About ISO50

Posted by Scott

This was written in 2007 and is outdated. I’ll try to update in the near future.

Short Answer:
Name: Scott Hansen
Location: San Francisco
Occupation: Artist / Musician (Tycho)
ISO50: My design pseudonym

Current authors on the ISO50 Blog:

Scott Hansen (ISO50)
View all posts by Scott

Jakub Alexander – Music/Culture Contributor
Jakub is my friend and manager, he’s also the one who posts most of the music on the ISO50 blog. He lives in Brooklyn, runs a record label (Moodgadget), and DJs as Aarnio. He’s also a snappy dresser. View all posts by Jakub

Alex Cornell – Design Contributor
Alex is the sole ISO50 intern here in San Francisco. He’s also a masters student in design at the Academy of Art. He writes mostly about design and brings a student perspective to the blog with his process posts. View all posts by Alex

Sam Valenti IV – Music / Culture Contributor
Sam is the CEO and founder of Ghostly International Records, the label that I record for as Tycho. He also has impeccable style and taste. View all posts by Sam

Beamer Wilkins – Music/Culture Contributor
Beamer is a friend of mine and a recent Bay Area transplant via Austin. He runs a software development firm (TRNSFR), likes to build electronic music instruments, and has an Italo vinyl collection that would put yours to shame. View all posts by Beamer

Long Answer:
I am a San Francisco, California based musician (Tycho) and artist (ISO50). I created the ISO50 site originally to house my design work in a portfolio format but over the years it has grown to encompass a shop, clothing line, and blog. I have spent time as a freelance designer and worked for a few agencies, most notably, perhaps, Adobe. In the end I dropped my freelance practice and went solo to focus on my own design and music. This has given me the chance to delve into the style of design I truly enjoy creating and not be swayed by the various trends that seem to perennially filter the collective output of the design world. This is not to say that I don’t appreciate the freelance design game, to the contrary, this is where I received my education, the trenches of client work definitely played a large part in shaping the way I think about design today. But it was all of the work I did for free, for friends or for my self, that I always felt was the truest expression of my design ideals. It was these works that provided the impetus for creating ISO50 in the first place, and eventually for analyzing the origins of the ideals that are the foundation of my own design style; and finally, discussing them on this site.

I created the blog portion of ISO50 so I’d have a chance to share my influences and the things that inspire me. Over the years I have collected a lot of amazing examples of design and I will be posting the choice specimens here with my commentary. I am no idealogue, and certainly not an intellectual when it comes to design. I hold no college degrees and have never studied design. I have, however, independently practiced graphic design for almost ten years and at this point I feel I have a good grasp of what types of design I enjoy and what styles inform my own work. Obviously I do a good deal of looking back when it comes to inspiration. I feel the design that blossomed from the Bauhaus movement and came of age in the 1960’s was the Zenith of an art form whose importance would fade away as Television, and later the Internet, took over the reigns of visual communication thus effectively transforming the medium.

Design, to me, is the search for efficiency. Efficiency in conveying a message, efficiency of form. In this way I see some of my own work falling into the category of design, while some of my other work falls under the umbrella of illustration. With the more illustrative pieces my primary goal is to create something beautiful or striking in a visceral sense. These goals remain intact when I create a purely design-driven piece, but there is the added goal of minimalism and efficiency which constrains the process and limits the content. It is these constraints that force us as designers to reveal the core of the idea we are trying to express and to seek the most direct route to it. In this way, all of the periphery and excess of illustration and fine art can be shed to expose the roots of visual communication and express them in a concise and instantly understandable form. When I see something that embodies these ideals it is always very moving, these are the things that drive me to create. So these are the sorts of things I will be posting here and whether it’s examples of graphic design or industrial design, I will try to describe what makes these things appealing to me.

I commend you if you’ve made it this far down the page without falling asleep … So with all that said, I would like to make clear that I don’t take myself or my work overly seriously. I approach design as a pastime, a hobby, something I look forward to as an enjoyable release and therefore not something to be over thought.

