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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

Ashley Wood

Posted by Alex





Australian artist Ashley Wood does some incredible work. He blends traditional painting technique with digital imagery to create some truly imaginative scenes. His world may be dark and ominous, but for some reason I want to find myself inside. I want to fight alongside the World War Robot. I want to trudge through the snow with a giant metallic companion. I’m sure my sentiment is just the result of seeing such unbelievably creative work.

Be sure to check out Tom Muller’s excellent book design for Wood’s Popbot. Dedicating the rest of my night to tracking down an actual copy. (Muller also designed Wood’s website.)

Instagram Impressions

Posted by Alex




Well I finally downloaded Instagram, after much ado. Prior to actually downloading the app, my understanding of Instagram was that it infested my Twitter stream with photos affected with filters I spent most of my first year at design school trying to apply to everything (posters, shirts, CDs, food etc). It was really annoying. “What is with all these forced vintage iPhone PHOTOS!” was the common refrain while clicking through my Twitter folk. (Kind of like the vintage film effect in Jersey Shore. WHY. Or so I’ve heard…)

I downloaded it over the break as part of some research I am doing for a new app I am working on (completely unrelated; I was basically downloading the entire app store and Instagram happened to come with it). Anyway after playing with it for the last few days I must say I am a convert, a fan. I get it now: it’s fun to see completely mundane photos suddenly become awesome with the tap of a finger. Cruddy picture of airline seats with poor light and an iPhone lens? No problem! Apollo filter and it looks like Hunter S Thompson just got up to go to the bathroom.

Of course I’m kidding around, but I actually am a fan of the app. Filters and mega-vintage filtering aside, the real power of the app is the social component. This doesn’t seem surprising now, but remember that there were tons and tons of other camera apps before it that played a similar card (vintage-izing) but left out this crucial bit of Twitter-esque following. The app now sits squarely between Facebook and Twitter on my iPhone and I find myself clicking it just as often to see if any of my friends have posted new pictures or ‘liked’ any of mine.

Definitely consider myself addicted, at least for the time being. However there are a number of frustrating bits that I hope they address sometime soon. First, there is no web component or ability to do anything at all anywhere but the phone. The website lets you…change your password, but I can’t direct you to my entire feed or anything. You have to download the app, search for me, then follow. An annoying process. Also, what’s the deal with the popular tab? It’s almost as mysterious as the frontpage of FFFFOUND. I would love some more powerful search, sort and filter capabilities. And I swear if they start charging $$ for additional filters…

My username is alexcornell if you can find me! Some of my first Instagrams are above.

Highway 1 with the 5D

Posted by Alex






It’s been a while since I wrote about my most cherished 5DMKII. I drove down to Santa Barbara this weekend to catch a Neon Tree’s concert and brought the 5D for the trip back up the coast. Was hoping to get some sexy landscape shots (inspired by Mr. Navis and his multiple Big Sur adventures).

Overall I was very impressed with the camera’s performance. I continue to think that I have absolutely nothing to with any “good” pictures the camera takes. It is an incredible piece of equipment. On my Japan trip I felt like I could hand the camera to a 5 year old, instruct them to run around in circles taking pictures, and get it back with pure gold on the memory card. With the 50mm locked in it seems like it can do no wrong.

All that said, I wasn’t really in love with anything I shot on the drive up. I was trying to time the light with my journey so I would be at the most epic locations around 4pm. A fair plan, but Nepenthe (very tasty) took 1 hour longer than I expected and my dreams of sun-drenched cliffs were thwarted. I was happy with the above shots though — the first one reminds me of a painting.

Getting the rig into the concert wasn’t super easy (neither was shooting amongst hundreds of bouncing UCSB students…). Next time I’m saying I’m a member of the press (because I am right? Sort of?).

The rest of my pictures are up on Facebook

Dan Holdsworth

Posted by Alex





…the science fiction realities of the earth’s ends

Indeed. Swiss photographer Dan Holdsworth makes the somewhat normal look absolutely surreal. I chose to focus on the icy project above because it vaguely reminded me of a Minus the Bear album cover I love. Be sure to check out the rest of Dan’s portfolio as there are many other projects of equal quality but drastically different subject matter.

via FFF

Post-Mammal

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Robert Murdock is CCO at Method here in San Francisco. His design moniker is Post-Mammal, which in his words is “based on the notion that humans are always evolving, and are always looking for what’s next — essentially what’s beyond human.”

Robert’s work is incredible. I could easily post every image from each of his projects but I wanted to show the variety of the work he does so you could get a sense of how multifaceted he is. One of those choice designers who combines rock-solid formal design chops with an extremely creative and exciting visual style. Never boring.

via Grain Edit

Folch Studio

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Barcelona based Folch Studio kicks off the second half of this week with some wonderfully restrained graphics. They also provide a few studio shots — something I wish every studio was required to do (to satisfy my own curiosity). I’m painting my ceiling charcoal as soon as I find my paintbrush.

Make sure to check out these guy’s rather massive portfolio.

Bernard Barry

Posted by Alex





Bernard Barry is one of the principal visual designers at Facebook. A pretty sweet job I’d say. Imagine having a guarantee that your work would always reach millions of people. Barry handles the pressure nicely; his work is exceptional. If you just briefly glance at his site, you might not notice the absurd amount of detail that goes into each of his projects. The scale of each is often staggering. Barry also has cataloged his entire collection of books and movies. Absolutely worth checking out if you’re on the search for some new books.

Before Facebook, Barry worked at the Decoder Ring and I am imensly curious is he had a hand in creating my favorite logo of all time.

via dinner, earlier tonight