Announcing: Alexander Isley, Working With Words


The  Silpe Gallery at the Hartford Art School is proud to host the exhibition Working with Words, featuring the work of Connecticut-based award-winning designer, Alexander Isley.  The exhibition is presented by AIGA Connecticut and will be on display from May 15 through June 7, 2013.

Alexander Isley uses typography in various, inventive ways to design books, magazines, exhibits, memorial inscriptions, store interiors, packaging, signage, watches, dinner trays, posters, shopping bags, catalogs, restaurants, album covers, videos, web sites, billboards, truck fleets, and so much more.

2013 marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of his firm, Alexander Isley, Inc. Join us in the Silpe Gallery for an overview of the work produced by Alex and his team of designers, including some rarely seen treasures from the vault, produced in his early days at M&Co. and Spy magazine.

Included in the show will be examples of the work and the artists who have influenced Alex over the years, covering a spectrum from Herbert Bayer to MAD magazine. Unlike where other designers might coyly claim homage to or inspiration from these masters, Alex will just come clean, clear his conscience, and lay out for everyone exactly where he’s stolen all of his ideas.

AIGA Connecticut recently honored Alexander Isley with the 2013 Fellow Award, recognizing those who have made a significant contribution to raising the standards of excellence in practice and conduct within their local or regional design community as well as in their local AIGA chapter.

In addition to the exhibition, there will be a lecture by Alexander Isley held on Thursday, June 6, 2013 from 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the Wilde Auditorium.  Registration and exhibition preview will take place from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Silpe Gallery.  Tickets for the lecture are $25 for AIGA members and $35 for non-members.  Students will be admitted free with University ID.  Please visit to purchase your tickets to this exclusive event.

Gallery hours for Working with Words will be Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The exhibition will be closed on weekends.

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About Alexander Isley

Alexander Isley first gained recognition in the early 1980s as the senior designer at Tibor Kalman’s influential M&Co. He also served as the first full-time art director of the funny and fearless Spy magazine, for which he was awarded gold and sliver medals from the Society of Publication Designers.

In 1988, Alex founded his highly acclaimed design firm, Alexander Isley Inc. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, and SFMOMA.

Alex has been a lecturer and critic in the graduate program of the Yale School of Art and has served as an instructor at The Cooper Union and the School of Visual Arts, teaching courses in design and typography.

Alexander Isley is past president of AIGA New York and has been a member of the AIGA Connecticut Advisory Board since its inception in 2008. He is a recipient of the 2013 AIGA Fellow Award, which recognizes those who have made a significant contribution to raising the standards of excellence in practice and conduct within their local or regional design community.

In 1998, Alex was elected a member of AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale). He was selected as an inaugural member of “The I.D. 40,” I.D. Magazine’s survey of the country’s leading design innovators, and was recently named as one of the most influential designers of the past 50 years by readers of GDUSA magazine.

Alex received a degree in environmental design from the North Carolina State University College of Design. He also holds a BFA from The Cooper Union School of Art in New York City.

Take a tour of his studio here:

About AIGA Connecticut

AIGA advances design as a professional craft, strategic advantage and vital cultural force. As the largest community of design advocates, we bring together practitioners, enthusiasts, and patrons to amplify the voice of design and create the vision for a collective future. We define global standards and ethical practices, guide design education, enhance professional development, and make powerful tools and resources accessible to all.

For more information, please visit


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