura? Your comments are unprofessional and your argument is unreasonable.

  • Very nice type indeed. I especially like the pilcrow.

  • Martin Findley

    Haha Neutura

  • Rob

    It’s a lovely face for sure. I can see the point neutura is making. (If ) you just purchased the font from them and then you happened to have a few identical glyphs I’d be skeptical as well. Doesn’t look they are saying your copied a style just certain glyphs. My two scents.

  • [comment deleted by moderator]

  • David

    this is actually my favourite font of all time.

  • Mike Pickford

    Stunning

  • Loving Bella, this is certainly a font to be using only with a specific style and topic but bold and classy none the less.

  • Mark Astle

    Strange that he didn’t mention Bodoni, THE classic hairline serif font, in his influences. Pretty font though.

    The links to Neutura have disappeared by the way. Ooh spooky…

  • Mark Carlisle

    Gorgeous gorgeous font.