The Zen of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web

ISBN: 0321303474
ISBN 13: 0785342303476
By: Dave Shea Molly E. Holzschlag

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Reader's Thoughts

Craig Cecil

Since I'm a frequent visitor to the excellent CSS Zen Garden web site, I purchased this book hoping that it would enlighten me regarding the technical implementation of some of the more advanced CSS designs. Unfortunately, I think the book just misses the mark. What you get is a brief six page explanation of a particular design concept for each of the 36 included designs. This is all good, but I was hoping to see at least a few of the very advanced designs completely dissected in explanation, from beginning of the source to the end. Intermediate CSS coders will undoubtedly pick up a useful technique or two. Still, it's a good book that could have been great.

Christopher Bishop

Great for design insight and CSS tricks


This is a good crossover book - a little bit of CSS for designers and a little bit of design for nerds trying to understand the concepts. No great revelations to be had, but it is pretty.


This was a tough book for me to finish. The content was not hard, but it had very few code excerpts for reference and was more describing theory than practice. I would recommend this book for designers and developers looking for inspiration, but probably not for someone trying to learn CSS.You can view my full review on my website.


Ha ha! I have a whole stack of these.. anyone want to be my reading buddy? :)

Matt McClard

If you want to learn to design web sites with css this book is a must have.


Not exactly the how-to on CSS layout I was looking for, but still worth a skim if you are looking for inspiration for new layouts.


Well, I didn't READ this book, per se; I looked at the pretty pictures. And what pretty pictures they were!This is a good book to either learn from (I assume), or just turn to from time to time to get some web design juices flowing. It inspires you to think of a webpage as a work of art rather than a series of text boxes and padding... or those animated .gif and .midi files that made you want to rip your hair out(although it was "cool" in the 90s, web design has evolved a little from the Geocities days).

Theresia Tre

Some CSS sites case study from the CSS dump site: CSS Zen Garden.

Aaron Mc Adam

Dated now, but still good

Oscar Sánchez

This is an excellent collection of complex advanced examples of css web sites. Very helpful.


This book helped me turn a professional corner in my design career in not only what it taught me, but how -- through it's preaching of simplicity, accessibility, and beauty. If you are web designer/developer, it will do the same for you. If you aren't, there's no more to look at here.

Tatiana Jimenez

This book is more for a somewhat experienced CSS savvy web designer... which is not me. I'm a beginner. But I still definitely learned a lot from this book. A lot of design tips. This was a good book for me to take in and read to acquaint myself with the world of CSS and what it is capable of helping me accomplish.

Matt Ward

This is a great book for inspiration and information. It is based on Dave Shea's conceptual website css Zen Garden, which effectively showcases the incredible flexibility of Cascading Style Sheets. The book uses several of the different submission designs in order to address and consider different issues of design. It is an extremely useful book, but be advised that a basic understanding of CSS is really required in order to fully appreciate the content.

Ari Suradipraja


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