Jeffrey Zeldman

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Jeffrey Zeldman
Jeffrey Zeldman onstage at An Event Apart.jpg
Jeffrey Zeldman onstage lecturing on modern web design at An Event Apart
Born (1955-01-12) 12 January 1955 (age 60)
Nationality US
Other names Lewis Jeffrey Zeldman, L. Jeffrey Zeldman
Citizenship US
Education MA Fiction Writing University of Virginia, BA English Indiana University
Occupation Founder/Executive Creative Director/Publisher
Employer Happy Cog
Known for A List Apart, Designing with Web Standards, Happy Cog, The Web Standards Project, An Event Apart, A Book Apart
Home town New York City
Children Ava
Parent(s) Maurice

Jeffrey Zeldman is an entrepreneur, web designer, author, podcaster and speaker on web design. He is the founder of A List Apart Magazine and the design studio Happy Cog, and the co-founder of A Book Apart and the design conference An Event Apart.[1] He also co-hosts The Big Web Show, a podcast on the web and online publishing.[2]

Web publications[edit]

Zeldman has blogged and published independent web content since 1995. In 1998, he began the e-zine A List Apart, which focuses on best practices and innovations in web design and front-end development. Zeldman used A List Apart as an evangelical platform, showing designers how to use web standards to achieve accessible, search-engine-friendly sites that cost less to produce and work better across platforms. Since 2007, A List Apart has conducted surveys of web designers, creating one of the first public pictures of the profession as it is practised in the U.S. and worldwide.

Here are several articles that Zeldman has authored:

  • If Ever I Should Leave You: Job Hunting For Web Designers and Developers[3]
  • Publishing Versus Performance: Our Struggle for the Soul of the Web[4]
  • You're Welcome: Cutting the Mustard Then and Now[5]

Print publications[edit]

Zeldman's book Designing with Web Standards brought standards awareness to a new international audience. It has been translated into 13 languages and has been updated twice. The latest edition, Designing with Web Standards 3rd Edition, co-written with Ethan Marcotte, describes semantic markup, the separation of presentation from structure and behavior, the benefits of standards-based design, and covers topics including HTML5, CSS layout, working around support problems in old versions of Internet Explorer, accessibility, adaptive and responsive design, horizontal and vertical grids in web layout, selling accessibility and standards to reluctant clients and colleagues, designer/developer collaboration workflows, and more.

In 2010, Zeldman expanded his publishing empire beyond web magazines with the creation of A Book Apart, publisher of "brief books for people who make websites." These books are designed to be a quick read (as from New York to Chicago by jet) and to thoroughly communicate advanced topics in web design with a strong point of view. A Book Apart publications to date include HTML5 For Web Designers by Jeremy Keith, CSS3 For Web Designers by Dan Cederholm, The Elements of Content Strategy by Erin Kissane, Responsive Web Design 2nd Edition by Ethan Marcotte, Designing for Emotion by Aarron Walter, Mobile First by Luke Wroblewski, Design Is a Job by Mike Monteiro, Content Strategy for Mobile by Karen McGrane, Just Enough Research by Erika Hall, Sass For Web Designers by Dan Cederholm, On Web Typography by Jason Santa Maria, You’re My Favorite Client by Mike Monteiro, and Responsible Responsive Design by Scott Jehl.

Design agency[edit]

In 1999, Zeldman founded Happy Cog, a web and interaction design studio specializing in user- and content-focused design powered by web standards. With offices in New York, Philadelphia, and total staff under 50, the studio is considered a leading-edge boutique. Clients include Zappos, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Mozilla Foundation, AIGA, Thomson Reuters, Nintendo of America, Harvard University, Georgetown University, Groupon, WordPress, and W3C. The studio also creates products and launched a hosting business (Happy Cog Hosting) in 2010. That same year, Happy Cog was voted "Design Agency of the Year" in the .net Awards sponsored by .net magazine.

Web Design Conference[edit]

In 2005, Zeldman and Eric A. Meyer founded An Event Apart, "the design conference for people who make websites." An Event Apart is an "intensely educational two-day learning session for passionate practitioners of standards-based web design" followed by an optional day-long workshop on such topics as mobile web design, advanced accessible web design, HTML5, and CSS3. The conference currently takes place in seven cities annually. Cities and speakers vary. Speakers, in addition to offering informative content, must have made major contributions to web design or development in order to qualify to speak at the event.


Zeldman and Happy Cog were early advocates of standards-based web design and many of their current and former employees have greatly contributed to various initiatives on the web, including:

  • The development of "real type on the web" via CSS and services including Typekit.
  • Popularizing such ideas as CSS layout, responsive design, and style switching. The latter was an early 2000 innovation which paved the way for later third-party innovations including CSS Zen Garden and a web site known as Readability.[6]

Books authored[edit]

by Aaron Gustafson (ISBN 0-7357-1073-2)

  • Graphic Content: True Stories from Top Creatives Print (February 28, 2014) (ISBN 978-1440333279)


  1. ^ "Author". A List Apart. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "Q&A: 2010 .net Magazine Awards". Q&A: 2010 .net Magazine Awards. Retrieved November 2010. 
  3. ^ Zeldman, Jeffrey. "If Ever I Should Leave You: Job Hunting For Web Designers and Developers". A List Apart. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  4. ^ Zeldman, Jeffrey. "Publishing Versus Performance: Our Struggle for the Soul of the Web". Medium. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  5. ^ Zeldman, Jeffrey. "You're Welcome: Cutting the Mustard Then and Now". Zeldman. Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "Readability". 

External links[edit]