Joe Zeff Design

A boutique agency that blends software with storytelling, helping the world's largest companies tell better stories.

Our story . . .

We design and develop apps for publishers, corporations, universities, agencies — anyone with a story to tell.

around the office-9.jpg

You've seen our work on covers of TIME, Fortune and ESPN The Magazine, on album covers for Jay-Z and Kanye West, on corporate communications for PepsiCo and JPMorgan Chase, on advertisements for M&Ms and DirecTV, on billboards and marquees in Times Square, and — most notably — in storytelling apps that turn words and pictures into interactive experiences. Not only do we create apps, leveraging our experience as designers, illustrators and animators, we offer consulting to help our clients identify the best ways to engage specific audiences through phones and tablets and achieve specific results. 

Led by Joe Zeff, the former Graphics Director of TIME magazine, JZD has designed and developed apps for publishers (Fast Company, National Geographic, Time Inc., PC Magazine, Kids Discover, AARP, Everyday Health, Food Network), corporations (JPMorgan Chase, National Football League, PepsiCo, Bulgari, Adobe, Remy Cointreau) and universities (Notre Dame's football team, UCLA Anderson School of Management, Maryland Institute College of Art). We've created apps for Super Bowl XLVIII, the government of Ireland, the Tomb Raider video game — and even a few of our own. See them all here.

We are an Adobe Digital Publishing Suite Agency Partner — one of only nine in the United States. We work closely with Adobe to develop storytelling apps using their Digital Publishing Suite and deliver presentations at Adobe events nationwide. Adobe even made a video about us. Our offerings include strategy, design/UX, creative services integrating illustration, animation and HTML, production and deployment. We also have the ability to design and develop native apps, responsive websites and HTML5 interactives with our dedicated partner, Haneke Design, an award-winning agency based in Tampa, FL.  

Some of our accomplishments:

• Joe was identified by The Guardian as "one of America's top app designers," and Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs' biography, called Joe "one of the most creative and insightful designers of our era." 

• Apple has chosen four of the apps we've designed as iTunes App of the Week, and one for the iTunes Hall of Fame. The Society of Publication Designers awarded two gold medals for an app we created about 9/11 for TIME magazine. Adobe has twice chosen our work as App of the Week.

The studio's blog is considered a must-read by app developers and industry insiders, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. Joe is frequently interviewed about digital publishing trends and has spoken at  conferences around the world.


“Joe Zeff is one of the most creative and insightful designers of our era. He combines fun and intelligence in everything he produces, including the wonderful team of designers he’s assembled.”

Walter Isaacson
The Aspen Institute
(former CNN Chairman and CEO and
Time magazine Managing Editor)

• • •

“Joe Zeff Design is amazing to work with on so many levels. They are creative, contemporary, responsive, innovative and connected. PepsiCo has worked with many design firms and we are delighted to have found Joe Zeff Design as they are uniquely qualified to help with a range of creative design solutions in the sweet spot of consumer-generated design.”

Julie Hamp
Chief Communications Officer

• • •

“I’ve been working with Joe now for over 10 years and he’s become an indispensable part of my creative process. No matter how fast I need it, or how big or small the job is, or how many times I change my mind, Joe wants nothing more than to make it great. If I don’t have an idea, he’ll give me one. If I have an idea, he’ll make it better. More than any artist I’ve ever worked with, Joe Zeff knows how to take what’s in my head and make it a reality.”

John Korpics
VP/Creative Director for Print and Digital

• • •

“Joe Zeff has the unique ability to translate complex ideas into lapidary images. His work is unforgettable.”

Priscilla Painton
Editor in Chief
Simon & Schuster

• • •

"Joe's studio is one of the best around when it comes to creative problem solving. Whenever we're in a bind, one of the first places I know to call is Joe Zeff Design.”

Sheri Radel
Executive Producer
Crispin Porter + Bogusky

• • •

"In the area of eBook publishing for the iPad one need look no further than the work produced by Joe Zeff Design.

Talking New Media



Adobe: Fast Company, innovation in publishing

Adobe: Publishers Usher in the Next Generation of Digital Publishing Suite

Adweek: Joe Zeff Design: These wild ones are bringing their 3D design to a tablet device near you

Fast CompanyiPad App Goes Behind The Scenes of Portal 2, Pushing Limits of Storytelling

Folio:  National Geographic Launches Magazine on the iPhone

Gizmodo App of the Day: The Final Hours of Portal 2

Los Angeles Times: Game journalism goes new school with iPad app

Society of Publication Designers: "Above and Beyond" The Traditional iPad Publication App

The Guardian:  "Joe Zeff, one of America's top app designers ..."

The Mario Blog: iPadLab: Storytelling and the Documentary App

TIME magazine: Above and Beyond with George Steinmetz

USA TODAY: Gametrailers TV's Geoff Keighley gets interactive with new "Portal 2" iPad app