I think using a “hired hand” to create your CSS is not a good idea for anyone learning the deeper aspects of coding with CSS and XHTML. You simply have to experience the process to become proficient at it. But I like the idea of developing your own framework that includes a lot of CSS features you use over an over. This would be an obvious advantage to anyone working on a large group of projects where there is a lot of similar code. Programmers have used libraries forever to keep various coding components available so they don’t have to repeat themselves over and over. I assume this is the key to object oriented programming also.
So I encourage students wishing to become competent with web design, to study the frameworks out there and learn what it means to design and create your own. In the long run I think it could provide a good learning tool, and give you ideas about how you would want to create your own and eventually, become much more efficient at building creative sites. Below are some resources to get you started learning about these tools and processes of designers.
I would enjoy hearing your responses to these articles and the potential of “frameworks”.
“Design with Web 2.0 frameworks”, .net/July 2007, p. 47-51.
A CSS Framework, by Mike Stenhouse
Blueprint Tutorial, Olave Bjorkoy
YUI Grids CSS, Yahoo UI library: Grids CSS