I recently wrote a review of the 1st book in the A Book Apart Series – HTML 5 for Web Designers. The 2nd book in the series – CSS3 for Web Designers is an equally colorful and valuable quick guide for designers.

CSS3 for Web Designers, authored by Dan Cederholm, with a forward by Jeffrey Zeldman – was the book I was personally most excited about. Dan, who helped created Dribbble – the amazing website for designers to show off their work – has taught me CSS over the years through his books:

These books helped me learn CSS and (perhaps more importantly) best practices/standards to coding. It’s one thing to have all of the CSS properties memorized, and quite another thing learning how to most elegantly structure your HTML to minimize markup while achieving all of the desired effects, even for niche gigs, like officite medical web design.

Equally impressive, and instrumental in my own education – Jeffrey Zeldman – whom I spoke about at length in my other article on HTML 5 is another web power player.

CSS3 For Web Designers Review

CSS3 Another Tricky Subject

Much like HTML 5 – CSS 3 isn’t finalized, there are a lot of elements being debated, added, and all at different rates (in different browsers). The trick with implementing these features becomes a matter of timing. Clearly Cederholm is ahead of most in understanding and implementing these new elements – and using CSS3 and implementing in the manner he suggests ensures that things will degrade nicely (if a particular browser doesn’t support everything, you’ll still be fine).

Unfortunately, another issue with a yet-to-be finalized standard is that writing about it – at length – can be dangerous. That’s why I have to give this book the lowest marks of all of the books I’ve read so far in the A Book Apart series. Much like HTML 5 – it was too short, n this case I feel needlessly so – and again not made for a beginner. You will have to understand HTML, CSS & good coding practices BEFORE picking up this book.

Add to that the relatively small amount of actual properties of CSS3 the book mentions and I can’t give the book more than 7/10. Too expensive, too short, and although it does a great job of highlighting the properties many designers will likely use the most – I expected more from Cederholm.