Goodbye JZD. Hello ScrollMotion.
Since the introduction of the iPad, Joe Zeff Design has shown people what's possible.
We collaborated with Touch Press to design Solar System for iPad, an app in the iTunes Hall of Fame. We launched Fast Company on the iPad and National Geographic on the iPhone, both award-winning magazine apps. And then we designed and developed tablet applications for a new generation of publishers — universities, corporations, museums, institutions — as the iPad transitioned from a toy to a tool.
The next frontier for phones and tablets is the workplace. And to seize that opportunity, I'm closing the studio I founded 14 years ago and joining ScrollMotion as its Vice President/Executive Creative Director. (Press release, Fast Company article)
ScrollMotion is one of New York City's fastest-growing companies, ranked 16th on Crain's New York Business' annual list. Founded two years before the iPad, it helped start the digital publishing revolution by producing more than 10,000 mobile apps and the first tablet editions of Esquire and Oprah magazines. The company has emerged as a leader in enterprise-class apps, singled out by Apple during the most recent World Wide Developers Conference for its work with GE Healthcare.
But why close JZD? Because everything's changing. Again.
- Tablets are changing the way that companies do business, both inside and out. Apple and IBM announced a partnership last month intended to make mobile and tablet devices ubiquitous at large companies by providing access to big data, improved security and device management.
- Custom app development is expensive, but off-the-shelf tools make it possible for companies to make a lot of their own apps without hiring developers. The enterprise needs better tools to create better apps. Content only goes so far. Now we need ways to add utility to apps, so that businesses can put them to use.
- It's getting harder to justify making magazines for tablets. Phones, not tablets, are the primary vehicle by which consumers access content. As wonderful as tablet magazines can be, they remain hard to find, tedious to download and inaccessible to those who don't have the right device with the right software.
Its ScrollMotion Enterprise Platform provides enterprise users with tools to create, distribute, manage and use interactive content on mobile devices. The platform has three interlocking parts: SmartStudio for designing and developing content, WorkCloud for pushing content to specific users, and MobileLibrary for organizing content on users' devices. All of the tools are accessed through your browser, using drag-and-drop interfaces that require no programming knowledge. The result: sophisticated apps with enterprise-level security, turnkey systems for pushing specific content to specific users and groups, and integration with CRM platforms like Salesforce.com. See for yourself . . .
In my new job, I'll manage teams in New York and San Diego that design and develop custom apps based on SmartStudio, and work closely with the product team to help make the entire platform even more intuitive and robust. I'm very excited about the dual roles: Not only can we create great apps at ScrollMotion, we can make great tools that empower others to create great apps, too.
Joe Zeff Design will wind down operations in our church-turned-studio at the end of August. After traveling to Sydney, Australia to speak at the Future Forum, I'll join my new colleagues at ScrollMotion in New York City on September 15. I can hardly wait.
That said, leaving JZD is bittersweet. Through the years, the studio has illustrated hundreds of major magazine covers, created album artwork for Jay-Z and Kanye West, conceived thought leadership marketing for PepsiCo and Unisys, rendered advertising artwork for Porsche, M&Ms and DirecTV, and produced countless other assignments for clients all over the world. We bounced around plenty, from a third-floor home office to a pair of New York City skyscrapers to an apartment above a barbershop to a photo studio in Soho to a renovated school building and then a church in the New Jersey suburbs.
It was inside that church that we found our true calling:
I'm grateful to WoodWing for starting JZD down the road of digital publishing by providing access to its Enterprise system with which we created our first apps, including The Final Hours of Portal 2, Above & Beyond: George Steinmetz and an entire issue of TIME magazine. In particular, thank you Shawn Duffy and Jeff Gapp for your overwhelming support.
I'm grateful to Adobe for picking up where WoodWing left off. Our partnership with Adobe and its Digital Publishing Suite has opened so many doors, and I will always be appreciative. Thank you to so many, especially Nick Bogaty, Gerald Farro and Mike Zahorik; Ivan Mironchuk, Derek Lu and James Lockman; Ron DiTorro and Harry Miller. Thank you to the Adobe partners who have inspired us, and to Chris Hessler, Jeffrey Frommer and everyone on the sales team who introduced us to clients. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I'm grateful to Geoff Keighley for inspiring us to create four incredible apps about video games; to Fast Company for entrusting us with your initial foray into digital publishing, and to National Geographic for doing the same with your iPhone edition; to Kids Discover for partnering with us to bring learning to life on the iPad; to Dawn Porter and Rick Bowers for working with us on a appumentary that truly broke new ground; to Dan Skendzel and Tim "Oak" O'Connor at Notre Dame for allowing us to represent The Fighting Irish on the tablet; to our other Irish friends, the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin, for collaborating on a remarkable project about your remarkable country; to JPMorgan Chase for showing us what's possible outside of traditional publishing; to UCLA Anderson School of Management and Chess Design for rethinking alumni magazines together; to Dr. Mario R. Garcia, Bob Newman, D.B. Hebbard and the Society of Publication Designers for promoting our work and our ideas; and so many more.
Most of all, I'm grateful to the enormously talented people who made JZD better each and every day, each and every app. Ed Gabel, I can never thank you enough. Same goes for Josh Penrod, Ian Brown, Christopher Holewski, Neil Jamieson, Emily Ragle, Krissi Xenakis, Jacky Roeland, Michael Smyjewski, Philip Bratter, Katie Orzeck and Catherine Reilly. As they say in the business, nice job by you.
Goodbye JZD. Hello ScrollMotion.
Once again, it's time to show people what's possible.