Redding, Connecticut

Alexander Isley Inc.: Shameless Self-Promotion

Hammers and scissors and yo-yos on strings; these are a few of our favorite things Over the years we’ve created a series of customized limited edition objects, made just for the fun of it.

What they have in common is they are simple everyday items that we think are perfectly designed, and often overlooked.

By bringing attention to these things of beauty, we hope to spread the gospel of simple, useful, honest, and effective design — and show how well-crafted text and presentation can encourage people to consider things in a new way.

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We think a baseball is a perfect object: The way it fits in your hand, the way it’s made from two symmetrical pieces of leather, the way the stitches affect the way it tumbles through the air. It’s simple, useful, efficient, and feels right.

As fans of the movie "Office Space," we decided everyone who works in an office (or at home, really) needs a personalized red Swingline stapler.
We admire the classic cocktail shaker. Good design is indispensable.
Each of these objects is simple, honest, functional, useful, and economical. It does one thing and does it well; the definition, to us, of good design.
Sourcing the perfect (yet affordable) scissors (or is it scissor?) proved to be quite a challenge — there are a lot of badly made ones out there. But with some hard work and a little luck we were able to find a perfect scissor(s). We were so happy about this, we wrote a little poem:
Ode to a Scissors

Scissor, scissor, In my hand
Please help me to understand:
Are you one or of a pair?
You’re a riddle I can’t square!
Is you “is” or are you “are”?
My knowledge only goes so far.
This hurts my brain; the pain is neural:
You’re singular but also plural.

We truly believe this.

Perhaps we should start a catalog of basic, simple, well-made, indispensable objects.
Okay, the 8-ball is not really indispensable. But it's nice to have around.
In the year 2000, the world was supposed to fall apart. We sent out handy survival kits to help our friends survive in the wild. It seems to have worked.
One year we decided that people needed to receive a boot jack. Alex's mom is from Texas, so he always had one around growing up. He figured everyone already had a boot jack. But he was wrong.
Custom espresso pot and bean collection, in a personalized tin box.

A classic customized Fuller brush. You might not think you need this, but you do.

Oh, yes you do.

 

Designers
Alexander Isley
Tara Benyei
Sara Bomberger
John Ferris
Sean Garretson
Matthew Kaskel
Stephanie Trainor
Cherith Victorino

Writer
Alexander Isley