Edward Bell was educated at Haileybury and Imperial Service College and went on to study Art at Brighton College of Art (now the Faculty of Arts (University of Brighton)). He took a Graphic design degree at Chelsea School of Art, along with amongst others, the author and designer Roger Kohn; and from there went on to take an MA in photography at the Royal College of Art. According to Bell’s own account of his time at the Royal College, he clashed with the head of department and ‘refused’ the MA he was awarded,
“Studying photography at the Royal proved a disappointment, for them and me. The then head of department would have been more suited to coaching a rugby scrum. I reacted, and on being awarded the MA refused it in disgust. (It turned up months later in the post.)”
Bell worked as a freelance photographer undertaking various iconic art projects including work for Vogue and Tatler, as well as the Album cover for David Bowie’s Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) of which he has written:
“This client was dressed in an insipid yellow, short sleeved shirt and bright red trousers, but most damning of all he wore dark glasses to examine the pictures. I was introduced to:
I stood corrected, and to my astonishment we got on together. He wanted an album design within the week. OK no problem. The image for ‘Scary Monsters’ was produced”.