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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
One of the first things to become apparent from the front cover of this book is that there is no obvious purpose suggested in the title, it is instead necessary to proceed past the acknowledgements and a section about the authors to the introductory section.
It is then explained that the book is intended; in part to be a documentation and narrative about the Zen...
Published on March 24 2006 by T. Quiring

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Depends of your needs...
As many would agree, the idea behind the "Zen of CSS Design" project is good. That said, this book could be either good or bad; depending of where you're at.
It could be great for coders who need a little help to develop their designing skills.
For those who already have these skills honed, the book is of little use.
The layout of this book is...
Published on Nov. 17 2005


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, March 24 2006
By 
T. Quiring "New Media Journalist" (Vancouver Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Zen of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web (Paperback)
One of the first things to become apparent from the front cover of this book is that there is no obvious purpose suggested in the title, it is instead necessary to proceed past the acknowledgements and a section about the authors to the introductory section.
It is then explained that the book is intended; in part to be a documentation and narrative about the Zen Garden website (http://www.csszengarden.com) but primarily it is intended as a tutorial on the best practices and techniques relating to modern web design. Simultaneously the book serves as a gallery of "eye candy" that can be referred to for inspiration for reader's projects.
The intended target audience of this book falls under the umbrella of anyone interested in designing and developing websites, and is then subcategorized into the following:
* Designers - Teaching practical design and real-world problem solving.
* Programmers - Using already logical skills and putting them into a design context.
* CSS Novices - Expand on knowledge of basic syntax/concepts and apply them to work.
Personally I'd classify myself as the programmer, however whilst reading through the book it is certainly apparent how users falling under the other classifications would perceive things.
The book is structured as well as any I've encountered, beginning with an introduction, then followed by the main tutorial section which is constantly reinforced by examples from the Zen Garden Website (http://www.csszengarden.com) which I believe to be a strong tool as it means readers always have a visual representation of what they are reading.
Overall I would deem this book suitable for anyone wanting to learn more about CSS, for me the main level on which The Zen of CSS Design reached me was the design aspect, as I consider myself to be primarily logically minded, it's always extremely useful for me to have examples on which I can base my own designs. Alternatively I'd assume that for a designer, the book will reach them on the programming level by teaching them the basics of logical thinking in regards to CSS. Finally for the novices this book will serve as a valuable and effective balance between the two areas, thus creating the next generation of coders who will have proficiency in both disciplines.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Idea Generator, Sept. 25 2005
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This review is from: The Zen of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web (Paperback)
Truly one of the most amazing books I've read when it comes to web design. The Zen of CSS Design is a great book for all levels of knowledge for ideas, but it is recommended you know basic CSS if you want to understand the examples of designs; this book will not teach you css.
Each page in the book is almost like a webpage explaining design. The book has several chapters; some include: Design, Layout and Imagery. There are some more chapters which will give you a handle on Special Effects and Typography. All together there are 7 chapters, each color coded with tips and examples of design and programming/code.
Looking for something specific in the book? Go ahead and flip to the index because this book is equipt with a fourteen page index. The book doesn't have a glossary, but most of the terms they will be using throughout the reading is in the first chapter -- Source.
There are not many weak points in this book. The only thing I'm disappointed about in the book is that the authors took the first chapter and created it into a whole biography of CSSZenGarden.com's website. Other than that I'm pleased with it. If I were to recommend a book that gave good examples of efficient and eye catching designs along with great code examples I would direct you to this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Depends of your needs..., Nov. 17 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Zen of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web (Paperback)
As many would agree, the idea behind the "Zen of CSS Design" project is good. That said, this book could be either good or bad; depending of where you're at.
It could be great for coders who need a little help to develop their designing skills.
For those who already have these skills honed, the book is of little use.
The layout of this book is thoughful and aesthetic, nothing wrong on that side. As for the content, I find it to be very repetitive. There is a LOT of space spent on a FEW design principles. In my point of view, that could have been shrunk into a third of what it is, but then, the book would be ridiculously thin and not saleable.
