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


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.

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.


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).

Aaron Mc Adam

Dated now, but still good


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.


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.

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.


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

Oscar Sánchez

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


Lots of pretty pictures and duh code. Nothing specific or necessary to really get the zen coding of the book.


Ongoing working while reading read... so far some useful ideas about change in perspective


I loved the website and the sneak previews on Amazon made me want to buy this book, it is sometimes good to have a hard visual reference when learning something new.Even though it was written in 2003 some aspects of this book our out of date, for example it still references IE6 as not being able to interpret some CSS (of course we are now up to IE9) - it also lists Dreamweaver as a Macromedia product, unfortunately Macromedia has been mostly gobbled up by Adobe who know owns DW.Although there are some good reference points and ideas, I was a little disappointed that most of the sites the have as examples rely on long vertical scrolling, again maybe a sign of the times. In internet terms 8 years is a millenia. Still a nice book for my library and I have tabbed numerous pages with stickies for quick reference lookup.

Ari Suradipraja



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.

Rowan Evenstar

Stunning book with its full page colour prints. I like to look to this book for inspiration now and then. The website behind the book was a great find, and really showed me the power of css and made me get this book.A great book to have on the shelf for inspiration. It's not a technical guide and does not cover the basics of CSS, a prior knowledge is required. My copy remains on my desk in view at all times even after so many years.

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