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All posts by Alex Cornell

Alex Cornell is a San Francisco-based Designer and Musician. He is a cofounder of Firespotter Labs, a Google Ventures funded startup. He has also worked for IDEO, Plancast, and many other Bay Area companies as a UI/UX and brand designer. Recently he passed over 2 million views on YouTube where he maintains a periodic online musical presence. Contact Alex: emailE=('alex@' + 'iso50.com') document.write( '' + emailE + '' ) Links for Alex Cornell: Alex's main site / portfolio Alex on Twitter Alex's Music

LiveView

Posted by Alex


LiveView is a nifty app for your iPhone or iPad that allows you to instantly screencast from your computer to your mobile device. It works over your network connection in conjunction with a desktop app. it was created by Nicolas Zambetti, a San Francisco based interaction designer.

I’ve found LiveView extremely useful over these past couple weeks during iPhone app development. To be able to quickly see how your graphics look in the intended environment is priceless, especially when compared to the alternative option, which usually involves dev simulators, wires, syncing, and TIME. This app essentially allows me to view Photoshop on my phone, live, while I make adjustments. Amazing.

Frank Chimero recently wrote a great piece on his hardware/software set-up. If I were to write my own, LiveView would be the most recent addition to the “essential” category.

Iceland Wants to be your Friend

Posted by Alex


Go here right now icelandwantstobeyourfriend.com. This marketing campaign is absolutely hilarious, genius, and refreshing. I want to be Iceland’s friend, a lot, after reading through all this (go to the Twitter or Facebook page for more fun). I’ve always wanted to go there anyway, but this certainly supplements my desire. I had no idea Iceland was such a cool person, thanks Takk Takk.

I have heard that many people use the Inter-nets to make friends, and to talk about themselves. So that is what I want to do, too. I know you are probably very busy doing important things, but if you want to be my friend, you can.
- Iceland

Still from Heima, the beautiful Sigur Ros documentary.

Ross Berens

Posted by Alex




Ah yes Outer Space, one of my favorite subjects. Ross Bernes does it justice here in his Under the Milky Way series. These have been floating around the blogosphere for some time, but I only recently discovered Mr. Berens and his many talents (and at such a young age!). As he mentions on his site, these were each done in 2-3 hours — I wonder what he could do with a whole day. I was also very impressed with the logo for his blog, NVSBLTY.

via dspn

A Visual Life: The Sartorialist

Posted by Alex



Scott Schumann, also know as the Sartorialist, is the subject of this short and sweet documentary by Intel. It’s very well done and shows some cool behind-the-scenes of Scott’s process. I always wondered how he approaches people on the street! When I was in Japan, I saw some extremely cool fashion walking around, but was usually too nervous to ask people for a photograph (though I will say, asking in Japanese was 100% successful because they were usually laughing at me). Anyway, this documentary is terrific, and short enough that even the most ADD of you can probably make it through.

You know you never know what it is, what that the thing is that draws you to that person, but you just let it happen. It seems odd, but it’s almost like going out there and letting yourself fall in love everyday. – Scott Schumann

Underwater with the Canon D10

Posted by Alex






Well I have a new toy. No it’s not a $3500 underwater housing for my 5D (though that would be awesome). I’ve been shooting with a little Canon Powershot D10 for the last week and it’s been a lot of fun. If you are considering a trip to anywhere water-lush, I suggest giving the D10 a shot. It’s not perfect, but it sure beats spending a boat load for an SLR underwater housing if you’re strapped for cash.

First, the D10 is waterproof and shockproof. I tested it thoroughly (trust me, I break point-n-shoot cameras regularly). I carried it around in my swimming suit pocket and sat on it, swam with it, dropped it out of moving golf carts and threw it to friends when we didn’t have a ball. The thing is solid. I didn’t have a strap and this was a crucial error. If you are going to parade around with one, definitely invest in some kind of way to connect it to your person.

Next, it’s massively fun to have an amphibious camera that can fit in your pocket. I underestimated how much fun it would be and spent a very long time on various bizarre photo missions (#43. Try to take a photo with the lead singer from Kings of Leon, underwater. *Unsuccessful, but close). Even if you are just in a pool, the camera is worth trying.

The photos above are a few of the cooler ones I got. Dolphins are kind of a cheating way to make a photo look cool, but still, the colors and clarity are nice, especially for a wee little camera. These photos were shot with sand everywhere, all over the lens, and my complete lack of concern for the camera’s well-being. Pretty cool I’d say — it’s nice to not have to treat your camera like a fragile little hamster (5D).

On the negative side, it’s very bulky for a point-n-shoot. If you are in water, who cares, but if you are looking for a one stop shop that you can also bring out with you at night, this isn’t it. Putting it in your pants pocket renders that leg odd looking as it protrudes rather unfortunately. Personally, I also find it ugly, but I gravitate towards all black cameras, so take that with a grain of sea salt. The camera definitely looks more like a toy than a Bell & Ross.

This post certainly cements my affinity for underwater photos (Asako Narahashi will always reign supreme). I have a bunch more, but most are of my friends and I floating in the water, and we isn’t Facebook friends!

Susan Kare

Posted by Alex




I was discussing icon design the other day with a friend and Susan Kare’s name came up. She is the brilliant designer behind these classic Mac icons as well as many other high profile user interface projects. We were specifically talking about Facebook’s icons (which I happen to love), and while I’m not sure if she created the original interface icons for the site, I know she was brought on in 2007 to handle the gifts project. Update: Aaron Sittig created many of the most well known 16 x 16px icons that you see throughout Facebook.

Shown above are some of her limited edition prints. Guaranteed to induce nostalgia in just about anyone that was present in the early 90′s (Mac OS 7.5.3 was the best!). If you’ve got any computer type folks left on your shopping lists, THIS is the gift for them.

Also, an interesting read over on Mashable, an interview with Susan Kare:

“It was a challenge to come up with a symbol for the command key. The word is a bit forbidding, as are many types of images that instantly come to mind, such as a police hat or badge. I leafed through a book of symbols, and came across a similar cloverleaf, which was identified as an image used on signs in Swedish campgrounds to mean ‘interesting feature’…Later I learned it is meant to be a castle, seen from above”.

Johnny Selman BBCx365

Posted by Alex


Fellow Academy of Art graduate student Johnny Selman has taken on a rather daunting project: design a poster a day for one year, using content based on a headline from the BBC news website. His project is meant to raise awareness of global current events using the immediately more accessible visual language of posters. Ideally the poster for the day intrigues you to read a story you might have otherwise ignored. He doesn’t make it very easy on himself either, as he only allows the use of 10 flat colors and no photography, all within the one day time limit per poster.

If you live in San Francisco, you can come check out the project in person tonight (12/16). Johnny will be celebrating his 100th day out on Valencia Street (between 17th and 22nd) with the first 100 posters displayed in storefront windows.