Your comments, questions, or criticisms are welcomed and appreciated.

To view my design work, please visit the ISO50 Portfolio.
A lot of the work you see here can also be purchased at The ISO50 Shop

My music can be found at or you can listen to it while browsing the ISO50 Portfolio. is graciously hosted by MediaTemple runs on the WordPress platform.

Photo By Miguel Vega

119 Comments Leave A Comment


Tom Cudworth says:

November 11, 2009 at 7:58 am

I am a design student in the uk and have been reviewing this website i kind of stumbled across it randomly and i have to say its really good the asethics are brilliant and the work on it a well.


Joe Caggiano says:

December 5, 2009 at 11:13 pm

I’m a really big fan of you Scott and I love everything you have done. I’m coming to see you in NYC on Dec. 13th (My birthday!) and I hope I get the honor of shaking your hand! Be easy!


Itzel Hernandez says:

January 31, 2010 at 9:42 pm

hi scott hensen

Im a grahic design student and your work is an inspiration to me. For somone who didnt go to college for a degree, i must say you have done a amazing job!


Kirstin says:

February 11, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Just browsing through the portfolio is incredibly inspiring for a beginning designer. The sheer volume of work, the variety, signature style, and stunning visuals are just too much for words. Thank you for creating this site!


Antrepo says:

February 24, 2010 at 12:43 am

Did you receive our mail about vintage font family

Hi iso50,

It is little industrial, little vintage, little condensed, little bold.
Public Gothic is our new font family and beta release is free to use in all your designs, commercial or non commercial.

PB family members are PB Square, PB Vintage, PB Circular, PB Federal.
It’s compatible with any os system. (Mac T1, Win OTF)


James Randall says:

April 12, 2010 at 5:21 am

Hi Scott,

I recently heard some of your music, which I greatly enjoyed and thought deserved further investigation.

I was greatly surprised to find you were primarily a designer.

I love the nostalgic elements in both your designs and music.

The coherence of these elements create a well defined identity.

I hope you will excuse what is essentially hollow praise and I look forward to seeing what you produce in the future!

James J E Randall,


reuben says:

May 18, 2010 at 3:19 pm

were you ever involved in any other musical projects in your youth? perhaps a teen pop sensation perchance?

it would make my minute



andrea says:

May 18, 2010 at 7:04 pm


i stumbled upon your site while looking up vintage ads. what a great place to explore. i was looking over your playlists and thought i would recommend a band for you to check out. the hiders.

thanks for such a great blog. i will go back to poking around…



Dalli says:

May 29, 2010 at 6:36 am

Hey Scott,

I’ve been a fan for close to a year and a half now. Currently studying Industrial Design in Cape Town, South Africa and after each and every brief hand-out I’m on here first thing to soak in the inspiration. Your posts are impeccable and your aesthetic is mind blowing.

Thanks and keep it coming.



andy says:

June 18, 2010 at 8:42 am

So I was doing a random search on photographer, “The Sartorialist”, aka Scott Shulman, and came across your blog’s post on another shooter, the late Julius Shulman.

You are prolific and amazing.



derive says:

July 12, 2010 at 6:14 pm

enjoyed your set at the stone, the addition of live drums and bass was a success. enjoyed the other sets as well.


Thu says:

September 28, 2010 at 4:11 am

I stumbled on your website accidentally when I was searching for magazine scans.. I’ve been obsessed with Japanese fashion.. one click after another and here I am.. I didnt even know you were Tycho! I discovered you literally 2 days ago through various clicks in Itunes.. and ahem* hate to admit it.. I pirated your stuff.. Anyway.. it’s so funny how accidental turned into coincidental no? I’ll continue following you.. You’re awesome.. I’ll support you by disseminating your music to friends.. how about that? ;] mass=cash


Dylster says:

October 7, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Love the ‘404’ page image. “Fitzcarraldo” if I remember correctly. Fantastic movie!


Rezin Akbar says:

October 12, 2010 at 6:24 pm

I’m a big fan of your work mate!

