The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

By Ina Garten 
Clarkson N. Potter 

Design of the best-selling cookbook for TV’s The Barefoot Contessa. The look we developed was extended to multiple product lines and her Web site.

Blue Dog

We were asked to design a book of paintings by artist George Rodrigue. It was so successful (even appearing on the famous coffee table in the television series “Friends”) that Alexander Isley Inc. was commissioned to design an entire series of books and products featuring the Blue Dog paintings.

Over the years, the line has expanded to include gift books, calendars, note cards, journals, and sketchbooks. The products are unified by their spirit of fun, warmth, and surprise.

All of the books incorporate engaging interactive features such as postcards, holograms, masks, and foldouts, making them as much art objects as they are printed documents.

Completely MAD:
A History of the Comic Book and Magazine

By Maria Reidelbach 
Little, Brown & Company

Celebrating 40 years of—yecch—America’s favorite humor magazine.

We had full access to the magazine's archives and got to meet and work alongside Alex's childhood heroes, "The Usual Gang of Idiots." This was without question a true lifetime highlight.

Kofi and His Magic

By Maya Angelou
Photographs by 
Margaret Courtney-Clarke
Clarkson N. Potter

The acclaimed story of a boy who believes he has magical powers. This is the follow-up book to My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken, and Me, which we created with the same group of collaborators.

From My Kitchen
to Your Table

Bobby Flay
Clarkson N. Potter

A bold, vibrant book from a chef known for the same. The look expands on the designs we developed for Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill and Bolo restaurants.

Spy: The Funny Years

By Kurt Andersen, 
Graydon Carter, and 
George Kalogerakis
Miramax Books

20th anniversary celebration of the groundbreaking satirical magazine. Alex, who at one time was Art Director of the magazine, was excited about having the chance to go through his basement and pull out stuff from 20 years before to include in the book.

[Spy] was cruel, brilliant, beautifully written and perfectly designed, and feared by all.” 
— Dave Eggers

“If you (a) miss the ironic 1980s and/or (b) are curious about the origins of 75% of the conventions of contemporary magazine design, this amusing book, beautifully designed as you’d expect by Alex Isley, will more than satisfy.” 
Design Observer

Making More Plants

By Ken Druse
Clarkson N. Potter

Award-winning book outlining techniques for do-it-yourself plant propagation. We were asked to create a design that could work as both a how-to guide and a luxurious coffee-table tome.

Ten Years:
The Chrysler Design Awards

Edited by Tom Parrett
The Magazine Works

Creation of a book commemorating 10 years of the Chrysler Design Awards. We incorporated the work of 60 honorees in a limited-edition gift book which came in a slipcase.

The Works

By Kate Ascher
Penguin Press

This lavishly illustrated book examines the infrastructure of New York: how the subways run, where sewage goes, how cellular service works, why those crosswalk buttons never seem to operate, what’s considered "the avenue of death." And what’s a hump yard, anyway?

To create this extraordinary book, we worked with Kate Ascher to organize her research material. We initially prepared a rough layout of every page and illustration (over 140 in all) so that Kate could write the text to correspond to the imagery.

We then worked with our assembled team of talented designers and illustrators and, over the course of six hectic months, produced what we consider to be a once-in-a-lifetime project. (At least that’s what we kept telling ourselves as we put yet another late night or weekend into the endeavor.) 

"The Works" was featured as one of’s top ten nonfiction books of the year.

Trick or Treat

By Emily Gwathmey
Clarkson N. Potter

A book showcasing Victorian-era postcards, back when the last night of October was not devoted to cheerful fun, games, and candy.

Judging by the examples presented, Hallowe'en back in those days was a magical time set aside for the purpose of completely horrifying innocent little kids. The artwork is quite delicious.