Who We Are

Alexander Isley

Designer

Alexander Isley leads our team of designers and writers, establishing the strategic and creative vision for our work.

Alex has been recognized as “one of the few pioneering global designers who’s had a significant hand in bringing design to where it is today.”

His distinctive, editorially-driven design combines text and imagery in compelling ways. His expertise in environmental design infuses our work, in which even traditional printed pieces often feature structural or dimensional elements.

Alex’s approach to design reflects imagination, confidence, spirit, and humor. His work is engaging and effective, and it compels people to act.

Alexander Isley first gained recognition in the early 1980s as the senior designer at Tibor Kalman’s influential studio M&Co. He went on to serve as the first full-time art director of the funny and fearless Spy magazine. Alex founded our firm in 1988 in New York City, and in 1995 he relocated the office to Connecticut where we work in a barn surrounded by trees.

Isley has created award-winning identity, communication, environmental, interactive, and publication design programs for an unusually wide range of clients including The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Museum of the Moving Image, Nickelodeon, Giorgio Armani, The Chautauqua Institution, The National Endowment for the Arts, Choate Rosemary Hall, The Smithsonian Institution, Bobby Flay, Design Within Reach, Starbuck’s, The Barefoot Contessa, Reebok, Steelcase, Goodwill, The Museum of Modern Art, Waterstone’s Booksellers, Toys “R” Us, Pez Candy, The Amsterdam Tulip Museum, U.S. Green Building Council, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Rizzoli Publications, Sotheby’s, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Blue Hill Restaurant, David Byrne, Highlights for Children, and Yale University, among others.

Alex holds a degree in Environmental Design from NC State University and a BFA from The Cooper Union in New York. He has taught graphic design, typography, and exhibit design at Cooper Union, RISD, and the School of Visual Arts. For over fifteen years he served as a lecturer and critic in the graduate program of the Yale School of Art.

In 1993 Alex was named an inaugural member of “The I.D. 40,” a survey of the country’s leading design innovators. His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Institution, the Zurich Design Museum, the Poster House Museum, the Letterform Archive, and the Library of Congress.

Alexander Isley is a recipient of the New York Art Directors Club Herb Lubalin Memorial Award for Art Direction and Design, the NEA International Design Education Fellowship, the SEGD Global Design Award, the Webby Award, and the Federal Design Achievement Award. He is past president of AIGA (the professional association for design) New York and is an AIGA Fellow.

In 1998 Alex was elected to membership in AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale), an international association of designers who represent the highest level of professional achievement.

In 2014 he was awarded the profession’s highest honor, the AIGA Medal, in recognition of lifetime achievement and contributions to the field.

In a recent Graphic Design: USA magazine poll, Alex was named by his peers as one of the most influential designers of the past 50 years.

Donald Trump has called his work “a piece of garbage.”

Alex and his wife and partner, Veronica Burke, are the proud parents of three curious children.

When Alex was a boy, he met Colonel Sanders, who came very close to making eye contact as they shook hands.

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Veronica Burke

Business Director

Veronica brings editorial, design, and communication experience to Alexander Isley Inc.

Before joining our firm, Veronica was an editor and writer for a number of publications including Digital ReviewDiversionEntréeBoston Magazine, and the Kilburn Times in London.

She once had a job writing fortune cookie inserts.

In addition to her editorial experience, Veronica has worked as an interior designer, most notably at Gomez Associates in New York City. She has worked with Alexander Isley Inc. since 1996.

Veronica graduated from Boston University with a degree in communications.

She lives in Connecticut with her family and enjoys skiing, running, and gardening in her spare time.

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David Cushman

Designer

David brings to our team a wide range of experience in branding, identity, print, publications, digital design, and corporate communications.

His work with our firm includes identity and communication design for The Lawrenceville School, The Yiddish Book Center, New Canaan Library, and The Chautauqua Institution

David was awarded his BFA in Graphic Design from Hartford Art School, University of Hartford.

Prior to joining Alexander Isley Inc., David held design positions at Gartner and WSAA. David has been heavily involved in Connecticut’s creative community, volunteering with CADC, Ad Club CT, and AIGA Connecticut, as well as creating and running Connecticut Creatives.

Born and raised in Connecticut, David lives with his wife, two kids, a pug, and a cat in Litchfield County. In his free time, David enjoys exploring restaurants, bars, shopping, museums, and parks — but really he’s probably just binge-watching the newest streaming channels.

David can usually be found listening to just about every genre of music, and sometimes creating his own.

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Zadak Brooks

Designer

Zadak (or Z for short) is a well-rounded designer with experience in branding and identity design, packaging, motion graphics, and art direction.

His work with our firm includes design for the New Canaan Library, Colorblends Wholesale Flowerbulbs, Hess Toy Trucks, and Philo Ridge Farm.

Zadak is a graduate of Hartford Art School, where he was awarded a BFA in Graphic Design.

In addition to his work as an award-winning designer, Zadak is a bassist/vocalist in a national touring metal band. He consistently drinks (and typically doesn’t finish) the darkest roast of coffee he can get his hands on.

Prior to joining Alexander Isley Inc., Z was providing gritty art direction for his (and others’) bands from his tour bus while simultaneously designing high-end corporate identities for pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim.

Born in Dallas and raised in Connecticut, Zadak lives with his girlfriend and a bug-eyed black cat named Cat. In his free time, Z can be found listening to music as loud as possible, performing around the world, and pushing self-expression through fashion and music.

He’s been a design nerd since he was a kid, always going the extra mile to make his name in the music and design worlds.

 

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Fred Johnson

Accounting Manager

Fred is an accountant with over 30 years of experience in both public and corporate accounting.

He brings to our studio a background in project management, accounting, and human resources management. Freds previous positions include work with a number of organizations including Vermont Cedar Chair Co. and national restaurant companies B&B Hospitality and R.M. Hospitality.

When not in the office, Fred enjoys spending time in his garden, fly fishing, and playing golf.

He makes sure our business is businesslike.

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Teddy

Obligatory Office Mascot

Teddy’s a good boy. Yes, he is.

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