Are you ever gonna update you portfolio sometime in the future? :) Been waiting for a long time to see a different fresh version of it, although i believe the current design will last for eternity!



ponch3lo says:

October 14, 2010 at 7:49 am

dude, your art is the bomb. the style – everything is just awesome. the music is off the hook since i came upon it over 2 years ago. i give you major props.


erik says:

October 22, 2010 at 4:40 pm

yo, just noticed you live in SF, never checked your profile before. You ever do visuals for events? I do on occasion and am always on the look out for other people who have a good design sensibility to work with. Anyways, hit me back if you’re interested. No $ involved, pure nofomo. I get down with blashaus, soundpieces, surefire, hacksaw ent, gaffta, kontrol, killswitch, and have started throwing our own occasional party.



Ian says:

November 4, 2010 at 6:24 am

You’ve got an incredibly keen artistic eye. Every aspect of everything you do is perfectly crafted. Thank you for sharing.



DaemonFranxO. says:

November 23, 2010 at 6:45 pm

Hello ^__^

I just wanted to say that I’m pretty young, a sophomore in High School, but I found out about you in the past summer and I’ve got to honestly say you’ve become a big influence in my style. By style meaning my taste in music, fashion, art in general.

I’m very fond of your style of music and visual work. It’s very unique and interesting. I make my own music and am looking to become a visual artist/musician someday. Anyway, I hope you keep doing what you do because I’ll definitely keep up with you ^_^


Louis says:

December 14, 2010 at 5:37 pm

Hey man, I’m listening to Past is Prologue for the 1st time right now, and I find it great! I love your grooves, remind me of some of Boards of Canada, love them too.



Jetro Moyado Sandoval says:

December 30, 2010 at 11:42 am

All i can say is, you are part of my best influences of my work. After 5 years of finding your website i still like your style.
Greetings from Tijuana, MX.


Madeleine says:

January 2, 2011 at 8:32 am

Im inlove with you, and yes, i know.. i dont know you….
But still think im inlove with you…
Drinking a coffee with you, is probably the most close to my imaginary pic i always make in my head..
Deberias aprender español y asi ya podemos irnos a surfear!!! seeya boy!
Great Job!


EliZabeth says:

January 9, 2011 at 10:31 pm

I just have to say, ok so. Your music puts me in my happy peaceful place when im feeling down. Or even happy. Your music is amazing. I love you bro. <3


Talton Figgins says:

January 24, 2011 at 12:48 pm

I love your work! It communicates a lot of feeling regardless of the message. Unless of course the message is a feeling, in which case my mind will explode. :-P


Claudia says:

February 2, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Swoon. You’ve been added to my list of who to keep tabs on. Lovely work and I appreciate how you explain and back your aesthetic up.


Dash McIntyre says:

February 7, 2011 at 1:45 am

I’ve been listening to your music for years. I really think you should get in touch with the european trance scene, specifically anjunabeats/above and beyond. Send them your CDs and good things will come about!


Tino Crao says:

February 17, 2011 at 1:44 am

Hello Scott, im a big fan of your blog. Seriously, i’ve never seen a similar blog like the one you have. I always get so many ideas when i explore it and, i just wanna start creating. I just ask myself how and from where you get all this nice pics and photgraphs, it’s amazing. It takes so much time i guess. So, where are your sources? Would you mind to tell me…?


Leslie Williams says:

February 19, 2011 at 7:55 am

An abundance of kudos to you, your design & music, and your fellow contributors of this site! Let me tell you, your blog is one of the four tabs that I repeatedly and constantly keep open. Your posts are most inspiring, and I’m always revisiting the music you put up while I’m at school working on projects. I’ve done a number of references of your work in school as my #1 inspirational designer, and always keep your style of design and pieces you’ve posted in mind as I create my own. My BFA in graphic design is currently in progress and I can only hope to have such a quality and aesthetic to my work as you do in yours. Thank you for all of your posts, for sharing your work with us aspiring designers, and creating phenomenal and most appropriate Saturday-morning-driving-music.
Leslie Williams


Brando says:

February 20, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Hi Scott,
I was wondering why u didn’t go with and instead stuck with iso50? and what is iso50 anyway?? the reason i ask is because i want to start a website too and i have a cool URL, but its pretty irrelevant to the website.


