ITC Zinzinnati is based on a font called Ohio, released in 1924 by Die Schriftguss A.G. Typical of the Plakatstil letterforms of the time, the original font had a rough outline, as if drawn with a brush. Nick Curtis has smoothed the rough edges, which enhances the design's playful curves and engaging charm.
As for the name: it's the punchline to an old vaudeville routine that starts with the question, Name a city in Ohio that begins with a 'Z.'" Pie in the face, comin' atcha!"