We like things to be nice and tidy, because it’s the most fundamental way to make the whole vibe feel like Zendesk. Smelling like Zendesk is a whole other thing.
When you’re creating a design, a good place to start is with a twelve column grid. Margins should be 8% of the width (or the shortest side). Column gutters should be 2% of the width. Small formats such as digital ads or business cards will drop down to a 6 or 4-column grid where necessary. If it’s starting to feel too complex, don’t overthink it. Just give things space and line stuff up.
Like our Relationshapes, our photo frames are made from a combination of simple geometric shapes, which we affectionately call “Relationframes.” Yes, we’re clever.

The shapes in our logos have always represented people and personalities. Using shapes to frame photographs builds onto that story. They connect the abstract concepts that our products represent to the people who inspire and use them. This is most effective for brand images of our employees, our customers, and for still life imagery.
Not all shapes are created equal. Some photos look great cropped, while others should be left alone in their original rectangle. It’s helpful to know what frame you’re aiming for before you direct photography.

Use this to frame headshots or anything you’d like to call a lot of attention to.

half circle

Use horizontally, vertically, or at a 45 degree angle if you’re feeling like a silly goose.


Use this shape if you’re a part of the Illuminati.


Being square is no longer square. Become an Instagram #influencer.

quarter circle

Use this frame to direct your eye like a spotlight.


The trickiest shape to frame a photo in nicely. Attempt this if you dare.


A window opening, or a tombstone. The arch is a nice combination of soft and sharp edges.


Sometimes you don’t have to be a 12-sided octahedron to be interesting.

You can tell stories through multiple frames in one design.

Don’t go overboard with too many different shapes. Stick with one or two.

Images as backgrounds with shapes on top can work well with patterned or textured photo.

Sometimes it’s best just to let the image be full bleed.

For guidance on creating or selecting photographs for your design, check out our photography rules.
Craft layouts that are simple, but unexpected.  To add warmth and personality to your designs, make imaginative use of the grid. You can layer, rotate, and add white space to make compositions more interesting. Of course, don’t get too carried away; let the content do some talking.

Break away from rigid layouts. Layer content to create depth and intrigue.

Don’t layer more than two elements at a time or create overcomplicated layouts.

Logo position
There’s no need for a logo kama sutra. (And no one wants it, to be perfectly honest.) We want our logo on the bottom right, snug to the corner of the grid. The full Zendesk logo (‘Z’ and wordmark together) must appear on all collateral. As a guide, it should be 2-3 columns wide for portrait formats, or 1-2 columns wide for landscape formats.
If the logo can’t be used on the bottom right, it should be used on the top right or another corner. There will be exceptions to the rule where you will have to use your best judgement, for example, narrow display ads.
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