Marlon Brando says:

February 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Hi Scott,
I was wondering why u didn’t go with and instead stuck with iso50? and what is iso50 anyway?? the reason i ask is because i want to start a website too and i have a cool URL, but its pretty irrelevant to the website.


Mooringoplex says:

August 24, 2011 at 6:35 pm

I saw your post on Machiendrum and Rustie, if you dig their cosmic bass jams you should check out Hudson Mohawke’s new EP. It’s a stonker. Also, the Mayonnaise EP, I forget who that particular one’s by :)

Beautiful graphic design btw.


Mario R. says:

August 30, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Hey Scott

I’m currently studying graphic design at the Art institutes and I really admire you work. you have many strong pieces of work, you surely are someone to look up too. keep it up and keep it coming. love the website too the layout and your color palette is just great and i think it goes really well with your style.


Scarlett Hill says:

September 20, 2011 at 4:22 am

Hi Scott,

iso50 has really appealed to me and I believe we can work together.
We have a free service you can use to increase hits on your site.

We provide a fair 1:1.5 (3) Exchange Ratio.

iso50 can potentially get 20 k extra visitors from MGID network monthly using our news widget.

Should I send you more details?

All the best,

Scarlett Hill
Traffic Expert
MGID, Inc.


Crystal says:

September 30, 2011 at 9:08 pm

I am watching you perform right now at the Decibel Festival. The visuals are amazing and the music, as always, is flawless. Thanks for bringing something beautiful to the world.


Jeske says:

November 29, 2011 at 2:53 am

very inspiring lecture! I’m a big fan of your artwork. And your music… wow.. I’ve been listening to it for years now (once my brother showed me ‘Adrift’ and i was hooked from the first chord on). I received Dive in my mailbox a couple weeks back, and like with Past is Prologue, i love every tune. Thanks so much for all the musical inspiration you’ve already given me. Oh and with the added Laffy Taffy in the envelope you hit the nail on its head, i’m crazy about American sweets! =] I really hope to see you live one day, whether it’s during a European tour (hopeful smile =]) or when i visit the US next year. All the best from the Netherlands!


Sonnergard says:

December 7, 2011 at 6:49 am

Seen your name around in music for a while, heard a few tracks and love them to bits. Just recently started to investigate further and ended up here and on your webshop. Absolutely love your design, to me it really is a perfect combination of modern simplicity and classic art, with a lot of emotion on top of it.

Big thanks, will add your music and design to my pool of inspiration.


Lacy says:

December 7, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Wonderfully put, I read the last bit of this explanation thrice. :D I was first directed to this Blog but the music selection, quickly noticing all the graphic images decorating it’s digital pages, I effing melted. Enthusiastic about design, the images are nostalgic & futuristic. I have an intense admiration for a refined source of content such a this & Like all good work, it causes some drifting off to a happy place. Thank you.


Marie says:

December 23, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Hey – so nice to hear that others read Walrus Magazine.

Just read the same article on Chambers – used to work at the Art Gallery of Ontario in the design department and made a habit of looking at Lunch, on my lunch.

Wish you and all your loved ones well in San Fran. Happy New Year.

Goes without saying that your work makes we feel like I did when I was a kid playing outside during twilight before mom called me in for dinner: the good kind of weird, haunting, beautiful, magical.

Looking forward to hearing your music – time to find some…

Best Regards,

Toronto, ON

If and when you’re back in my city, please let me know – would love to have you and my friends over for dinner. (always room for one more!)


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Peter says:

January 9, 2012 at 10:06 am


Gosh, I’m going to sound like a total geek right now, but I stumbled across your blog and I have to got to say, I’m absolutely in awe of your design sensibilities and taste.

