Early life and education
Alexander Isley was born in Durham, North Carolina and studied at Durham Academy, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (high school visual arts diploma), North Carolina State University College of Design (BEDV) and the Cooper Union School of Art (BFA) in New York.
M & Co. (design firm) 1984-1986
According to his firm's online biography, "Alex first gained recognition in the early 1980s as the senior designer at Tibor Kalman's influential M&Co."
Spy Magazine 1987-1988
Isley was the first full-time art director of the funny and fearless Spy Magazine, for which he was awarded gold and silver medals from the Society of Publication Designers."
Alexander Isley Inc. Designers 1988-
- School of Visual Arts, Instructor, Design and Typography, 1988-1990
- The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, Instructor, Exhibit Design, 1992
- Yale School of Art, Critic and Lecturer, 1996-2011
Other professional and not for profit affiliations
- AIGA New York, Board member, 1988-1990
- AIGA New York, Chapter President, 2004-2006 
- AIGA Connecticut, Advisory Board member, 2008-
- The Cooper Union, Alumni Council
- NC State University College of Design, Leaders Council, 2011-
- AGI, Alliance Graphique Internationale, admitted 1998 
Honors and awards
- Terry Sanford Scholarship to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, 1979
- Art Directors Club of New York Herb Lubalin Memorial Award, 1984
- National Endowment for the Arts International Design Education Fellowship, 1984
- "The I.D. 40" honoree: I.D. Magazine’s survey of the country's leading design innovators, 1990
- Federal Design Achievement Award
- Distinguished Alumnus, NC State University, 2000
- Permanent collection, Museum of Modern Art
- Permanent collection, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution
- AIGA Fellow, 2013
- AIGA Medal, 2014
Alexander Isley is married to Veronica Burke. They have three children.
The Alexander Isley Papers  at the Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, covers Isley’s full career and includes initial concept explorations, original artwork, completed materials, and correspondence. An extensive selection of Isley’s poster designs are in the collection of the Museum of Design, Zürich.
- Bos, Ben and Bos, Elly. AGI: Graphic Design Since 1950, Thames and Hudson, 2007. ISBN 0500513422
- Friedl, Friedrich. Typography: When, Who, How, Konemann, 1998. ISBN 1579120237
- Friedman, Mildred. Graphic Design in America: A Visual Language History, Abrams/Walker Art Center, 1989. ISBN 0810910365
- Heller, Martin. Who’s Who in Graphic Design, Werd-Verlag, 1994.
- Heller, Steven. Graphic Wit: The Art of Humor in Design, Watson-Guptill, 1991. ISBN 0823021610
- Jackson, Kenneth T., ed. The Encyclopedia of New York City, Yale University Press, 1995. ISBN 0300055366
- Lupton, Ellen. Mixing Messages: Graphic Design in Contemporary Culture, Princeton Architectural Press, 1996. ISBN 156898099X
- Miller, R. Craig. U. S. Design: 1975-2000, Prestel-Verlag, 2001. ISBN 3791326864
- Who's Who in America - 1997 (51st ed.). 1996.
- "Alexander Isley". Who We Are. Alexander Isley, Inc. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
- "Alexander Isley". Alexander Isley, Inc. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
- "Alex Isley". Yale School of Art. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
- "Past Boards". AIGA. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
- "Alexander Isley". Retrieved February 3, 2014.
- "Leaders Council". NC State University. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
- "Alexander Isley". Alliance Graphique Internationale. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
- "Alexander Isley Interview". UNC School of the Arts. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
- "College of Design Distinguished Alumni". Archived from the original on February 23, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
- "MoMA the Collection". Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
- "The Collection". CooperHewitt.org. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
- "AIGA Fellow Award". AIGA Connecticut. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
- "Alexander Isley". AIGA. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
- "Weddings". The New York Times. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
- "Alexander Isley Papers".