Well, I suppose I was expecting something more technical, which this book is NOT. For webmasters who've been in the business for a while, this book is mainly common knowledge. Sure they will find bits of goodies here and there, ...but the web is full of them.
I am now reading Eric Meyer's CSS book, and I find it way superior.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Done, Sept. 25 2005
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This review is from: The Zen of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web (Paperback)
When building a website, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) can make or break a website, This book will show you how to build a website out of nothing but CSS. In my opinion Zen Garden is "Cadillac" of web design. In this book there is a lot of high detailed pages showing you many example templates, then it goes on to tell you how they coded/made the design. Also gives a lot of snippets and other types of bits of coding, also covers how to overlap and set transparency to pictures and menus. Also lets you know what browsers will be compatible with CSS. CSS isn't perfect and just like any other type of coding, you might end up spending hours and hours trying to get something right, with this book you wont be spending hours coding, this book also tells you the "do's and don'ts" for building a CSS website, also gives you a few sites where you can check your work for errors and whatnot. Also gives you many CSS resource links, where you can get help, templates, code example, other CSS books. I recommend this book for anyone that uses CSS, from the most basic user to the advanced.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meandering but Inspirational, May 3 2005
This review is from: The Zen of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web (Paperback)
As someone completely self-taught in all things web-development, I've enjoyed immensely reading Shea's book. It skips over most of the stuff you can pick up on forums and mailing lists and really jumps into the less celebrated topics of typography, colour balance, contrast, and layout.
It's not a CSS book at all. In fact, I find it to be more of a general design-tips guide, although there are occasional discussions on browser support for various different tricks and methods. Don't count on this as a reference until you've read it all through once. The information is organised by entry, rather than
It's also very practical. No diatribes, here, on the ills of this or that practice. (Semantics evangelists, I'm looking at you) A beautiful layout is presented, and then various techniques are shown for achieving such a result, at the design stage, at the graphical stage, at the technical stage, and at the presentation (CSS) stage.
If you're looking to learn CSS, hit up Eric Meyer's books or just hang out on the webdeveloper.com forums. But if you already know lots of it and want some inspiration and advanced tips, pick up this book.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not much content on CSS!, Nov. 21 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Zen of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web (Paperback)
I repeat, there is NOT much content on CSS. Even though the title and book description could mislead the buyer into believing that there is.
The authors circle talk a lot, repeating themselves again and again, and then, another time. I was expecting this book to cover CSS techniques in details, explaining the subtleties of CSS properties and their consequences.
Instead, I find a book with pagefuls of poetry, and explanations of very very common design principles.
I read my books with a highlighter, which I use for important or interesting information. Now, as I go back and flip through the book, I realize that I haven't leaned much. Very little. Muy poco.
If you like poetry, this book is for you. Have a treat.
I do like poetry sometimes, but not in expensive technical books.
I got ripped I guess. But hey, sh** happens and I'm still smiling...
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not much content on CSS!, Nov. 21 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Zen of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web (Paperback)
I repeat, there is NOT much content on CSS. Even though the title and book description could mislead the buyer into believing that there is.
The authors circle talk a lot, repeating themselves again and again, and then, another time. I was expecting this book to cover CSS techniques in details, explaining the subtleties of CSS properties and their consequences.
Instead, I find a book with pagefuls of poetry, and explanations of very very common design principles.
I read my books with a highlighter, which I use for important or interesting information. Now, as I go back and flip through the book, I realize that I haven't leaned much. Very little. Muy poco.
If you like poetry, this book is for you. Have a treat.
I do like poetry sometimes, but not in expensive technical books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars {look:bold; content:refreshing}, March 25 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Zen of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web (Paperback)
I recieved this book in the mail a couple days ago and I haven't put it down. This is by far the best book I have read on css. I really like that it focuses on design and not code - there are many other books for that (the ones by Eric Myers being particularly good).
The best comment that I can make to sum up the value of this book is that it is equally as inspirational as cssZenGarden dot Com itself.
I highly recommend this book for anyone with an intermediate to advanced understand of xhtml and css, and a love for design.
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