I’m currently in my second year of design school at the College of Fine Arts, here in Sydney, Australia and I’m so inspired by this. I guess that’s it, just wanted to share my very geeky love that Bauhaus-y, Russian Constructivist type influence so prevalent here.



Anthony says:

January 12, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Hi Scott.

As we always do a friend and I were passing along links for interesting design blogs and things of that nature. As I was checking out one of those, I came across a link to your portfolio – then your blog. I love the hyper link :D so
f-ing brilliant!

You should know I was instantly hooked. This blog stays up all day and I’m currently listening to all the tracks, yours as well as the playlists you’ve developed.

The thing I like most is proximity. You are in SF, I am in Burlingame. Why do I like this? Because I’m hoping that you’ll be doing a show in SF soon so I can check it out.

Love the music. Love the collection of all the design stuff – graphical, art, product, architecture and everything else. It’s all very very tasty. Keep up the great work.


Ivan "ambrose" montoya says:

January 14, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Hello, i just wanted to let you guys are musical geniuses or how ever you spell it. and your music has helped me through rough times in my life. i know you guys probably dont take time to readd most of these but i really hope to hear from you. thank you for your time. please email me


Andrew Mittman says:

February 28, 2012 at 9:35 am

All of your endeavors are fantastic, I love everyone on the Ghostly Label, and the fact that you all hold the value of true artistic integrity. Your remix of little dragon – little man is profound to say the least! I hope to someday contribute to the art community in a similar way! Keep up the legit work! (EXPLANATION MARKS)


Andrew F. Mittman


Not a fanboy, but being as you keep everything so creamy, I may as well be


Corinna says:

March 14, 2012 at 1:14 am

I was randomly searching for airline poster designs and got linked here. It was a pleasant surprise to find Tycho music and art all over the website and realize that they are actually your own designs! This made my day so thank you for your beautiful music and awesome art.
I will definitely be checking out your blog updates, they are quite inspirational.


Andrea says:

April 6, 2012 at 2:35 pm

I’ve been humbly and quietly enjoying your work (music,etc) since 2006. I have prints framed and loved throughout my home, and love that I have something in the small mid-western city of Kimberly that nobody else has.

I love rolling over in bed and seeing a print of Dive on my wall as I consider all of the insanity I have waiting for me to start my day.

The music washes over me while I’m doing my ‘important’ work at the office, and while I’m doing my work for school. It calms me when my kids are in the car and while I’m sitting in peace.

Thank you.


Charlie says:

June 29, 2012 at 6:18 am

I love this blog, it’s the best.
So inspiring. Awesome music and art.
Changed my life somehow.



Sara Traczyk says:

July 4, 2012 at 2:25 pm

As I was browsing a number of ambient artists, YouTube graced me with your popular song “A Walk.” After hearing that, I knew I had to check out your stuff, find out who you are. If this was a journey across the iridescent sky, I found the array of rare gems tucked into the renown encasement. I hope your music gets the attention it deserves Scott. This stuff is something like a phenomenon.


Adam says:

August 30, 2012 at 10:02 pm

ummmmmmmmmmmm khubehaaaaaaaaa faahgt un vasataaa in adabiate yk meghdar ezaf b nazar mire3 albate b dalile shirine dar3 mazkur ghabele eghmaze ama khob age mishod y karish kardam shirinie dar3 mazkur mozaaf mishod (saeed jan sharmande zudtar nayumadam in nete zoghalie man gahi khoshesh nemiad blodemuno baz nemikonee (( kolan dastet dard nakone


Alex says:

September 3, 2012 at 4:35 am

It is so refreshing to see an artist, designer and musician as talented and awesome as you who does not ‘take himself too seriously’. I bet that is largely thanks to the fact you did not go down the usual design-school route which trains people to over-analyse everything in an academic fashion and also to take themselves verr seriously. It produces a lot of highly unlikable people who consider themselves too cool to talk to anyone who they believe is not as cool as them.


Ryan Comerford says:

September 17, 2012 at 11:33 pm

Hello Scott,

i would lie to connect here in SLO or in SF when you are free. I would like to collaborate with you.

