The App People

Founded in 2000, Joe Zeff Design began as an illustration and animation house. But with the launch of the original iPad in 2010, JZD has been at the forefront of tablet publishing. Their first app, Above & Beyond: George Steinmetz turned heads with its beautiful photography and app design, and was named an Apple App of the Week.

Since then, JZD has been the company behind such magazine apps as the TIME Magazine 9/11 Anniversary App and PC Magazine’s iPad app for Ziff Davis.

JZD also designed and did production for Mansueto Partners’ Fast Company for iPad. After 13 issues they have now passed the production on to the publisher.


“When I was growing up I wanted to be the editor of a newspaper,” Joe Zeff told me this summer.

“I wanted to be the editor of my hometown newspaper. I wanted to do that since I was 11 years old, and I knew that to be the editor of the newspaper you needed to know every job, so I really approached newspapering from a very broad perspective.”

“I tried to learn a little bit about everything,” Zeff said, “and along the way it turned out that, while I started out as a writer and an editor, it turned out that those skills really made me a fairly capable designer.”

Zeff worked at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Detroit Free Press and The New York Times, before moving on to TIME magazine where he worked as Associate Art Director, Deputy Art Director, and eventually Graphics Director.

In 2000 Zeff founded the firm that bears his name, Joe Zeff Design. At first the firm concentrated on illustrations and animations for magazine publishers, creating covers for Newsweek, TIME, Esquire, Sports Illustrated and other magazines…

{Read the full interview in the Winter 2013 edition of Tablet Publishing, now live in the Apple App Store}