Joe Zeff Design

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

Our story . . .

PC Magazine for iPad

Joe Zeff Design is excited to announce that PC Magazine, which discontinued its print edition in 2009 but maintained its popular brand through digital channels, has been relaunched as a next-generation iPad app available starting today through the Newsstand section of the App Store. PC Magazine represents a unique opportunity to rethink a magazine for the digital age. While many publishers replicate print content in their tablet editions to comply with Audit Bureau of Circulation rules, Ziff Davis provided a clean slate for innovation. As a result, we were able to help its editors create a magazine unbound by the conventions of print. In our first meeting at the client's Manhattan offices, we were told that nothing was off-limits as we redesigned the magazine, with one exception: the striped PC Magazine logo. By our second meeting, the stripes were history.

Working alongside CEO Vivek Shah and his extraordinary team — Kathleen Kincaid, Dan Costa, Chris Phillips, Stephanie Chang and others — we dissected PC Magazine and rebuilt it to thrive on the iPad. The debut edition features an animated cover, real-time Twitter feeds for columnists, product reviews containing photos that the user can manipulate, and much more. It was built using Adobe Digital Publishing Suite Professional Edition. Interactivity abounds, inviting the user to engage with content in ways not possible in print.

Phil Bratter, the talented former Creative Director of George, Worth and People magazines, spearheaded the redesign for Joe Zeff Design, working alongside staffers Christopher Holewski, Josh Penrod and Ed Gabel. Phil delivered inimitably, injecting spontaneity throughout the product and infusing each page with his sledgehammer signature of bold typography and bright colors. We look forward to future opportunities to engage Phil on other projects. A look at some of the before and afters shows the extent to which PC Magazine changed but stayed the same:

PC Magazine is no stranger to innovation. The print edition was born in 1982 as an "Independent Guide to IBM Personal Computers." Within a year the magazine swelled to 800 pages per issue, switching from monthly to biweekly publication and adding a floppy disk edition. Its authority was unmatched when it came to technology product reviews, and its testing lab served as a model for other companies. was started in 1994 and a Zinio-based digital edition followed 10 years later — both continue to this day.

As times changed so did Ziff Davis' fortunes, and the company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2008. PC Magazine ended its 26-year print run and became a digital property, published online and through Zinio. Backed by private equity firm Great Hill Partners, Shah acquired Ziff Davis Media in 2010 and announced his intentions to build a dynamic digital media company. We're proud to be part of that story. Visit the Apple Newsstand and see for yourself.