I am an immigrant (Canada – counts?) and an entrepreneur. I am the President/CEO of FAIRWAY (www,, a successful Recreation (Golf) and Hospitality (Food Service Management). I am interested in a new endeavor.

I have a unique gift to be an “air traffic controller” of ideas and ultimately marry the gifted to their best venue for expression and sustainability. I do not necessarily have an interest in you being a part of this / funding you, however, I am interested in your perspective.

I like your concert poster and the image of the girl in the blue pool.

Ryan (


David says:

September 30, 2012 at 11:11 pm

You may not remember me but we met in Philly and my girlfriend took a photograph of us. I had so much more to say to you but there were other people waiting to meet you so I chose to make it brief. Can’t wait to hear the studio version of your new song; I will definitely be at your next show in the NYC area.


Chris says:

October 16, 2012 at 1:40 pm

I’ve been in love with your music since I first heard it a few months ago. I did not know you were also a graphic designer. It’s so interesting that I listen to your music to design to constantly. Now it all makes sense. Thanks for your amazing music and your amazing design.


Terunik says:

October 19, 2012 at 2:23 am

I am an immigrant (Canada – counts?) and an entrepreneur. I am the President/CEO of FAIRWAY (www,, a successful Recreation (Golf) and Hospitality (Food Service Management). I am interested in a new endeavor.

I have a unique gift to be an “air traffic controller” of ideas and ultimately marry the gifted to their best venue for expression and sustainability. I do not necessarily have an interest in you being a part of this / funding you, however, I am interested in your perspective.


Dunia Bola says:

October 19, 2012 at 2:29 am

I have definitely picked up something new from proper here. I did however experience a few technical issues using this site, since I skilled to reload the site lots of instances previous to I may just get it to load correctly


Ruang Tulis says:

October 19, 2012 at 2:31 am

Wonderfully put, I read the last bit of this explanation thrice. :D I was first directed to this Blog but the music selection, quickly noticing all the graphic images decorating it’s digital pages, I effing melted. Enthusiastic about design, the images are nostalgic & futuristic. I have an intense admiration for a refined source of content such a this & Like all good work, it causes some drifting off to a happy place. Thank you.


Michael says:

November 26, 2012 at 10:30 am

Hey Scott – just wanted to say thank you for your music. It guides me through my introspective moments and really builds a wonderful environment.

Also – your design aesthetic is incredible. So much so, that I picked you as my artist to do a presentation over for my Design History class.

Thanks again. Oh – and your show in Nashville at the Exit/In was awesome. Keep up the good work, son!


Owen Kent says:

December 11, 2012 at 3:22 pm

First of all, I love your work. Great job. Second of all, is there any way you would be kind enough to do a tutorial of the design process of the poster called “tycho boulder” I really love all the contributing elements in the poster.


Shannon V says:

January 17, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Second time seeing you in San Diego. U are inspirational!!!! Can’t wait for more of the new tracks coming out after getting a tast of it at the last show, so good…. Really appreciate you taking the time to come meet and talk to your fans.. You seemed humble and kind ;) Keep up the creativity


Lauren says:

January 20, 2013 at 1:28 pm

I’ve known you as Tycho, but just recently found your work as ISO50. I admire the fact that you separated the two with creating yourself two different titles for each medium. I’m studying photography in college currently, and am constantly surrounded by graphic design majors who have work that doesn’t even come close to matching your designs and creations. As vague as that may be, I hope you take to heart that many of your fans look up to your incredible pieces and take inspiration from your passion for the mediums you work in.
So thank you! Don’t stop doing the things you love. :)


Michelle says:

January 31, 2013 at 1:36 am

I guess artists will always search for that area of creativity that is no longer at the parameters of anyone elses brief but their own. Through internal and external reflection we are hindered only by the clients briefs we receive. When we truly look inside ourselves and follow the creative drive to follow those instincts we will truely find fullfillment. You would have been true to yourself for once, followed by, and following the beating drum of your heart.