photo of name-chains mug, prints and t-shirt

Name-chains are themed collections of names, created and designed by Alison Bell. Following careful research, the names are joined together and woven into a square crossword/scrabble-style format.

Every name-chains design is unique and crafted over time with care and precision. Each image is executed into a striking colourful picture of names, using Alison’s distinctive font. Once they are complete, the name-chains designs are digitised and transferred into prints, t-shirts and other merchandise.

Drawing inspiration from magnetic fridge letters, the first name-chains theme was Manchester bands ~ all linked together in a scrabble/crossword style. After such a great response to the initial concept, more designs and commissions were created with different themes.

Each name-chains print design is signed and numbered in a limited edition of 500. Prints, t-shirts and mugs are all available here on the name-chains shop.

Some of the t-shirts can be seen on the name-chains gallery worn by:

actors Chris Gascoyne, Julie Hesmondhalgh and Dean Fagan; musicians Rowetta, Kermit and Henry Priestman; broadcasters Geoff Lloyd, Clint Boon and Mike Sweeney, TV presenter Simon Rimmer; YouTube & podcast presenter Jay Motty; and the Manchester Major, Andy Burnham.

Plus, Tampopo restaurant staff are also seen on the name-chains gallery modelling a commissioned name-chains apron design.

There are many other name-chains designs to be added to this website, including additional football teams (Leeds Utd and Arsenal coming soon); The Beatles, Prince Coronation Street


photo of alison bell


Alison Bell grew up in Cornwall, where she studied at Falmouth College of Art, before moving to Manchester in the mid ’80s to study for a degree Fashion & Textiles. Arriving in Manchester she immediately immersed herself in the art, music and club scene.

After graduating with a BA Hons, Alison spent time freelancing in the design industry whilst also learning the ropes in the world of radio and music PR. She began producing and presenting new music radio shows which led her to co-found music PR company Red Alert Promotions.

The Red Alert team, worked with many renowned artists and bands including Depeche Mode, Prince, Oasis, George Michael, The KLF, Suede, Inspiral Carpets, Bjork, The Charlatans, Nick Cave, Moby, 808 State, Doves and The Fall.

In recent years, Alison has freelanced, working on various PR projects, events and launches, including: art and photography exhibitions, gigs and music festivals, book launches, food and drink events, comedy nights, club nights, theatre productions and live ‘in-conversation’ events.

Creating name-chains has proved to be a great way of combining many of Alison’s passions.


Photograph by Elspeth Mary Moore.


image of strictly come dancing 2017 name-chains collage design on metallic background

Alison takes commissions for bespoke name-chains, as well as personalised versions of existing designs. They make great gifts for children and students finishing school; businesses listing their services and products; a reminder of your wedding guests; personalised presents, favourite films, bands, actors, DJs, TV shows, places, street names, towns…the possibilities are endless!

The designs can be printed on different surfaces (fabrics, banners, perspex…) and in almost any size – please get in touch to discuss requirements.

Photo above is of a Strictly Come Dancing 2017-themed one-off name-chains collage.