New books to enjoy

I have reviewed several new books about web design over the past few days and found some outstanding new titles that definitely contribute to strengthing your design skills. The most impressive of the bunch is Andy Clarke’s Transcending CSS: The Fine Art of Web Design. Andy is one of many talented Brittish designers and his book is refreshing and well designed. I think it is a classic with its challenges, new workflow concepts, and solid instructional material. In the opening chapter Andy describes the theme of the book when he states: <!–more–>
“Transcending CSS is more than a plea to use the latest, coolist CSS. It’s a quest to use the lessons you’re learning in CSS as a means to becoming the finest artist and designer you can be. Transcending CSS asks you to embrace the new rather than the old and to stimulate new ways to find inspiration, create more agile and appropriate workflows for web design, and encourage yourself to constantly learn more about both the design and the technical issues with which you work.”

I think this is a special book that all web designers will relate to and that will challenge and push each to learn more and to create and express stronger design competence.

Transcending CSS: The Fine Art of Web Design, by Andy Clarke, Molly E. Holzschlag, 2007. New Riders, 2007. ISBN-10: 0-321-41097-1; ISBN-13: 978-0-321-41097-9.

Some other new titles:

HTML Mastery: Semantics, Standards, and Styling, by Paul Haine. Friends of Ed./Apress. 2006. ISBN 1-59059-765-6.

Covers new aspects of XHTML and CSS including microformats and upcoming features. Solid sections on well-formed coding (Semantics) and appropriate use of style capabilities. Recommended for serious coders beginning through advanced.

Beginning CSS Web Development: From Novice to Professional, by Simon Collison. Apress (The Experts Voice in Web Development Series). 2006. $34.99. ISBN 1-59059-689-7.

Collison was a co-author with Andy Budd and CSS Mastery. This is a very useful and instructional book that offers new insight to CSS web development. It does indeed cover basics and advanced features and would make a good addition to your library.

Pro CSS Techniques, by Croft, Lloyd, and Rubin, Apress (The Experts Voice in Web Development Series), 2006. $39.99. ISBN 1-59059-732-x

A well crafted book with good detail of major issues in CSS and dealing with browser issues. A lot of solid, new material in this one. Definitely a resource for advanced coders.

CSS Web Site Design: Hands On Training, by Eric Meyer., 2007. $49.99. ISBN 0-321-29391-6.

Clearly targeted as a CSS 101 audience to establish a core competency. While I am not a fan of Lynda Weinman’s publishing empire, Eric Meyer is the guru of CSS and this looks like a solid training style book with accompanying CDROM for all the exercises.

CSS: The Definitive Guide, third edition, by Eric Meyer. O’Reilly Media, Inc. 2007. $44.99. ISBN 10 0-596-52733-0.

An updated version which covers up to April 2006 CSS 2.1 standard. This is the ever present reference of references of CSS. Not easy reading, but everything you ever wanted to know. A Meyer’s classic.



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. sincere32
    Aug 25, 2008 @ 00:58:32

    While CSS is a relatively simple technology to learn, it is a difficult one to master. When you first start developing sites using CSS, you will come across all kinds of infuriating browser bugs and inconsistencies. It sometimes feels like there are a million and one different techniques to master, spread across a bewildering array of websites. The range of possibilities seems endless and makes for a steep and daunting learning curve. By bringing all of the latest tips, tricks, and techniques together in one handy reference, this book demystifies the secrets of CSS and makes the journey to CSS mastery as simple and painless as possible. While most books concentrate on basic skills, this one is different, assuming that you already know the basics and why you should be using CSS in your work, and concentrating mainly on advanced techniques. It begins with a brief recap of CSS fundamentals such as the importance of meaningful markup, how to structure and maintain your code, and how the CSS layout model really works. With the basics out of the way, each subsequent chapter details a particular aspect of CSS-based design. Through a series of easy-to-follow tutorials, you will learn practical CSS techniques you can immediately start using in your daily work. Browser inconsistencies are the thorn in most CSS developers’ sides, so we have dedicated two whole chapters to CSS hacks, filters, and bug fixing, as well as looking at image replacement; professional link, form, and list styling; pure CSS layouts; and much more. All of these techniques are then put into practice in two beautifully designed case studies, written by two of the world’s best CSS designers, Simon Collison and Cameron Moll.


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